AD • I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review however all opinions are entirely my own.
Good afternoon, friends! I’m back today with another book review. This time I’ll be talking about something a little different to what I normally read. Today’s book is The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino which was kindly sent to me by Canongate to review. What appealed to me about this one is that it’s a Japanese myth retelling that has been translated into English. I know a lot of you are fond of a good myth retelling so keep reading!
On an island in the shape of a teardrop live two sisters. One is admired far and wide, the other lives in her shadow. One is the Oracle, the other is destined for the Underworld.
But what will happen when she returns to the island?
Based on the Japanese myth of Izanami and Izanagi, The Goddess Chronicle is a fantastical tour de force about ferocious love and bitter revenge.
The Goddess Chronicle is hailed as being a “feminist retelling” but in my opinion, it felt somewhat lacking in that area. There’s heavy emphasis on a woman’s role within their community and families but not much on women being individuals with agency. (I’m aware that my perspective and cultural background is very different to the author’s so this is not a criticism of the book, more of a side note.)
I absolutely loved Namina and was struck by how much it hurt to see her betrayed or neglected by those closest to her. It’s very much a tragic family drama at its heart.
I also enjoyed the way that the gods of Izanagi and Izanami interact with the humans in the story. It was very cleverly done to the point that I had no idea how it was all going to come together until the end.
Overall, I think fans of myth retellings and family dramas will find something to enjoy here.