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    wonderful collection of stories

    This anthology of tales derived from Asian cultures, is a treat for those who have been waiting for something like this. There are some wonderful stories – some presenting the folklore in a modern setting, some exploring nuances of the old stories with a feminist view, some expanding the stories in its original setting – but they all make a good collection, and each of them beautifully written. For my own culture, the stories were all inspired from the Mahabharata/Hindu folklore and explored different stories in different aspects. There was a time-spanning retelling of the battle in Mahabharata, a Dusshera story inspired by the goddess’ fight against a demon (that one didn’t feel as good a retelling, though), and a reincarnation story that was equal parts chilling and intriguing. The other, non-Indian stories included a wonderful tale about two sisters, a tale of a mountain deity with her own agency, and two stories about fox deities – tricksters in a futuristic game setting, with a daughter seeking out the remnants of her mother in a digital world (which was such a hopeful and positive exploration of a digital landscape instead of a regular ‘the robots will kill us’ story), and another a historical fiction about the origin of kitsune stories. There was even an aswang story that Cruz manages to link to her existing Blue Bloods series! My only little complaint was that the background/author’s notes about which story inspired the particular retelling would come after the story – which takes away half the joy of looking at the parallels of the story, particularly if you’re not familiar with the story. After the first two stories, I started going ahead and reading the author’s notes first and then the story. Overall, this is a wonderful collection of stories, and a delight for Asian and diaspora readers specifically!
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