Reviews

A Cathedral of Myth and Bone, by Kat Howard

jkerns3's review

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adventurous dark medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.5

michelle_leitheoir's review

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3.0

I really appreciate Kat Howard’s lyrical writing. It makes for a nice smooth read (except for her tendency to put paragraph breaks in a string of dialogue from the same speaker - that threw me off a few times) and worked well for her twists on mythologies and hagiographic tales. I liked the modern twists, too. Myths are among our oldest forms of storytelling, short stories much more recent. It was fun not only blending those two styles, but also the modern elements (loved turning The Green Knight into a reality show).

However.

Nearly every story in this collection started off really enjoyable, if not dark, and ended with me staring wide-eyed at the page and saying, “. . . what just happened?” There’s a difference between depicting a woman who has been empowered and one who is just plain bitter, and unfortunately, the scale seemed tipped pretty far in the direction of bitter. And maybe that’s what she was going for. I’m finding more and more that it’s easy, kind of a cop-out even, to let bitterness and negativity win the day. It’s harder (and more important) to rise above the unfairness and overcome. It’s more empowering, for sure, and I certainly think it’s a more powerful vehicle for change. Not everything has to be sunshine and rainbows and puppies and ice cream, but jeez, the opposite is true, too.

Favorites in this collection: “Once, Future” “Painted Birds and Shivered Bones” “Breaking the Frame” 

aubreyhi's review

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adventurous dark emotional funny reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

herwitchiness's review against another edition

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4.0

An enjoyable collection, I really enjoyed “All of Our Past Places” & “Once, Future.” & “Painted Birds & Shivered Bones”

ohelloandi's review against another edition

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5.0

"If you know the heart of a curse, you can break it. If you know the heart of a person, you can give them a curse that thinks it's a blessing."

I know that a book is a new favorite when I want to re-read it immediately after finishing the last page. Each of these 16 short stories had me hanging on every word. The tales she weaves are so full of imagination, wonder, haunting myths and metaphors. I will continue to think about these stories until I read this book again.

coolcurrybooks's review against another edition

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4.0

Review pending.

jessgeekmom's review against another edition

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5.0

I love short stories. My favorite in this was ‘Saint’s Tide’

falonwillow's review against another edition

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2.0

Had a few good stories but for the most part they were very surface level. Most of the stories felt like they were trying to be deep but never got the full point across. The writing was quite juvenile and simplistic. The stories I liked, though, I really, really liked.

l_shibest's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional hopeful inspiring mysterious reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? N/A
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? N/A
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A

3.0

I have read only one other title by this author and that is,  An Unkindness of Magians and I loved that book so much.
I have read very few short story collections. This collection of 16 stories are based on myth and fairytales, where the women take charge of their agency.
Of the 16 stores I enjoyed two that I would give 5 stars to; One and Future (Arthurian Legend), Painted Birds and Shivered Bones.  but unfortunately there However, the others were either too short for the story to make much sense or I just didn't vibe with the particular story.
The prose and flow was done really well in almost all of the stories. 

I think other readers will all take away a story or 16 that they connect with. I highly recommend.