A review by michelle_leitheoir
A Cathedral of Myth and Bone, by Kat Howard


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).


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”