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Mythic Journeys: Retold Myths and Legends

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Award-winning editor Paula Guran presents a diverse reprint anthology collecting classic myths and legends, retold by today’s top fantasy writers, including Neil Gaiman and Emma and Peter Straub.

The Native American trickster Coyote . . . the snake-haired Greek Gorgon Medusa, whose gaze turned men to stone . . . Kaggen, creator of the San peoples of Africa . . . the Holy Gr
Paperback, 456 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Night Shade
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  94 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Generally, all the stories are decent, even if none was either catchy or that memorable for me personally. Each aims to retell myths, and most of them are from the West (Greek specifically, such as Hades & Persephone), but some are of Eastern origins, and there's also legends such as the Arthurian one. My personal favourite was Neil Gaiman's somewhat humorous take on the Grail Quest, that made me smile all the way to the end, which is rare with this author being hit-or-miss for me. ...more
“Lost Lake” – Emma Straub and Peter Straub - 3 stars. No idea what it's really about, but it's well written.

“White Lines on a Green Field” – Catherynne M. Valente - 4.5 stars. I really liked this one. Tricksters are a great part of mythology, and Coyote is one of the greatest.

“Trickster” – Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due - Myths + Sci-Fi = Good. 4 stars.

“Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” – Brooke Bolander - Strange and disturbing. 3 stars.

“A Memory of Wind” – Rachel Swirsky - This sucked. Second p
Anna Schubert
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A well-chosen collection of modern myths and retellings.

Favorites: "White Lines on a Green Field" for an evocative Coyote tale, "Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies", "The Gorgon", "Merlin Dreams in Mondream Wood", "Thesea and Astaurius", "Foxfire, Foxfire", "The Ten Suns", and Armless Maidens of the American West."

I have mixed feelings about Neil Gaiman's "Chivalry." Part of me enjoyed the quotidian approach to myth, and part of me pushed back because the whole point of myth is that's it's not perfu
Dan Trefethen
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthologies, fantasy
This is a reprint anthology (with one original story) of modern variations on old myths. It was good to see some non-European myths included, from China, Africa, and other parts. These are reliable authors. I picked this up to cherry-pick authors I enjoy - Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Hand, Ann Leckie, Yoon Ha Lee, Nisi Shawl, Mary Rickert, Rachel Swirsky, Ken Liu. I had already read the stories by Catherynne Valente and Sofia Samatar. The editor, Paula Guran, provides a helpful introduction that desc ...more
Jun 13, 2020 rated it liked it
I love folktales. I love buying ones with stories from around the world, which is harder than you think. It's far easier to buy ones based on ethnicity or countries especially Greek. Oddly enough, hard to find one for America. Maybe it has to do with the fact that this country is based on the backs of different cultures. With things hopefully changing, maybe we can get a book based on Native American, black, Chinese stories?

Anyways, Mythic Journeys started out well but then faltered. The problem
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautiful collections of stories from authors not only familiar with myths, but from the detail and passion which they include , clearly in love with mythology as well. There are some tales that will be familiar ,and are reworkings of existing myths, and others completely unrecognisable, either so far removed from the source material that they appear new, or are actually new myths created for a current or future world. Some fall flat in parts, and one or two try too hard to be clever, but even ...more
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This anthology does a great job of collecting a diverse set of stories that retell myths and legends from across the world. There were only a few stories that I didn't care for and there were far more that I absolutely loved. A few highlights include "Chivalry" by Neil Gaiman, "Thesea and Astaurius" by Priya Sharma, "Armless Maidens of the American West" by Genevieve Valentine, "Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream" by Maria Dahvana Headly, and "Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies" by Brooke Bol
Apr 02, 2020 rated it liked it
The stories in this Anthology were hit and miss. Among the highlights, "The Gorgon" by Tanith Lee &"Leda" by M. Rickert. I liked the fact that the stories were drawn from multiple cultures and not just the Western (i.e. European) canon. I wish the editor had put a brief introduction to the myth/legend at the beginning of each story. She did provide the information in the Introduction but it would have been better spread out among the stories. ...more
Mar 18, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 / 5

It's hard to rate an anthology, because the stories are diverse and some can be great, some can be... not-so-great.

From the 30 stories, I will recommend, with no particular order:

- The Ten Suns by Ken Liu
- Owl vs. the Neighborhood Watch by Darcie Little Badger
- Chivalry by Neil Gaiman
- Zhyuin by John Shirley
- Calypso in Berlin by Elizabeth Hand
- Trickster by Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due
Olga Werby
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best fantasy short story collections I've read in a long time.

Not all stories are great, some are too pretentious, some too glib. But the majority are excellent and provide a cool take on some old fairytales. These are not kid stories. They deal with adult themes, all in very unique ways. Strongly recommend this collection.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Like most anthologies, this one is hit or miss. A few weak ones, but the stories are short enough that the few I didn't care for were over quick. Overall, I enjoyed these modern retellings of myths & legends. ...more
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: z-2019-na-na
Myths spin through time, through history. Spinning, dancing, movement. These are retellings, recreations, redreamings. Join these storytellers by the ancient fires and hear these new tales. Go forth on an adventure
Aug 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Overall an enjoyable collection of stories. A few really stand out stories, including "Calypso in Berlin" by Elizabeth Hand and "Thesea and Astaurius" by Priya Sharma. A very interesting mix on classical mythical stories that have the potential to introduce them to a new audience.
Alexis Stankewitz
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a good mix of stories, although "Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies" by Brooke Bolander was definitely my favorite. I will definitely be checking out more of her work.
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Just a lot of fun. As always with an anthology, some stories were better than others, but I tore through this and really enjoyed it.
Venu Sareen
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Half of the stories are read-worthy. A few are pure platinum gold. I skipped/skimmed over four or five.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
Rating based on averages of individual stories- 3.2/5. Several good ones, but only a few outstanding enough to be memorable.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Good short stories.
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Many excellent stories, a few good stories, one very, very strange story.
Lori Sheats
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
A few good stories mixed in with mostly poor ones. Would not recommend
Karen Cohn
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with most anthologies, especially those written by multiple authors, I found that some of these stories were extremely good and some were less so. The volume as a whole averages out to 4 stars; there were several stories I greatly enjoyed, and a couple I started to read them skipped over. Most of the anthology is worth reading; read it for yourself and decide which stories you enjoy.
Tyson Pierce
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Jan 05, 2020
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Jun 30, 2019
Jen Grogan
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Sep 17, 2020
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Jan 07, 2020
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Paula Guran is senior editor for Prime Books. She edited the Juno fantasy imprint from its small press inception through its incarnation as an imprint of Pocket Books. She is also senior editor of Prime's soon-to-launch digital imprint Masque Books. Guran edits the annual Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror series as well as a growing number of other anthologies. In an earlier life she produced we ...more

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