Anwen Hayward's Reviews > Maiden, Mother, and Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes

Maiden, Mother, and Crone by Gwen Benaway
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bookshelves: lgbtq, anthology

There's lots of things to recommend this book. First and foremost, it gives a voice to people who are historically underrepresented in media and publishing, and that can only be a good thing. Some of the stories here are great, and I'd love to read full length novels of many of them (particularly Kai Cheng Thom's). The variety of representation and narrative is really interesting, too. There are myriad takes on the fantasy genre, from D&D style mages to 1940s Noir. There are stories which delve into the colonial genocide of Canada's indigenous people, and there are stories which are generally light-hearted and funny but have a deeper message about identity beneath the humour, and there are those which create entire new worlds in a few thousand worlds and let you live in it for a short while. I liked more stories in here than not.

However, I have no idea who proof-read this, but some of it was borderline unreadable - one in particular is so full of errors and typos that I had to skip most of it. It read like it had been written in English and then put through Google Translate and translated back into English. I couldn't read more than the first 2 pages. Having said that, my copy was an ARC and perhaps much of this was later corrected or amended.

I think a lot of this is down to the smallness of the press, and therein lies the problem; marginalised people often have to rely on small presses because big publishers won't take risks on marginalised writers (even though readers have shown time and time again that it's not really a risk) and those presses don't always have the resources available to edit the books as much as they need.

I'd still recommend this book and I enjoyed more of the stories than not, but it definitely suffers from a lack of cohesive quality.

Standout stories which I would very happily read again and again are those by Kai Cheng Thom, Izzy Wasserstein, Kylie Ariel Bemis and Lilah Sturges.
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Reading Progress

August 26, 2019 – Started Reading
August 26, 2019 – Shelved
August 26, 2019 –
page 28
August 26, 2019 –
40.0% "I don't wish to kink shame but by jove, someone with 'fox magic' stating that 'my phantom tail delights [my girlfriend]' oh no oh no no no oh no this is essentially a furry story isn't it"
August 26, 2019 –
page 50
"'The women would be to whom she would have her goals met'

oh no
oh no"
August 26, 2019 – Shelved as: lgbtq
August 26, 2019 – Finished Reading
October 3, 2019 – Shelved as: anthology

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Geneviève (thefreckledbookworm) I definitely agree with you about the entire editing job!!

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