Kerstyn's Reviews > Maiden, Mother, Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes

Maiden, Mother, Crone by Gwen Benaway
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really liked it
bookshelves: arc

I’m typically happy with a short story collection if it has two or three stories I can’t put down, and in this collection there were several. I had to leave bookmarks for myself so that I could go back and tally them for this review. In my opinion, things really pick up steam around the midpoint so if a reader is muddling through at the start, I strongly recommend just going out of order.

For starters, I’d read a much longer book version of “Undoing Vampirism” in a hot second. Unfortunately it’s tough to review further without spoiling anything.
“The Vixen, With Death Pursuing” was a compelling magical realism story with some hints of the Paper Magician book series in its world building.
Most of all, I think the flow of “i shall remain”, “Dreamborn”, and “Failure” is great and heartbreaking. I personally would have placed “Forest’s Edge” alongside them as well. They all intertwine elements of mythology, indigenous culture, and/or traditional fairy tales with new elements and masterful inclusion of the uniting framework of the anthology - questions, commentary, and perspective on gender and society’s perception/prescription of it.

I’d say all of the stories would be considered high fantasy, but they offer a wide range of settings and writing styles within this category. As with any anthology there were a couple reads that I just didn’t jive with, but the highs were more than high enough to make up for the lows.
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Reading Progress

August 26, 2019 – Shelved
Started Reading
August 27, 2019 – Finished Reading
November 9, 2019 – Shelved as: arc

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