Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino
(Canongate Myths)

68%

5 Critic Reviews

Unlike her earlier novels, Kirino's writing here is abrupt...The section of the book where we follow Izanaki's earthly wanderings weighs the narrative down and could have been considerably shortened.
-Guardian

Synopsis

In a place like no other, on an island in the shape of a tear drop, two sisters are born into a family of the oracle. Kamikuu, with creamy skin and almond eyes, is admired far and wide; Namima, small but headstrong, learns to live in her sister's shadow. On her sixth birthday, Kamikuu is presented with a feast of sea-serpent egg soup, sashimi and salted fish, and a string of pure pearls. Kamikuu has been chosen as the next Oracle, while Namima is shocked to discover she must serve the goddess of darkness. So begins an adventure that will take Namima from her first experience of love to the darkness of the underworld. But what happens when she returns to the island for revenge? Natsuo Kirino, the queen of Japanese crime fiction, turns her hand to an exquisitely dark tale based on the Japanese myth of Izanami and Izanagi. A fantastical, fabulous tour-de-force, it is a tale as old as the earth about ferocious love and bitter revenge.
 

About Natsuo Kirino

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Natsuo Kirino (pen name of Mariko Hashioka) is a prize-winning Japanese novelist and prolific writer, most famous for her 1998 novel, Out, which received the Grand Prix for Crime Fiction (Japan's top mystery award) and was a finalist (in translation) for the 2004 Edgar Award. Four of her novels have been translated into English: Out, Grotesque, Real World and What Remains. Her early work includes romances and stories for manga.Rebecca L. Copeland, professor of Japanese literature at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, received her Ph.D. in Japanese Literature from Columbia University in 1986. Her published works include The Modern Murasaki: Writing by Women of Meiji Japan (2006), co-edited with Dr. Melek Ortabasi; Woman Critiqued: Translated Essays on Japanese Women's Writing (2006); The Father-Daughter Plot: Japanese Literary Women and the Law of the Father (2001), co-edited with Dr. Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen; Lost Leaves: Women Writers of Meiji Japan (2000); and The Sound of the Wind: The Life and Works of Uno Chiyo (1992). She has also translated the works of Kirino Natsuo, Uno Chiyo, and Hirabayashi Taiko, among others.
 
Published July 23, 2013 by Canongate Books Ltd. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Goddess Chronicle
All: 5 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 3

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Apr 22 2013

Kirino’s elegant writing brings Namima...to vivid life. Readers will devour this tragic story and be left transformed.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Tan Twan Eng on Feb 27 2013

Unlike her earlier novels, Kirino's writing here is abrupt...The section of the book where we follow Izanaki's earthly wanderings weighs the narrative down and could have been considerably shortened.

Read Full Review of Goddess Chronicle (Canongate ... | See more reviews from Guardian

Blog Critics

Below average
Reviewed by Rhetta Akamatsu on Jan 15 2014

My only problem with this book is perhaps inevitable in that the part of the book in which Izanami retells the creation story is so full of the names of gods and places she and her husband Izanaki gave birth to that is is completely confusing to the casual reader.

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NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Annalisa Quinn on Aug 07 2013

At its best, Natsuo Kirino's The Goddess Chronicle is a dark and lovely feminist retelling of the Japanese creation myth. At worst, it's a stiff, repetitive exercise in telling, not showing.

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Kirkus

Good
on May 19 2013

Kirino writes lyrically as she spins a magical and ethereal tale.

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Reader Rating for Goddess Chronicle
80%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 10 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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