Read A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh Online

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate. Compiled by We Need Diverse Bookss Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renee Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong. A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mothers mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaimans Unnatural Creatures and Ameriies New York Timesbestselling Because You Love to Hate Me....

Title : A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
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ISBN : 9780062671172
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 336 pages
Url Type : Home » Download » A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
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A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Reviews

  • Xandra (Literary Legionnaire)

    *grabby hands* WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT 2 YEARS FOR THIS

  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader

    I really loved this book and read the whole thing yesterday.  I'm only going to write a small amount about each story or this review would be way too long.

    *If I spelled anything wrong, I apologize.  I was taking notes while reading and they are super sloppy.  I can barely read my own handwriting.  It's shameful.*

    Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi  5 stars

    My only real complaint with this one was how short the story was.  I love Roshani's writing and this was such a sad story about love and hearta
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  • Heather (The Sassy Book Geek)

    Review Originally Posted On The Sassy Book Geek

    4.5 Stars

    **** Thank you to Greenwillow Books for providing me with a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review ****


    I knew the second I saw this book that I wouldn’t be disappointed with it, and I am happy to say I was right! This is an #OwnVoices (written by Asian authors) anthology filled with some amazing retellings of East and South Asian folklore and mythology, so I mean really what’s not to like? I know I absolutely loved reading t
    ...more

  • Alyssa

    5 stars. My heart is full. Special shout-out to the South Asian stories, including Sona Charaipotra's, Aisha Saeed's, Preeti Chhibber's, Rahul Kanakia's, and Shveta Thakrar's. <3 All of the stories in this anthology are lovely, but I have to especially appreciate the South Asian ones. =)

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

    A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

    Publisher: Greenwillow Books

    Publication Date: June 26, 2018

    Rating: 5 stars

    Source: Review copy sent by the publisher

    Summary (from
    ...more

  • Ren (A Bookish Balance)

    Anthologies really just are not my thing. It also doesn't help that I feel I went into this with the wrong expectations. I was expecting a more classic take on fairytales, but most stories are modernized or can fit into the sci-fi genre, serves me right for not reading the synopsis.

  • Emily May

    This is definitely one of the better YA short story collections I have read. As with all anthologies, some stories are much stronger than others, but I enjoyed far more than I disliked. Plus, it was just so great to see the exploration of mythologies we don’t often see in the mainstream. My average rating over the fifteen stories was 3.7.

    A few years ago, collections like these might have just been a way for me to go on some literary tourism of other cultures, but it's now very important to me on

    It was an ill-fated thing to claim that a heart is safe. Hearts are rebellious. The moment they feel trapped, they will strain against their bindings.


    Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong - 4 stars

    This was a little strange, but in the best possible way. Wong takes on the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival in her story. A young girl who has lost her beloved mother makes it her duty to feed crowds of ghosts. It's a tale about grief, told in sweet, subtle interactions. There is something so wonderful and sad about this uniting of the living and the dead through food.

    Don’t talk to strangers, Mom had said, over and over. And don’t trust the ghosts, especially not during the Ghost Festival.


    Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee - 3.5 stars

    If I was rating the ending alone, this would probably get five stars. It's a science-fiction story with androids, but also about grief and the loss of a loved one. There's the familial aspect: the narrator's relationship with her father hasn't been the same since her mother died; and also a mystery aspect: she teams up with a friend to uncover the truth behind the androids that were recalled. For the most part, I glided through the story, kinda enjoying it but not really loving it like the previous two. And then the ending happened. Perfection.

    And now that she knew the truth, who would she decide to be?


    Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra - 2 stars

    It's a shame about this one because it took some interesting steps but stopped very abruptly and strangely. I turned the page and was shocked to discover that it was over! It's a Punjabi folktale retelling and the author's explanation for the story was really interesting, but I didn’t think her intentions came across at all. The main guy was pretty creepy, too.

    You don’t know, Bebo, what you’ll do,” my mother says, a sudden anger simmering under her words. “You don’t know how to choose until you’re right there, on the precipice, giving away your everything for something that may be real or may be a shadow, a ghost you’re chasing.”


    The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette De Bodard - 4 stars

    Like a lot of these stories, this one was quite weird. Though I found myself really liking it. I also found myself doing some reading into the Vietnamese story of Tam and Cam, which starts like something of a Cinderella tale, in which a jealous sister envies the other's beauty and it leads to tragedy. Here, Bodard rewrites it with a more positive spin, showing the power of sibling love above all else.

    “So many precious places to discover. Come on, Lil’sis. Let’s go see them together.”


    The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers - 5 stars

    Aww. This was one seriously emotional, beautiful story about loss and gaming. As gaming is such an important part of Korean culture, it was great to see it explored here. And while I usually find video game-centred stories too light and silly, Myers did a fantastic job of showing how a game can be really important for someone. It can be a much-needed escape, a creativity outlet, or a doorway to an unending universe. I liked this story so much because it took something I don't usually love and did something new and deeply moving with it.

    “I finally know how it ends.”


    The Smile by Aisha Saeed - 4 stars

    Well, I always like a good feminist fairytale! And I LOVE what Saeed did with this one. She takes a tragic love story and rewrites it to give a king's courtesan choice, freedom and agency. It's a gorgeously-written South Asian addition, and somehow both happy and sad. Happy, because it is about a woman finally getting to make her own choices and understanding what love really is. But sad, because much must be given up for the sake of freedom.

    The prince always said I belonged to him. I had thought this word protected me and kept me safe, but now I understood. Belonging meant he could place me wherever he liked, whether in his bed or in this dank tower. Belonging is not love. It never was.


    Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber - 3 stars

    This was okay. I enjoyed the alternating between Hindu myths and a modern-day celebration of Navaratri, a holiday I had never heard of before. But, though educational, I didn't feel as much of a spark with this one as I did with the others. It was light, but fairly bland. It seemed a little too long, too.

    Nothing into All by Renée Ahdieh - 4 stars

    I really enjoyed this one! It's a retelling of the Korean folktale Goblin Treasure and I loved what the author did with it. A girl makes a trade for goblin magic so she can achieve her dream of going away to music school, but her brother becomes angry that she isn't using the magic to make gold that could benefit the family. It's a tale about siblings, forgiveness, the decisions we make and how bad actions can be hiding a good person.

    It is Chun’s fault he has become a thief. But please let him have the chance to make it right. Give him the chance to become a great man.


    Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia - 2 stars

    Too long and emotionless for my tastes. I felt like this story was droning on and on in parts, and I neither learned something new from it, nor experienced an emotional response to it. The protagonist goes on and on about wanting to be a hero, and about life and death, and I just took so little away from reading it.

    Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz - 2 stars

    There was a definite slip right around this later middle part of the book. My two least favourite stories were lumped together here. Melissa de la Cruz's work seemed to be a companion to her Blue Bloods series, which I have not read and don't particularly have any interest in. This story was about Filipino aswangs - vampire witches - and contained a lot of gore and gruesomeness, but not a lot of emotion. A potentially interesting concept that left me feeling cold.

    “I almost murdered a girl yesterday.”


    Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman - 4 stars

    Gorgeous. Chapman retells the Chinese tale of the Butterfly Lovers - a "tragic tale of two young lovers kept apart by familial duty". Set during a war, this reimagining sees a boy posing as a girl and falling in love with another girl called Zhu. The author breathes new life into a very old concept - that of forbidden love and being torn between duty and what your heart truly wants. Beautifully-written with a touching ending.

    “Promise me, Lin,” she said, “that wherever we end up stationed, we’ll stay alive long enough to find each other again, to be friends always.”


    Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar - 4 stars

    Inspired by two stories from The Mahabharata, this is a powerful feminist tale about sticking to your guns and putting your true passion first. Always. I loved reading about the two stories this was based on - about “Savitri and Satyavan” and “Ganga and Shantanu”. The theme of a smart woman cleverly tricking a god or demon or jinni seems to come up a lot in South Asian folktales and I must confess: I like it.

    Together, her voice sparkling like diamond dust, his smooth as clove smoke, they ensorcelled the audience as they had ensorcelled each other.


    The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon - 5 stars

    Oh, I loved this! I'm not sure why but I sometimes love it when the narrator speaks directly to the reader with a conspiratorial wink (You can never out wait a goddess, Dear Reader. I have all the time in the world.). In this, Pon retells “The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl”, which is itself a wonderful folktale, but here becomes even more so. It's very romantic, definitely a love story, but it's a good one. The author gives a voice to the mostly silent weaver girl in this version, allowing her to tell the story from her perspective. I couldn't stop smiling as she tells us:

    “All the storytellers get it wrong.”


    Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa - 4 stars

    I wonder if this story has anything to do with Kagawa's upcoming novel Shadow of The Fox because it is also about foxes (well, kitsunes, to be precise). Takeo, the protagonist in this story, is an extremely likable hero and we get pulled along for an adventure with one of Japan's most loved mythical creatures: kitsunes. Typically, human/fox shapeshifters. It's also a little creepy, too. Kagawa captures the eerie small-town setting perfectly and, let's not lie, there's something deeply unsettling about never knowing whether a human is really a human or something else.

    Takeo never saw the fox again. But sometimes, on warm evenings when he was outside, he could almost imagine he was being watched.


    Overall, this was a stunning anthology. I would really love to see more fantasy short story collections exploring mythologies around the world with own voices authors. If you like fantasy and you like short stories, I highly recommend these.

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  • Dani - Perspective of a Writer



    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

    Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.

    The short review...

    Upfront... I'm not a fan of short stories... I ADORED
    ...more

  • Natalie Monroe

    3.75 stars

    I requested A Thousand Beginnings and Endings for one reason and one reason only: Julie Kagawa. Her Talon series crashed and burned, she'll always have a special place in my heart due to The Iron Fey series. To my surprise, I found myself enjoying the other stories just as much, some even more.

    Anthologies are always a bit of a mixed bag, so I'm going to review them individually:

    Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi — 5 stars

    “Do not trust the fruit of Maria Makiling.”


    Alright, I didn't ...more