Review of The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino

16129295The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino. ★★★

The Goddess Chronicle is a retelling of the Japanese myth of Izanagi and Izanami, told through the original tale of Namima, a priestess who becomes an assistant to Izanami after her death. Namima and her older sister Kamikuu were born on a small island, known for its Oracle. Kamikuu goes into training to become the next Oracle, but Namima forced into isolation as the priestess of death. She encounters love, betrayal, death, and she becomes obsessed with the misfortune of the hand Fate dealt her.

The Goddess Chronicle was all right, but I never cared much about it. On the bright side, it was easy to read and relatively short. It’s three hundred pages long, but the font’s big and the pages are on the small side. Thankfully, this meant that it wasn’t too much of a hassle to finish.

I did enjoy finding out about the original myth of Izanagi and Izanami, although there probably would have been more straight forward ways for me to do it. Learning some of the mythology was particularly interesting, since Dragon Sword and Wind Child, which I read earlier this year and liked a lot, is inspired by it.

I think The Goddess Chronicle‘s characterization is lacking? It may be a side effect of the mythic approach, with each character feeling more like an arch-typical role or stock type than an actual person. There’s other issues that could lie at the feet of the English translation. The story never felt as emotional as the events suggested, and I felt like there was too much telling instead of showing. Emotions were described by blankly stating them, continuously.

Overall, I’m glad this is one I got from the library. I’m not planning on ever revisiting it or recommending it in the future.

 

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