What I’m Reading…

Two of my favorite books that I’ve read this year to round out Mythology before I move on to something completely different. 🙂

Daughter of the Moon Goddess


by: Sue Lynn Tan

I have mentioned this book several times already. However, I wanted to mention it one more time since the second book is coming out in November, Heart of the Sun Warrior.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess has definitely been one of my favorite reads this year. The main character Xingyin goes through quite a journey in the attempt to save her mother and meets many interesting characters along the way. Some of these are helpful and some are not so helpful. Xingyin still manages to make everything work out in the end.

I’m looking forward to the sequel when it comes out to complete her journey.


The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea

by Axie Oh

This has been another favorite. When I first started the book, I really had no idea where it was going. As the story progressed, I got more attached to these characters and it went where I wanted it to go while still giving me a surprise at the end. I love books that do that.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea tells the story of a girl who makes a sacrifice at the beginning of the book. She takes a journey and tries to figure out why tragedy has repeatedly happened to her people and her home. Mina eventually is successful and everything works out in the end.

Mythology

Definition


Merriam-Webster defines “mythology” with four different definitions. One is an allegorical narrative with allegory meaning something that can be interpreted and have a hidden meaning behind it. The second is as a body of myths specifically referencing gods or legendary heroes, etc. The third definition is simply a branch of knowledge with the fourth being a belief or ‘myth’ that has grown up around a person or thing or a place.

“Myths tell us much about the past, present, and sometimes the future. They form a digest of sorts about humanity and the part it plays in the natural world.”

World Mythology page 17

There are many different types of myths. Some of my personal favorites are the various stories about the sun and the moon. Such as the Native American story of Coyote where he kills nine of the sun’s brothers, thus saving the world. However, he then has to kill nine of the moon’s brothers because people almost froze to death.

Another is the story of Chang’e, the Chinese goddess of the moon. She was married to the archer Houyi who shot nine of the 10 suns, leaving one and saving the people from hardship. Houyi was granted an elixir of immortality but did not take it since he didn’t want to leave his wife. Chang’e took the elixir to keep it from someone else who tried to take it. She became immortal and went to live on the moon so that she would not be far away.


Mythology varies from country to country and across cultures. However, everyone has had their own myths or some version of them. Everyone has a version of how we got here or what this or that god did. An example could be Ares and Mars or Aphrodite and Venus. While not exactly the same, they were still the gods of war and love, respectively. In this case, this is more like “borrowing” but we’ll let that go. Stories are amazing and how people seem to come to the same or similar conclusions about things has always amazed me, too.

What I’m Reading

World Mythology: From Indigenous Tales to Classical Legends

by Tamsin Hughes

I’m currently reading through a book called World Mythology. It looks at mythologies from around the world from creation myths to specific gods that appear and reappear in multiple countries as well as stories about creatures. It also helps identify the difference between what is a myth, what is a legend, and what is a folk story. These three things can all be quite similar and get confused often. However, they have some distinctions to help make them more clear.

“Myths tell us much about the past, present, and sometimes the future. They form a digest of sorts about humanity and the part it plays in the natural world.”

World Mythology page 17

In the conclusion of the book, the author notes that there are many remarkable similarities among the various versions of these stories across the globe. She also marveled at how creative these people were when they were attempting to understand the world.

“Whether you have read this book from beginning to end or simply leafed through its pages at random seeing what piques your interest, you will surely have marvelled at the creative enterprise that our forbears employed to make sense of their world.”

“Being firmly rooted in an age of science and technology, it is easy for us to be critical of, and even to deride, the fantastical aspects of the belief systems of our progenitors. We can forget just how powerful a profoundly inspiring story was to earlier cultures where storytellers were revered and narrative was the epitome of invention.”

World Mythology pages 247-248

I’m also currently pleasure reading the “Shield-Maiden” series The Road to Valhalla by Melanie Karsak. I had previously read the first four books but had not read the fifth. In these books, the main character Hervor (as well as many of the other characters) has a close and personal relationship with their gods. For Hervor, it’s the All-Father Odin and for her friend Eydis, it’s Loki. Throughout the books, the gods speak to the characters and guide them along their journey. I’m re-reading the series and am about to read book five so I’m not sure how their story ends yet. But I’m sure it will be interesting.

I am still in the process of reading these books (yes, I did skip to the end for some of this.) I do plan to put up another post on mythology in general soon as I plan to have a few more posts on mythology topics/books.

  • Books
  • World Mythology: From Indigenous Tales to Classical Legends by Tamsin Hughes
  • The Road to Valhalla Series by Melanie Karsak