In these sixteen exquisite stories Kat Howard deftly weaves in and out of the countries of myth and hagiography to write the lives of women untold and unexplored.
A woman being written into her boyfriend’s fiction is at first flattered to be his muse, but then finds her real life literally consumed and overtaken by his. A desperate young woman makes a prayer to the Saint of Sidewalks, but the miracle she receives isn’t what she expected. A painter spies a naked man, crouched by the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, transform into a beautiful white bird and decides to paint him, and becomes involved in his curse. Jeanne, a duelist and a sacred blade for God and Her holy saints, finds that the price of truth is always blood. And in the novella “Once, Future” Howard reimagines the Arthurian romance on a modern college campus as a story that is told, and told again, until the ending is right.
Summary taken from Goodreads
The half-formed idea to write my own anthology of short stories (instead of concentrating on my novel, which was giving me trouble) was what sparked my desire to pick up some short story anthologies from the library.
A Cathedral of Myth and Bone by Kat Howard is one of the first anthologies I’ve read after deciding on this idea of mine. More than an exploration of what an anthology looks like, or an inspiration to write my own short stories, Howard’s anthology of fantasy and magical realism was a delicious fever-dream of a read.
Each tale, at once whole in itself, and yet making me crave more, took me on a separate and different journey through Howard’s imagination. “Once, Future” could have easily been just another entry into the Arthurian catalogue, but I was pleased to instead have had the pleasure of reading a unique and interesting take on the legend.
I genuinely enjoyed the stories. Howard’s fantasy is not just mythic or deep, but also playful, and even though some of the stories are more serious in plot, as a fantasy lover, A Cathedral of Myth and Bone is a fun and enjoyable romp through the land of myths.