Red Thread Reblog: Who Mourns the Sirens? — Myth Crafts

Welcome to Red Thread Reblog, a feature that pairs a post about media inspired by mythology with a post about the mythology shown in the media.

A Song Below Water reinterprets the “traditional” siren mythology to reflect the struggles of Black women today, but it turns out that traditional narrative was more complicated as well. The Mythcrafts team, Shiva and Emma, routinely take on topics ranging from (and sometimes blending) mythology, folklore, modern media, science, and spirituality. Sometimes they dive deep and sometimes their posts have a lighter narrative feel. Whichever suits your mood, Mythcrafts is always a good place to stop by if you’re looking for well-researched commentary with a refreshing layer of wit. Their insightful investigation into the evolution of siren mythos reveals how these beings began as bird-like nymphs whose song was simply sad rather than meant to lead men to their deaths. Reading this post was such a revelation, and it makes a perfect companion to A Song Below Water, showing how the image of sirens has come full circle, or perhaps even spiraled to a new level.

Sirens are often mistakenly thought of as a monstrous counterpart to the mermaid; evil temptresses lurking in the sea foam waiting to lure innocent sailors to their death with their songs. This was not so in the classical tradition; Sirens were in fact half-avian and it was their hybrid bird nature that was responsible for […]

Who Mourns the Sirens? — Myth Crafts

Red Thread Reblog: A Song Below Water, by Bethany C. Morrow — Emerald City Bookworm

Welcome to Red Thread Reblog, a feature that pairs a post about media inspired by mythology with a post about the mythology shown in the media.

I’ve mentioned A Song Below Water before, but I’ll bring it up again because I really believe this is an important book. Set in a slightly alternate Portland, Oregon, Bethany C. Morrow’s story follows two sisters, Tavia and Effie. Effie is still discovering the magic in her heritage, but Tavia knows from the beginning she is a siren, one of two acknowledged magical human minorities in this world. Unlike the popular elokos who appear across races, sirens are always Black women. And their powers are feared, so Tavia has long hidden her identity. The social justice element is key in this book, something Cristi Smith-Jones tackles with grace in her review on Emerald City Bookworm. I highly recommend Cristi’s site and her reviews, which are detailed and thoughtful, often celebrating OwnVoices works in a variety of genres. She highlights the beauty in A Song Below Water as well as its call for change, and it was through her blog that I first learned of the newly released sequel, A Chorus Rises!

Bethany C. Morrow’s 2020 YA novel A Song Below Water is a timely and necessary story that takes places fantasy elements in a contemporary setting in a refreshing way. It’s an incredible tale about social justice, self-discovery, sisterhood, and the power in finding one’s voice.  I bought the Kindle edition of A Song Below Water […]

A Song Below Water, by Bethany C. Morrow —

Red Thread Reblog: Oh, Maya Gods! — VoVatia

Welcome to Red Thread Reblog, a feature that pairs a post about media inspired by mythology with a post about the mythology shown in the media.

Gods of Jade and Shadows draws inspiration from the Mayan Popol Vuh. In addition to the Mayan creation story, this collection includes a tale where the Hero Twins face off in a game of ball (and tricks) with the gods of death. This post from Nathan of VoVatia will give you a good overview of the Popol Vuh. He also starts off with a bit of history about how this key Mayan document survived into the present day. I’m still exploring the archives and recent posts of VoVatia, which covers a range of topics including video games, current events, mythology, religion, and Oz fandom. Each has Nathan’s characteristic blend of serious reflection and pragmatic humor. I am particularly glad to share his post on the Popol Vuh because it’s one of the few I found that examines the stories in enough detail to really create a sense of the worldview from which Gods of Jade and Shadow grew while handling the topic with a respectful curiosity. And he raises some interesting questions with his reflections on the death gods’ names!

I saw a mention of the Popol Vuh, a Mayan book of myths, at Intelligent Life, as well as a link to an animated narration. Since I haven’t said much about Mayan mythology, I might as well address this. When the Spanish conquered what is now Guatemala, they destroyed most of the artifacts of Mayan […]

Oh, Maya Gods! — VoVatia

Red Thread Reblog: Fall in love with a Maya Death God in Gods of Jade and Shadow — Living in Libros

Welcome to Red Thread Reblog, a feature that pairs a post about media inspired by mythology with a post about the mythology shown in the media.

Let’s start off with a tale of stars and gods, bones and roads. In Gods of Jade and Shadow, Silvia Moreno-Garcia brings 1920s Yucatan together with the Mayan underworld of Xibalba through the story of Casiopea Tun. Both landscapes are fleshed out in vibrant detail, and I was thrilled to read such a complex portrayal of Mayan cosmology. In addition, Casiopea’s journey passes through several important cultural landmarks in Mexico, showing the nuances each location holds. For more about the book, check out Gaby’s review on Living in Libros! If you’re new to Gaby’s work, I highly recommend exploring her blog and her new YouTube channel. She provides a wonderful level of detail while balancing between calling out important social issues and pure booklove. I read her review of Gods of Jade and Shadow well after reading the book itself, yet I learned so much more from her comments about the cultural side of the story. Now without further ado, let’s meet that death god!

Do you love reading about baddies in lit? We all know I do! What about reading about death gods? Mayan mythology? Road trips? 1920s Mexico? Then Gods of Jade and Shadow is probably the book for you! Gods of Jade and Shadow is an adult fantasy novel set during the Jazz Age and in Mexico. Author of […]

Fall in love with a Maya Death God in Gods of Jade and Shadow — Living in Libros

Red Thread Reblog: Chinese Dragons — Olivia’s Blog

Red Thread
Artwork by Bridget Sarsen.

Welcome to Red Thread Reblog, a feature that pairs a post about media inspired by mythology with a post about the mythology shown in the media.

The dragons in Eon and Eona are based on Chinese mythology, so an overview of that makes it easier to grasp their world. Olivia’s Blog, maintained by Olivia or olichi19, provides just that in this wonderful post on Chinese dragons. It’s one of the more comprehensive descriptions of Chinese dragons I have found in the current blogosphere. It includes the different types, the symbolism of dragons, and even the dragon as an animal sign in Chinese astrology. Goodman’s dragons are each associated with one of the 12 animal signs from this system, whereas Olivia explains how each dragon year is further associated with one of the five elements.  Whether you’re interested in some context for the books or you just want some cool facts about Chinese dragons, this is the place to start!

The Chinese dragon like the Indian Naga’s, are often associated with water and rain and lakes and rivers. Chinese Dragons are divine mythical creatures that brings with it ultimate abundance, prosperity and good fortune. The Chinese proclaim themselves “Lung Tik Chuan Ren”, Descendents of the Dragon. Unlike the the negative aspect associated with Western Dragons, […]

via Chinese Dragons — Olivia’s Blog

Red Thread Reblog: Eona: Review — Average Nicole

Welcome to Red Thread Reblog, a feature that pairs a post about media inspired by mythology with a post about the mythology shown in the media.

As promised, here are the dragons! Alison Goodman’s YA duology of Eon: The Last Dragoneye and Eona came out nearly ten years ago, but these books remain among the few I’ve discovered to explore certain details of Chinese dragon mythology for more adult readers. This fantasy world is not based entirely on Chinese culture and creates its own distinct landscape where dragon power is harnessed as a sort of weather control. For more details, I suggest this review by Average Nicole at Inner Confusions. If you haven’t visited Inner Confusions before, I recommend checking it out. Nicole posts both book reviews and personal writing, often piercing reflections on life with the occasional poem. Her review focuses mainly on Eona but also includes a quick summery of Eon. Like many of her reviews, it features a non-spoiler section and a spoiler section. So choose your style and visit her review!

4.0/5.0 Stars Author: Alison Goodman Pages: 637 Published: 2011 After not reading for MONTHS, I decided to finally start again with Eona by Alison Goodman. And I am glad to say I was not disappointed. Eona is the sequel to Eon, and the conclusion in the duology. I read Eon back in I think 2015, […]

via Eona: Review — Average Nicole

 

Red Thread Reblog: Chinese Goblins, Monsters, Spirits, Demons, Ghosts, Immortals, and Gods — Haoheng Chinese Translations

Welcome to Red Thread Reblog, a feature that pairs a post about media inspired by mythology with a post about the mythology shown in the media.

Happy Lunar New Year! Now that we’ve taken a look at The Dragon Warrior, let’s look at the mythology behind it. Haoheng Stone (also known as Eric Stone) is a Chinese-English translator who primary works with human rights-related news articles and government policies. He also runs a blog featuring translations of essays, literature, and political articles from China and Taiwan. I am extremely grateful for these translations as it allows me to read Chinese sources on mythology I would otherwise be unable to access. This article, translated from text by Gan Daofu, discusses the different broad categories of supernatural entities in Chinese mythology. In The Dragon Warrior, Farin fights with guai and yaoguai as well as interacting with shen of various levels. One of the entries also gives insight into the fate of Farin’s grandfather. The book sometimes alternates between Chinese terms and English translations, so to gain a better understanding of the spirit beings of the book, check out the article!

In Traditional Folk Lore and Mythology By: Gan Daofu, Translated By: Eric Stone Source: Article Raw Chinese Text: PasteBin Goblin-monsters Goblin-monster (yaoguai, or yokai in Japanese) is a general term for all supernatural and magical creatures [in Chinese folk lore and mythology] that aren’t gods (shen), immortals (xian), humans, or ghosts (gui), and which have […]

via Chinese Goblins, Monsters, Spirits, Demons, Ghosts, Immortals, and Gods — Haoheng Chinese Translations

Red Thread Reblog: The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao – A Love Letter to Diasporic and Immigrant Kids; A Fun Adventure about Dragons, Warriors, and Courage — The Quiet Pond

Welcome to Red Thread Reblog, a feature that pairs a post about media inspired by mythology with a post about the mythology shown in the media.

For the media side, we have a review of The Dragon Warrior from CW of The Quiet Pond! If you haven’t stopped by The Quiet Pond, I highly recommend taking a look. The site features reviews of books by diverse authors, often in the fantasy vein but always looking for empowering #OwnVoices stories. There’s a strong artistic element too. Each member of the team has a magical Pond character avatar who represents them and who become characters in events like the Pondathon reading challenge going on now. Hop over to the Pond to meet Xiaolong, Keeper of Magic, and her friends! I have the Pond to thank for introducing me to The Dragon Warrior, by Katie Zhao. The Lunar New Year, coming up tomorrow, is an important part of this amazing story of…Well, instead of my fan-ramblings, let’s take a look at the review that started it all.

Blurb: As a member of the Jade Society, twelve-year-old Faryn Liu dreams of honoring her family and the gods by becoming a warrior. But the Society has shunned Faryn and her brother Alex ever since their father disappeared years ago, forcing them to train in secret. Then, during an errand into San Francisco, Faryn stumbles […]

via The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao – A Love Letter to Diasporic and Immigrant Kids; A Fun Adventure about Dragons, Warriors, and Courage — The Quiet Pond