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The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino

17125973

In a place like no other, on an island in the shape of a tear drop, two sisters are born into a family of the oracle. Kamikuu, with creamy skin and almond eyes, is admired far and wide; Namima, small but headstrong, learns to live in her sister’s shadow. On her sixth birthday, Kamikuu is presented with a feast of sea-serpent egg soup, sashimi and salted fish, and a string of pure pearls. Kamikuu has been chosen as the next Oracle, while Namima is shocked to discover she must serve the goddess of darkness. So begins an adventure that will take Namima from her first experience of love to the darkness of the underworld. But what happens when she returns to the island for revenge? Natsuo Kirino, the queen of Japanese crime fiction, turns her hand to an exquisitely dark tale based on the Japanese myth of Izanami and Izanagi. A fantastical, fabulous tour-de-force, it is a tale as old as the earth about ferocious love and bitter revenge.

My Review

” ‘There is always poison. You can be certain of it. So long as there is a day, there will be night. And where there is a yang, there is a yin. To every front, a back. No white whothout black. Everything on earth has its opposite, its mate. Should you wonder why, if there were only one there’d be no birth. In the beginning there were two, and those two were attracted to one another and drew together, and from there we have meaning. Or so it is said.’ “

What a enjoyable tale I found this to be, involving: love, loss, betrayal, hatred and revenge with great storytelling qualities, memorable characters an epic and mythical read.
Whilst amidst this tale you may possibly forget everything you know about creation, life, birth and death and become fully immersed in this ancient tale of life.
The authors writes well and makes you feel what the characters go through when they are in darkness and loneliness of death and the bliss and love in life.
Journey through realm of the dead and the realm of living, Yin and Yang. Goddesses, Gods and Oracles. Creation and birth, immortality and death.

A tale that will have you captivated and fully intertwined, a love story that will remain in you mind and felt in you heart for many cycles of the Sun.
With all the walking with the Gods, immortality and darkness in this story there is at its core a very human tale, a light in the form of humanities frailty.

A love story like no other yet as ancient as life itself.

“The shape of our island is unusual, resembling a teardrop. The northern cape is pointed and sharp, like the end of a spear, with dangerous crags jutting into the sea. Closer to the coast the terrain is gentle, sloping to a flat shoreline that wraps softly round the island. Along the southern end the land is nearly level with the sea. Whenever a tsunami blows ashore, that area swells with water. The island is so small that a woman or even a young child could walk its entirety in less than half a day. Countless pretty beaches grace the south. Over time the pounding waves beat the coral reefs into fine pure white sand, which glitters when the sun strikes it. The seas are blue, the sand white, and all along the coast yellow hibiscus grow rampant. The fragrance of the midnight peach scents the sea breezes. I cannot imagine anywhere else on earth as beautiful as the beaches of my island. The men would set sail from these beaches to fish and trade and would not return for close to half a year. In times when the fishing was not good, they’d press on to more distant islands to trade and would be gone for more than a year.

Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 29 January 2013