Saturday, April 4, 2020

Warriors, Witches, Women: Mythology's Fiercest Females by Kate Hodges

WARRIORS, WITCHES, WOMEN is a reference book detailing notable figures from mythology and folklore from around the world. Each section is divided into categories: warriors, witches, elemental spirits, evil and benevolent. The author really made an effort to be diverse in her inclusions, so we have figures taken from Judeo-Christian religion, as well as Voudo deities, Japanese youkai, Buddhist and Hindu gods, Celtic goddesses and spirits, Meso-American spirits and gods, and notable gods and goddesses from the Ancient Greek and Roman pantheons.

What really makes this book is the art, which is done by Harrliet Lee-Merrion. Every being gets a drawing and they're all in glorious full color. I think my favorite was probably the one for futakuchi-onna, who is actually far less creepy than she appears (and she is creepy: picture a woman with a mouth on the back of her head). This is the epitome of a coffee table book, and it's where my copy shall be going forthwith. 

The reference section itself is pretty self-explanatory. Each figure gets a brief overview with some references to controversies or real-world applications and references. For example, Circe's section talks about the Margaret Miller book of the same name, and Baba Yaga's mentions Spirited Away, as serving as the basis of the inspiration for the witch in the movie. This book is more to give you a taste of each being and not really for hardcore research; it's a curiosity, more than anything. Were it not for the beautiful presentation of the book, I'd probably give it three stars instead of four.

But the art, as I said before, is e v e r y t h i n g.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!  

3.5 out of 5 stars

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