A Cathedral of Myth and Bone by Kat Howard

A Cathedral of Myth and Bone

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 pai...

Details A Cathedral of Myth and Bone

TitleA Cathedral of Myth and Bone
Release DateJan 8th, 2019
PublisherSaga Press
GenreFantasy, Short Stories, Mythology, Fiction, Science Fiction, Adult

Reviews A Cathedral of Myth and Bone

  • Marija (Inside My Library Mind)
    More reviews up on my blog Inside My Library Mind “The story knows the way of its telling.” As a Whole... All of these stories revolve around myths and legends and thus have a common theme of storytelling interwoven throughout all of them. Every story is set in our world, but not quite. It’s our world but deconstructed and mixed with symbols and aspects of different stories.There’s also a common theme of a story being retold thro...
  • Kelly
    Be skeptical when a writer writers her own introduction to her short stories, especially when she uses the word "hagiography" in it and its last sentences are "Turn the page. I have miracles to offer you." I was skeptical, and for good reason. I was really shocked at the praises sung of this pretentious metafictive collection of short stories that explore faith and myth. I was alternately bored and annoyed with all of them. I'll just mention the ...
  • Margaret
    I love Kat Howard's short stories, so of course I also love this collection. I'd read many of the stories before, but a stand out new one for me was Once, Future, and Authurian retelling set on a modern college campus. It's so excellent. And then a favorite of mine that I'd already read is The Saint of the Sidewalks. I actually enjoyed it even more this time than the first.Kat Howard's stories are steeped in Catholicism, fairy tales, and female e...
  • Mike Chen
    Kat Howard has constantly shown that she can ground fantastical elements in contemporary storytelling. This, along with wonderful prose and sharp characterization, is why her novels ROSES AND ROT and AN UNKINDNESS OF MAGICIANS work so well -- they blend those elements together without ever collapsing under the weight of either side. A CATHEDRAL OF MYTH AND BONE is a collection of stories -- myth retellings, essentially -- that follow suit. Most o...
  • Emmy Neal
    I loved the breadth of short stories in this collection, but I think my favorite has to be the Arthurian cycle. Kat Howard has an incredibly clever mind, and I'm glad we got to see her flex her skills in these stories.
  • Jackie Cowgill
    I had a difficult time deciding between 3 and 4 stars. I chose 4 because ultimately the great stories in this anthology outweighed the not so good. And none of the stories were bad, but I just didn't understand some of them because they were so unique and out there. Also, a few were good stories, but the subject matter wasnt interesting to me. For example, the main novella was about Camelot, which I have never been very interested in.I really lov...
  • Marzie
    This fascinating and varied collection of short stories (and in one case a series of vignettes that form a novelette) by Kat Howard is actually the first time I've read a good bit of this author's work. Many of these tales are memorable re-envisionings of stories from literature or history, such as Arthurian legends (what's in a name?) or a modern Joan of Arc (looking for miracles in an urban setting, with the aid of Chanel Vamp and the back of a...
  • endofmarch
    This could have been a 4 stars collection but for some reason I hit a wall with it and it took me weeks to feel like coming back to it. Something along the way made me lose interest, but I can't say what--it might not have been the book itself. I'm also realising that I dislike novellas/novelettes in my short stories collections. To me, they cut the flow. I skipped both of them, though I know I'll come back later to read them. I did love several ...
  • Jazmine
    3.5 starsMy favorite stories were probably A Life in Fictions, Saints' Tide, and The Saint of the Sidewalk.
  • Megan
    Favorite stories: Maiden, Hunter, BeastOnce, FutureSaints' TidePainted Birds and Shivered BonesThe Calendar of Saints
  • DeeDee
    (Thank you to Edelweiss and Saga Press for providing this DRC in exchange for an honest review)One of my new favorite books, and certainly my favorite short story collection to date! I would recommend this to literally everyone, but especially those that understand that fairy tales, legends, and myths deserve to be told not just for their magic, but for what they reveal in our individual realities.Here are my ratings for the individual stories (*...
  • Brendan Anderson
    I picked this book off a shelf because I was intrigued by the title. I flipped to the first story, read the first line ("He wrote me into a story again"), and then stood rooted in the bookstore aisle until I'd finished. I bought the book thinking that one story alone was worth the price and was not disappointed to find the other fictions contained just as much heart, just as much brilliance, just as much potential to make fantasy real. "A Life in...
  • Jessika
    I enjoyed this, and I think Howard did some fun things with retellings, but overall it was a fairly one note collection. No complaints, but I won't be thinking about these stories three weeks from now.
  • Jill Furedy
    The first few stories in this book grabbed me right away. The first was about a women who disappeared into the stories her boyfriend wrote whenever he used her for inspiration. The second was a woman who asks the Saint of the Sidewalk for a miracle and gets more than she bargained for, while we learn about these everyday saints. This story sets the tone for the book, as we encounter more saints and religious ritual in many other stories...which m...
  • K Gover
    Collection of short stories that range from 10 pgs to 130! Topics include a variety of fantasy, traditional stories retold in modern times and sci-fi. I need help determining the genre (traditional literature or fantasy) - NOt appropriate for middle school, mainly b/c of language in unnecessary and sexual innuendos.A Life in Fictions- female muse gets written into the stories her lover composed and loses pieces of herself bit by bit in each piece...
  • Michelle Spencer
    I really appreciate Kat Howard’s lyrical writing. It makes for a nice smooth read (except for her tendency to put paragraph breaks in a string of dialogue from the same speaker - that threw me off a few times) and worked well for her twists on mythologies and hagiographic tales. I liked the modern twists, too. Myths are among our oldest forms of storytelling, short stories much more recent. It was fun not only blending those two styles, but als...
  • Kathy Rutz
    Short stories are not usually my first choice, but many of these ring like bells -- big bells, with both bass notes and silver cling-clinging that I still hear days after I closed the book. Kat leaves quiet gifts in the pages too: little coins, little crumbs to follow, like little messages written with a fountain pen on a torn piece of paper, dropped. One of these had me sending text messages at 12:30 AM, wondering if what I suspected was true. K...
  • Virginia Serna
    I was not going to write a review of this collection of short stories but after reading few of the reviews, I decided to add my two cents.Several of the stories did not appeal to me and I sort of skimmed them, others I could not read enough, the end coming way too soon.I especially like the "Painted Birds and Shivered Bones" . It is to me a toss up between the intense concentration that an artist needs to create and the madness that sometimes env...
  • Tim Hicks
    Just not to my taste, not at all. Well, OK, I liked the Saint of Sidewalks a bit. The intro felt pretentious to me, and as it turned out so did the stories. As if KH was trying so hard to craft Exquisite Stories that she lost sight of the "Tell Me A Story" aspect. Things happened not because they HAD to happen in the circumstances, but because they added a "hey, watch this bit of writing!" I especially disliked the long yet-another-take-on-the-Ki...
  • Fraser Sherman
    4.5 Howard says in the preface that she grew up loving hagiographies (lives of the saints) where magic and miracles just happen; these short stories were here attempt to capture the same sense of wonder without the undercurrent of moral warning in classic saints' lives. In various stories, Camelot lives again on a small college campus, Orpheus turns out to be a crazy stalker (even when she's dead, he won't let her go!), Gawain and the Green Knigh...
  • Liz
    Short ReviewShort story collections are always hard to review because the quality of stories differs. I gave this four stars because I loved "Once, Future" and "Breaking the Frame." All the other stories are good. They're well written, but felt like they jumped around a lot. Sometimes they worked for me, other times not so much. However, I do like Kat Howard as a writer. I think her later work speaks for herself, and a lot of these stories are ea...
  • Jason
    In this collection, Kat Howard has created a stunning array of archetype, myth and fairy tale, wound into a gorgeous whole. From the retelling of Arthur's story in "Once, Future" to the haunting exploration of belief in "The Saint of Sidewalks" to the five pages of "The Speaking Bone" that left me absolutely gobsmacked over a lunch break, I just can't begin to recommend her work enough. It's one of those things that I could have consumed in a nig...
  • Doug
    Really an excellent collection of stories. Inspired by myths and fairy tales. Some retelling, many wholly new. Reimagined from a feminine or feminist perspective with male characters transformed into female or female supporting characters brought to the foreground. But even as agenda driven as the stories may be, it is not heavy handed, just fine storytelling. Lyrical, emotionally compelling. I’ll be looking for Kat Howard’s other work, inclu...
  • Rani
    The novella "Once, Future" where the story of King Arthur plays out on a college campus is probably my favorite piece in this collection.On the while, I found the collection to be a bit of a mixed bag. I think in general I probably like Kat Howard's longer works more than her short stories. I found her novels "Roses and Rot" and "An Unkindness of Magicians" (published elsewhere -- not in this collection) to be quite engaging. But I liked some of ...
  • vgl3
    A number of these stories were excellent, and I enjoyed the themes of location (the cathedrals of the title crop up regularly), myth, feminism and the thin line between reality and fantasy. Unfortunately, the story I enjoyed the least was the longest (by far), dominating the book and therefore my enjoyment of it. It felt rushed and superficially explored, and without it, I would have rated the collection higher. Still a very solid read, and one I...
  • Erika
    3.5. “Once, Future” is damn good and gets 5 stars, easily. I also really enjoyed all the stories that incorporated saints, and I very much appreciated the active conversation about and with the nature of fairy tales and stories. It’s just that at the end of most of the stories, I felt a little let down, as if something interesting had been half-formed and then abandoned. She’s a beautiful writer, though, and I love where her head’s at.
  • Bryan Miller
    What a brutal, unsettling, and poignantly mythic collection of stories. Personal faves include “Translatio Corporis” as well as “Dreaming Like a Ghost” and “Returned”. So damn good. If you’re a fan of Neil Gaiman or Aimee Bender—and always imagined what some mix between the two might look like—this collection is for you.
  • Hillary Smith
    I am completely and totally in awe of this new collection of short stories. These tales are as dark and beautiful as the myths and fables they are based on, but somehow they seem impossibly richer. Howard has breathed new life and modernity into everything from Greek mythology to the tales of Camelot. Impeccably executed and perfect for fans of fairy tales, myths and magic!
  • Andrea
    These stories were incredible; I love the imagery and the descriptive language and the glimpses into folklore. Each story is evocative and I am amazed by how well the traditional fantasy and fairy tale elements intertwine with descriptions of contemporary society. I especially loved Dreaming Like a Ghost, Returned, and Maiden, Hunter, Beast.
  • H
    Some of the short stories in this book are fantastic. The novella update of the King Arthur story was lovely and dreamy. As sometimes happen in short story collections, the strongest stories were clustered in the front, and then some of the later stories seem almost unfinished. But they are all worth reading! For adults or older teens.