Read The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino Online

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From bestselling author Natsuo Kirino comes a chilling story of retribution and one woman’s revenge. Two sisters, Namima and Kamiku, born to the family of the oracle, are separated as children. Kamiku begins her training to become the next oracle, while Namima becomes Priestess of the Night. The Goddess Chronicle—a retelling of the ancient Japanese myth of Izanami and IzanFrom bestselling author Natsuo Kirino comes a chilling story of retribution and one woman’s revenge. Two sisters, Namima and Kamiku, born to the family of the oracle, are separated as children. Kamiku begins her training to become the next oracle, while Namima becomes Priestess of the Night. The Goddess Chronicle—a retelling of the ancient Japanese myth of Izanami and Izanagi—pulls the reader deep into the realm of the undead. Japanese crime queen Natsuo Kirino’s dark, twisted tale is a fantastical, fabulous tour-de-force. It is a dazzling story of sex, death, gods and revenge that will draw the reader in and won’t let go until the exhilarating end....

Title : The Goddess Chronicle
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781847673022
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 309 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Goddess Chronicle Reviews

  • Deniz Balcı
    2018-09-23 05:31

    Natsuo Kirino, Japon korku/gizem edebiyatının en yetkin kalemlerinden bir tanesi. Daha önce Türkçede 'Çıkış' isimli başyapıtını ve 'Grotesk' isimli başka bir romanını okuma fırsatı bulmuştuk. Bir başka önemli eseri olan 'Real World'un yayımlanmasını bekliyor iken, ansızın 'Tanrıça Günlüğü' ile karşılaştık, çok güzel bir sürpriz oldu.Bu eser, Kirino'nun bibliyografyasında farklı bir yerde konumlanıyor. Zira 'Tanrıça Günlüğü' sipariş üzerine yazılmış bir roman. 1999 senesinde Canongate Mit Serisi adı altında, dünyanın farklı yerlerinden 18 yazarın kendi kültürlerinin mitlerinden beslendikleri kısa romanlar yazdıkları, modernist bir çalışma başlatılmıştı. Başlangıcından itibaren 18 edebi roman ortaya çıktı. Proje kapsamında eser üreten Su Tong, Margaret Atwood, David Grossman, Ali Smith, Philip Pullman gibi isimlerde kayda değer edebiyat kariyerlerine sahip isimler. Peki eser sipariş üzerine yazıldığından dolayı nitelik açısından eksik midir? Bence değil. Çok keyifli bir okuma sunduğunu söyleyebilirim. İzanami ve İzanaki tanrılarının merkezde olduğu, çok lezzetli bir fantastik öykü var kitapta.Ying-Yang esasına dayalı, düalist bir anlayışın hükümdar olduğu Japon inanışlarında, İzanami kadın tanrı, İzanaki'de erkek tanrı olarak eşleştirilmişler ve birlikteliklerinden dünyayı oluşturan kara parçası, içindekiler, diğer tanrılar meydana gelmiştir. Ancak İzanami ateş tanrısını doğururken, onarılamaz yaralar almış ve ölüm diyarı Yomi'ye hapis kalmıştır. Dünyada eşsiz kalan İzanaki, insanların doğurmasına katkıda bulunmuştur. Ölüm diyarının tanrıçası olarak hüküm süren İzanami de yaşayanların canını alan konumuna düşmüştür.Bu Japon mitolojisiyle ilgilenenlerin zaten bildiği bir hikaye. Kirino bu tanrıların hikayesini romanın merkezinde anlatırken bir yandan da kadın olmaya dair bir şeyler söylemeye çalışmıştır ki romanı daha ilginç kılan nokta burada yatıyor. Kadının Japon toplumunda kutsanması ve aynı zamanda da tahrip edilmesi aslında bizim kendi kültürümüzde de pek yabancı olduğumuz bir şey değil. Doğurganlık bazı toplumlarda kadının hem laneti, hem de lütfu olagelmiştir, Kirino da bunu çok güzel işlemiş. Bir yandan da hikayenin iskeletinde çok önemli yer kaplayan ying yang doktrinini, romanın bütününe de yedirmiş. Tüm hikaye sonlandığında ve karakterler serüvenlerini tamamladıklarında ortaya yine her şeyin birbirini dengelediği bir tablo çıkıyor. Elbette İzanami dışında. Kirino'nun kadın söylemleri de bu ayrıntıda yatıyor.Ben pek beğendim, mitolojiyi dayanılmaz derecede sıkıcı ve saçma bulanları dahi içine çekebilecek; okuyucuyu yormayan, hem düşündüren hem olaya olabildiğinde dahil eden yerinde bir kısa roman. Tavsiye ederim.8/10

  • Sophie
    2018-10-02 09:40

    "A human life means nothing to a god and can be taken away at will. But for you... you're human, and that makes you hesitate. Gods and humans are different. My suffering and yours are different.""Then, Izanami-sama, why do you suffer?", I asked, without thinking."Because I am a female god." ~*~*~This book put me under a spell. I loved it so much it hurts, seriously.I ordered it for the English language section of our bookstore (which is slowly but surely overtaken by English translations of Japanese authors *coughs*) and then started reading it during a slow evening and it pulled me in and pulled me under and didn't let go. It's worth reading for the language alone - lush and poetical and just, just gorgeous. The story itself is based on the Japanese myth of Izanaki and Izanami, and focuses on a young girl destined from birth to become the priestess of the darkness. In a way it was the perfect book for the person I am right now - while the book is about many things, what stood out most for me was how it captured what it means - and meant - to be a woman, the pain, the expectations, what happens if women refuse to fulfil the role "society" (read: men) want them to fulfil. It's also a story about what it means to love and what it means to hate, and the incredible selfishness of men (oh did I love the ending!). It's one of those books that if you read them at the right moment they touch something at your very core and I am so, so grateful I got the chance to read it right now. (And I know this review didn't even begin to capture the amount of love I have for it, ugh.)

  • Tolgonay Dinçer
    2018-09-25 09:24

    Roman Japonya'da kutsallık atfedilmiş bir adanın öyküsü ile başlıyor. Her zaman adalarda yaşanan mistik olayların işleyişini merak etmişimdir o yüzden büyük ilgiyle okundum. İkinci kısımda roman Japon yaratılış mitine bağlanıyor.Bundan sonra cinsiyet ayrımı, cinsellik, intikam üzerine sorgulamalara neden oluyor yazar. Ama bu sorgulamayı yapış tarzı biraz rahatsız edici buldum. Bazı yerlerde olayları gereksiz açıklayıp okuyucuya 'burayı siz atlarsınız ben yazayım da atlamadan okuyun' havası vermişti.Ama yinede beğendiğim bir roman oldu, Grotesk'tan daha güzel olduğu kesin ancak sıradanlıkla özgünlük arasında gidip geldi. Japon mitolojisi yerine fantastik bir roman oldaydı niye dört yıldız verir miydim bilmiyorum.

  • Teresa
    2018-09-26 07:33

    The set-up for the main plot is slow, at times boring and too repetitive. The action, once we get to, can also be repetitive -- I kept thinking: please give the reader some credit -- though I'm willing to speculate that perhaps some of the fault is with the translation. The bland prose doesn't fit such an emotional story and the exposition seems as if it was written for a young audience. While I understand what she was trying to get at with the ending, it seems forced and I'm not sure it makes much sense.

  • Gorkem Y
    2018-10-04 06:35

    Kadınların kadını İzanami.: Ölüm ve arzuların tanrıçası ve ilk başlarda her şeyi yaratan tanrıça. O kadar zor ki bu kitabı yorumlamak. Kitap 3 yönden anlatılıyor. Birincisi Namima, ikincisi Namima ve İzanami ve sonra İzanaki ( Yaşam Tanrısı). Her iki kadın da bir ihanet doğrultusunda bir şekilde bir araya geliyor.Ve kadınların yaratma gücünü ve istediğinde neler yapabileceğini mitolojik olarak ona hizmet eden bir ölü kadının gözünden anlatıyor. İzanaki, tarafından anlatılan kısım ise cidden duygusal bir kısımdı. Ama Kirino, cidden maskulen ve feminen algıyı o kadar güzel yorumlayarak kurgulamış.Kitap, duygu yoğunluğu olarak çok yoğun. Bu durum, bazen giren ayrıntılardan kopulmasına neden olabiliyor. Her şeye rağmen güzel bir deneyimdi. 10/8

  • Nikki
    2018-09-29 11:28

    This is a really good retelling of the story of Izanagi and Izanami, with a dual thread of story where a young woman’s life echoes that of the goddess as she finally goes to serve her. The translation seems to capture the flavour of the original, a sort of tone that seems to be as distinct to Japanese stories as there is one I find distinct in Russian stories. It’s mostly simplistic language, which maintains that fairytale feel.I wasn’t a big fan of the narrative voice, though. Sometimes it’s first person, sometimes third, and it’s not always clear where/why the switch has happened. I felt like I didn’t always follow the reasoning behind the characters’ thoughts, particularly not in the last page or so, and Izanami as a personification of all the sorrows of all women didn’t work for me. Like, she’s a “woman among women”, for giving birth and being abandoned by a man. So not to give birth, not to participate in that aspect of femininity, means you’re not properly a woman? You haven’t had real female experiences? Hm.There are some great moments of tension, grief and understanding, and some beautiful description, but it doesn’t come together right for me. Part of that might be because I’m definitely missing context; my only other contact with the story of Izanagi and Izanami is round the edges in Persona 4, and I’m not sure that even really touches on it much — it’s more from meta about the game than in the game itself. So it’s difficult to really contextualise this retelling and the commentary it makes on the original story, which is always a shame when reading a retelling, for me.Originally posted here.

  • Mizuki
    2018-09-30 09:13

    It's an outstanding retelling of the Japanese Creation Myth of Izanami and Izanaki. The myth of Izanami and Izanaki is a powerful myth, it is related strongly to the most primitive human conditions and emotions: birth, love, betrayal, grief, the death of a beloved wife and mother, the struggle of life and death, a man's helplessness before the fear of death, etc. I like the story of the twin priestesses on the small island and how the twin's story is later being related to the tale of Izanami, originally Mother Goddess of All who eventually became the Goddess of the Underworld, I especially like how the Goddess eventually became 'a true goddess' (view spoiler)[(a true destroyer) (hide spoiler)] at the end of the book. I also like how love, grudge and hopeless longing between male and female characters eventually came to rest at the end of the book. The Goddess Chronicle offers us no happy ending, nor a black-and-white definition of good and evil. I can only tell you that much, the rest is left for you to discover.PS: Dragon Sword and Wind Child is also a very remarkable YA retelling of the same Japanese Creation myth.

  • Fulya İçöz
    2018-10-16 03:39

    Bu kitaba dün başladım bu gece de kitap bitti. Japon mitolojisi konusunda pek bir bilgim yok ancak bu kitap İzanaki ve İzanami adlı dişi ve erkek iki tanrının üzerine kurulu yaradılış mitolojisinin yeniden yazımı. Feminist bir bakış açısından yazılan kitapta, kadın doğurganlığının ne denli büyük bir mucize ve aynı zamanda da büyük bir lanet olduğuna dair bir içgörü var. Hayatın devam ettiriciliği görevini üstlenmiş olan kadın, ölümle de kutsanmış durumda aynı zamanda. Başta tahmin edilmesi zor sonrasında katmanlar tahmin edildikçe daha da hüzne boğan yan hikayeler kitabın asıl sürükleyici noktası. Yeniden yazımlara meraklıysanız bunu okumanızı tavsiye ederim. Önce bir Japon adalarının yaradılış mitine de göz atarsanız daha farklı bir ışıkta okursunuz.

  • Lou
    2018-10-14 07:18

    http://more2read.com/review/the-godde..." ‘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 without 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."

  • Nafiza
    2018-09-25 08:41

    I am a fan of the Canongate Myths series and I am a fan of Natsuo Kirino who has this way of slipping into the heads of her characters so exactly and so seamlessly that it’s almost a surprise when you, the reader, resurface in the “real” world and realize that the people you have been reading about are characters and fictional. So to say I was looking forward to reading The Goddess Chronicle would have been an understatement. The premise is so fascinating and though I am not very familiar with Japanese mythology, I do know that Izanagi and Izanami do exist as mythical figures and the novel closely shadows or perhaps more appropriately, does attempt to bring to life these godly figures.The mythology is rich and the potential for a layered complex tale with certain creative licenses taken was there. Unfortunately, the style and technique chosen to tell the story wasn’t, in my opinion, one that highlighted the mythology. Namima’s story was interesting enough and while I was reading that portion, I was invested into the story despite knowing Namima’s tragic end. I wanted to see how her short life would play out and what would happen to her in the underworld. Unfortunately, the majority of Izanami’s story is exposition where the readers are being told what is happening instead of being shown. Couple this with the complex nomenclature of the Japanese deities, reading became somewhat tedious and not what I would have expected something of the genre to be.The ending, too, is strangely anticlimactic and unsatisfactory. There were no resolutions whatsoever and I understand that and even accept that in cases where actual mythology is transformed into fictional myth, too much deviation from the original can be detrimental and defamiliarizing. However, those characters that were wholly fictional could have had their storylines resolved. Namima never gets to confront her sister, she doesn’t get to talk to her daughter, she doesn’t even get to feel satisfaction from the death of the person who betrayed her. The novel was frustrating. However, the world building was splendid and Namima’s story was vividly portrayed. I don’t know if the novel would have been stronger in its original language and until I learn Japanese and read it in the language it was written, I guess I won’t be able to find out.

  • Sharlene
    2018-09-28 05:17

    Originally posted at https://reallifereading.com/2017/05/3...“And so it came to pass that sisters who had been the best of friends were forced to follow separate paths. ‘Separate’ is not quite the right word. Our paths were more distinctly different, as if she were to follow the day and I the night; or she the inner road and I the outer, she to traverse the heavens and I the earth. That was the ‘law’ of the island – that was our ‘destiny’.It feels like a bit of a gamble for Natsuo Kirino, best known for her crime/mystery novels, to have written this retelling of the Japanese creation myth.Yet it also remains true to her female-focused narratives, with this being a more feminist rebelling.Apparently when Kirino’s books, especially Out, were first published in Japan, many criticized her plots and one radio DJ refused to speak to her because in Out, a woman murders her husband.Also, later I realize that The Goddess Chronicle is part of the Canongate myth series and that Kirino was invited by the publisher to write a story based on ancient Japanese myth.I didn’t know anything about this myth of Izanaki and Izanami before reading the book – and you don’t really need to but I guess it would enhance your reading of it. Izanaki and Izanami are deities commanded to make the lands of Japan. Their first attempt resulted in a deformed island and upon consulting the other deities, they learn that it’s because Izanami (the female) had spoken first. And when they try procreating again, Izanaki speaks first and Izanami gives birth to the many islands of Japan. After giving birth to the fire deity, Izanami dies. Izanaki pursues her to the underworld. (You can read more here)The Goddess Chronicle begins with a dual thread of a story of a young woman whose journey has echoes of the goddess’ life. Namima who lives on a tiny remote island, where the islanders believe they are ruled by ancient gods.“They sustained our lives; the waves and wind, the sand and stones. We respected the grandeur of nature. Our gods did not come to us in any specific form, but we held them in our hearts and understood them in our own way.”Her sister Kamikuu is apprenticed to the Oracle on her sixth birthday. She lives with her and learns from her. And she is to no longer see Namima again. Namima is tasked to carry food to Kamikuu. Despite the poverty and scarce resources of the village, the food for Kamikuu is bountiful and rich. Yet she barely eats it, and as is tradition, the leftovers are tossed into the seaNamibia is due for a very different life.“Kamikuu, Child of Gods, is yang. She is the high priestess who rules the realm of light. She resides at the Kyoido on the eastern edge of the island, where the sun rises. But you are yin. You must preside over the realm of darkness. You will live here, in the Amiido, on the western edge where the sun sets.That is, she is to care for the dead. She is to live with them, tend to their decaying bodies, and never return to her village.But Namima wants more than this dreadful life she is expected to live, just because she is second-born. Things take a very different turn for her when she meets a young man, a fellow outcast whose family is shunned because his mother cannot produce a female child.We eventually meet the deities Izanaki and Izanami and gods being gods, their story does sound rather silly and petty but they will never change. Or will they?It took me a while to get into this story. Sometimes with translations one can never tell – is it the translation or is it just how the original story is written? Quite a bit of over-explaining makes the narrative a bit clunky. But overall, I really enjoyed learning about this Japanese myth and I especially liked the human story running alongside. Although I so wish that there was a better resolution to Namima’s story.

  • Mobyskine
    2018-10-02 05:23

    I actually go and read about the Japanese myth of Izanami and Izanaki because of this book. It was interesting to read the re-telling version from the author. Kind of out of the usual Natsuo Kirino, this one is more historical and sort like a fantasy.I love how it goes-- from the start of how Namima telling story about the great land of Yamato, her island and its surroundings, the Oracles and yin/yang of their family root to her destiny and after life.It was sad somehow-- revenge and betrayal, grudge and regret. I honestly feel bad for Namima for what she had to endure. When she asked the goddess to grant her the wish to go and see her daughter my heart breaks with her, thinking about a mother's love. The story of Izanaki was very interesting-- from a god to immortal human being to a perfectly human being. I like how he finally decided to meet Izanami at the end because of his love for Yayoi. Learning about all this myth was really fascinating-- the part where Hieda no Are telling the story of how all the (myth) god and goddess was born quite captivating. Overall, I am glad to pick this book up though it's quite out of crime fiction noir sort of Natsuo Kirino I used to read. Some what refreshing. A devastated love story, tragic and apparently satisfying.

  • David
    2018-10-20 11:40

    Extra star for a homoerotic love-suicide! Good old Japanese literature and its homoerotic love-suicides coming at you from all directions:"'Why don't you kill me and see if that makes a difference?'Yakinahiko was shocked. 'Why would I kill you?''Because something might happen.'...'Let's die together and see what happens. Death - should we both succeed - would be a happy outcome.'...'I'm ready. I will gladly give my life for you.'...Unashi urged Takinahiko on with such adult assurance it was difficult to believe he was just nineteen. Surely if he killed the man he admired and if in turn he were killed by that man, he would die peacefully. Yakinahiko unsheathed the long sword at his hip. Unashi was trembling as he pulled out his own blade. ...Destroying Unashi's youthful spirit had allowed him to steal into a boy's young body."The rest of this was very below average. It seemed so vague and frustrating on everyone's powers, on everyone's fates, on why some spirits do this and go there, why some gods die and others don't .... SPOILER:For example, at one point, we learn "It was now clear that he had been guided here so that he could meet this woman." What? Are we saying that two gods were born, and created the world through intercourse, and she died in childbirth, and they then fell-out when he visited her in the after-world, and then she vowed to kill all of his next girlfriends, and he had lots of girlfriends and they all died, and then he went back to the most beautiful of them and was sad when he learnt that she was dead, and then he killed himself with his boyfriend, and his spirit entered the younger man's body, and he went to an island to see another fabled beautiful woman, and she'd just killed herself, and so he had to stay for the funeral, and there she was! and THIS was him being "guided here so that he could meet this woman"?

  • Lorina Stephens
    2018-10-08 05:40

    It's always difficult to review a translated work, because when you come across either brilliance or lack of lustre, it's difficult to assess whether that boon or bane is attributable to the author or the translator.Such is the case with The Goddess Chronicle, by Natsuo Kirino, translated by Rebecca Copeland. The story is a retelling of an original Japanese creation story. I suspect the original work by Kirino is a charged, tight story. Copeland's translation, however, lacks passion, and certainly this is a story about passion, in fact eons of passion as we trace the history of the Yin/Yang gods of Izanami and Izanaki through the mortal lives of Namima and her unscrupulous lover. There is much here of sibling rivalry and betrayal of sacred trusts, of epic journeys both temporal and spiritual. There is a genesis story, a parallel to the Greek Persephone myth. There is the struggle of the desperately poor serving religious tenets that serve only to embed their poverty. It's all there. And not a single phrase of elegance or startling insight to lift the reader from a grey narrative to the chiaroscuro the story demands.

  • Fleur (FranklyBooks)
    2018-10-11 07:27

    The reason this book has three stars is that it isn't terrible nor is it anything remarkable. The story was readable yet bland. Brutal yet boring. Odd combinations, I know.The premise was very good, interesting even. Two sisters on opposite sides usually makes for interesting conflict. I think the main reason that the story came off so bland was this lack, the conflict lasted at most two pages and was over as soon as you realised what it was. There was no buildup for this conflict, and when there was some there was barely anything going on. We were told instead of shown what was happening to the main characters. However, the writing style is true to the mythology that the author is trying to recreate. There is a lovely atmosphere created with beautiful flowers contrasting the ignorant cruelty of locals. It had all the tools to be completely horrifying, but in the end it was a bit off the mark.

  • Frij
    2018-10-01 11:13

    kirino çok yetenekli bi rahatsız ama hikayesini mümkün olduğunca derinleştirmesi gereken bi yazar. bana göre yeteneği bu şekilde çalışıyor. tabii bu havada kalan ufak tefek kısımlar metnin görece kısalığının mı yoksa zahmet edip kitabı orijinal dilinden çevirtmeyen doğan kitap'ın mı mahareti bilmek asla mümkün olmayacak. umuyorum ki bir gün yayınevleri okurlarına, müşterilerine biraz saygı duyup 230 sayfalık bir kitabı orijinal dilinden çevirttikten sonra 23 tl talep eder.

  • Melody
    2018-09-24 10:19

    I first came across Natsuo Kirino's novel when I read her most famous crime fiction, Out. It was a very intense read and I was not surprised at all that it received the Grand Prix for Crime Fiction, Japan's top mystery award and was a finalist (in translation) for the 2004 Edgar Award. Her other novels, Grotesque and Real World were published subsequently and they received good reviews too, though Out is still considered her best work due to the thrilling and disturbing plot. It is no doubt a masterpiece in many readers' opinions. The Goddess Chronicle, her latest release, however is unlike her previous works. Based on the Japanese myth of Izanami and Izanagi, this tale is about the relations between gods and men, men and women, yin and yang as well as life and death. It is a story between two sisters who live on a small, remote island called Umihebi - the island of sea snakes as the seas surrounding the island were abundant with them. On their island, It is believed that they still ruled by the ancient gods and there are traditions and the people have to adhere to the strict customs which has passed on to them from generations to generations.The women would collect sea snakes, tend the mountain goats, collect shellfish or seaweed from the shores,but the most important task they do is to pray. They pray for the safe return of their men fishing on the high seas and most importantly, they pray for the prosperity of the island. There would be a great miko, the high priestess known as the Oracle, is responsible for all the prayer rites. Two sisters, Kamikuu and Namima, were born from a prestigious family where their grandmother, Mikura-sama is the Oracle. The younger sister, Namima is very close with her sister although they are so different in their looks and personality. Kamikuu is the sturdy girl and the cleverest child on the island and she is a beauty too, while Namima is happy enough to live in her sister's shadow. However, on Kamikuu's sixth birthday, she is sent to train with their grandmother to become the next Oracle and this forces them apart. Namima is also requested not to see Kamikuu as she is proclaimed as the impure one. It is a tradition that there is always a yin and yang in the family so if the elder sister is yin, then the other will be yang. Yin represents light and yang is the darkness so it is no wonder that Namima would receive different treatment from the islanders. Not only that, she is also to serve the goddess of darkness. Shocked by this discovery and the traditions that had laid so long ago, Namima decides to change her destiny and there begins her adventure in The Goddess Chronicle. Her journey is a rough one, but it allows her to experience the real meaning of love and kinship, as well as the dark side of bitterness and revenge. And most importantly, the difference between gods and men and how it is like to be a human being. Part fictional and part mythology, The Goddess Chronicle explores the humanity and the emotions of all beings.I have to say I had a wonderful experience reading this novel because not only Natsuo Kirino has once again captured my attention through her great writing skill and her most unforgettable plot, but what most made this book such a satisfying read is the thought-provoking message behind the story. I couldn't put my feelings into words; this is one novel that you need to read it to experience it.

  • Lina
    2018-09-28 08:13

    Nu har jag läst två böcker av Kirino. OUT, en brutal thriller om några fabriksarbetande kvinnor som genomför och döljer ett styckmord och The Goddess Chronicle, en mörk och feministisk vuxensaga som bygger på japansk mytologi. Älskar båda två. Älskar Kirino.

  • Andrada
    2018-09-27 06:42

    I wound up reading the Goddess Chronicle by chance when I came across it in a friend’s library. The description on the jacket intrigued me and I decided to borrow it. It’s an interesting journey into the Japanese mythos with the Shinto gods Izanagi and Izanami featuring as two of the main protagonists. You can almost call it a retelling of that legend of old that works as a parallel to Namima’s story of love and betrayal. It feels very much like a fantasy novel most of the time, set in a nondescript age, featuring elements of ritual and religion, reincarnation, divinities, immortals and supernatural events, which makes it a pretty entertaining read. At the same time, I’m not sure about the message the author was trying to convey. Izanami is ultimately hard to empathize with and hardly seems an appropriate avatar for the hardships of women. While she declares herself to be free as a goddess, she is in fact limited by what she thinks she ‘has’ to do as the Queen of the Underworld. Her refusal to change(as Izanagi suggests and as he does himself) ultimately does make her more godly – perpetually the same – but at the same time kills any sympathy you can muster for her. And despite all the talk of balance and yin and yang, the book ends on a discordant note. If Izanami continues to kill when there is no one giving life anymore, doesn’t that mean the balance is destroyed?

  • Vivienne
    2018-09-29 04:14

    This novel was a exquisite retelling of the Japanese creation myth with focus upon the tale of Izanami and Izanagi. Despite my interest in world mythology I'm not that familiar with Japanese mythology apart from being aware that there was a female sun goddess, Amaterasu. In the course of this tale I learned that Amaterasu was one of the children of Izanagi, created after his Underworld confrontation with Izanami. One of the many strengths of the Canongate Myths series of presenting world myths penned by major authors in a highly accessible manner.I had certainly enjoyed the dark crime thrillers by Natsuo Kirino that have been translated to date and while very different, set in a world somehow out of time, this proved as hypnotic as her other works. The writing itself is quite formal and once I had begun I found myself unable to stop reading. The novel includes a list of sources.Reading this has inspired me to seek out more in the Canongate Myth series.

  • Teodora
    2018-10-16 09:18

    A mesmerizing journey into the (under)world of a lonely and bitter goddess whose sad story intertwines with that of Namima, a little girl who lives on a strange island where people's lives are governed by strict rules and the ever-lasting fear of disobeying the gods. If you are familiar with the Japanese legends and horror movies, you know that the spirit of a tormented woman hardly ever finds peace. Natsuo Kirino invites the reader to discover the gloomy realms of this torment. She does it with simple, yet dreamily-profound words, speaking of a time without a time, in a long-forgotten universe of light and darkness.

  • Loredana M.
    2018-10-01 06:27

    I have to clear my head a bit before writing a full review, but... oh my God! What a book!It's been so long since I read a book that made me feel such deep melancholy and sadness for the fate of being a woman. This novel is an allegory, and it should be treated as such, even though it reminded me of the fairy tales that I used to read as a little kid. I will write more about it, but for now, this is all I can come up with. TO BE CONTINUED...

  • Irina dewi
    2018-10-19 08:37

    This book is different from her other work such as Out and Grotesque but this proves that Kirino has great range in her writing. Part fictional and part mythology, The Goddess Chronicle explores the humanity and the emotions of all beings. Mesmerizing.

  • Chad
    2018-09-25 08:36

    If the official description isn't enough to make you want to read this then I'm not sure what else to say except that it exceeded my expectations. I was not disappointed at all.More than just a retelling of Japan's creation myth, it is a story of mortal people caught up in the conflict between the male creator deity who lives in the light of the overworld bringing forth life and the female deity who gave birth to the world but now dwells in the underworld realm of the dead bringing about the end of life. A myth, a hero's journey, and a murder mystery all rolled into one. It was interesting to me to see how the mortals cycles of life and death echoed the immortal story, the conflict between Yin and Yang. There was also some neat speculation on how gods can be like people but people can't really be like the gods.It doesn't sound like something that should work, but I thought it flowed together really well and didn't feel contrived at all, plus it was just a really good story. I wish Gaiman's "Norse Mythology" had been something more like this.

  • Parrish Lantern
    2018-09-28 03:18

    In Japanese mythology, Izanaki (The Male Who Invites) and Izanami (The Female Who Invites) were amongst the original gods who were the creators of Japan and its gods. For many centuries myths like these would have been transmitted orally in Japan, until around 712 A. D. when a written version - the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters), was compiled for the Japanese imperial court. The tales in the Kojiki tell of the creation of the world, the origin of the gods, and the ancestry of the Japanese emperors, who claimed their authority through direct descent from the sun goddess Amaterasu. Another early source of the mythology would have been the Nihongi, or Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan), completed around 720 A.D.According to the legends, after their birth Izanaki and Izanami stood on the floating bridge of heaven, stirring the primeval ocean with a jewelled spear, on lifting the spear droplets fell from it into the water forming an island called Onogoro. Izanaki and Izanami descended to the island and became husband & wife. Not long after, Izanami gave birth to their first child who was deformed - the other gods blamed Izanami, because she spoke before her husband at their marriage ceremony. The couple decided to perform another wedding ceremony (perceived correct this time) and Izanami soon gave birth to eight lovely children - these became the islands of Japan.Izanaki and Izanami then went on to create many more gods and goddesses, representing the mountains, valleys, waterfalls, streams, winds and the many other natural features of Japan. Life seemed good until during the birth of Kagutsuchi (the fire god), Izanami was badly burned, although as she lay dying, she continued creating gods and goddesses, whilst other deities emerged from the tear ducts of the heartbroken Izanaki. When Izanami died, she descended to Yomi (underworld) and her husband decided to go there and bring her back from this land of darkness and death. Izanami greeted Izanaki from the shadows as he approached the entrance to the underworld, warning him not to look upon her - full of desire for his wife, Izanaki lit a torch and looked into Yomi. Horrified by the sight of his wife, now a rotting corpse, Izanaki fled. Izanami, livid that her husband had failed to respect her wishes, sent hideous female spirits, eight thunder gods and an army of fierce warriors after him. Izanaki managed to escape by blocking the entrance between Yomi and the land of the living with a massive boulder. They subsequently broke off their marriage with Izanami now trapped behind this immovable boulder screaming out to Izanaki that if he left her she would kill a thousand of the living every day. He furiously replied he would give life to 1000 in return. Although Izanami has the last bitter laugh by choosing to kill the women her estranged husband impregnates. (Thanks to the Myths Encyclopaedia)We learn about this from Namima, who with her sister has her life mapped out from birth. Her sister will become their island’s oracle and she will become the island’s priestess of death. This path is so rigidly marked out that there is no chance of her living any form of life she would choose for herself, in fact she is deemed impure – the Yin to her sisters Yang and upon her sister’s death she would be expected to commit suicide to maintain the balance. Yearning to break free from this straightjacket she is coerced to break one taboo & then another, becoming pregnant, leaving her with no choice but to flee with the man who claimed to love her, but will ultimately betray her by killing her and taking her new born daughter for purposes of his own. She wakes to find herself now trapped in Yomi, with a goddess who has had untold centuries to hone her vengeance. Namima, cannot come to terms with her new existence, and learns the tale of the goddess - seeing how it correlates with her and her own life was. She is also burning up with the desire to address the wrongs done to her, and needs to understand what has happened to her daughter.The Goddess Chronicle is a retelling of the myth of Izanaki and Izanami by Natsuo Kirino and like her other books, this is more than just a simple tale of love gone foul. Anyone having read Out, Grotesque & Real world, will recognise the familiar themes of the deification of women, combined with their subjugation and estrangement from all that is worthwhile within Japanese society. Of women reaching beyond some role/image forced upon them, attempting to seek meaning, control over their existence, whilst they struggle against rigid societal conventions - leaving them with no option but to break the taboos, family ties and conventions laid down by a world that doesn't recognise them as individuals, and to ultimately pay the price. Because as with her other books there is always a tab to be paid. The Goddess Chronicle, is also like her other books in that it is a book that appears to turn its own pages, that sets a pace and just rolls along building up steam or in this case anger, because as John Lydon said “Anger is an energy” and in this book it burns off the page and through the retina - searing its cautionary tale into your neurons.http://parrishlantern.blogspot.co.uk/...

  • Emma Smith
    2018-10-22 11:39

    This author is just too good. The novel is a retold myth and creates a world of a cruel island people who harvest sea snakes and whose fates collide with a terrible split between two gods. It is an exotic, epic tale which was such a page turner I pretty much finished it in a day. Highly recommended to mystery lovers everywhere.

  • Nuraina Abdul Razak
    2018-10-15 09:37

    I dropped this cos it was just getting a bit too fantastical for me :/

  • David Haws
    2018-10-23 10:16

    This is a wonderful book. And it has helped me to understand why people might knowingly accept “defilement,” if it is considered to be their station; but, also, why they might resent defilement if it is not. In America, we have always had an influx of immigrant, willing to accept defilement (cleaning our toilets and plucking our chickens) for a place at the table (not necessarily our table). If immigrants thereby improve their lot, then such immigration is a good thing. If, however, we make them clean our toilets forever (slavery) their lot does not improve, and we are fools if we fail to recognize the justice of their complaints. Societies seem to require occasional acts of service, which they nonetheless consider defiling. Of course these acts might reasonably be expected to vary from one society or era to the next; but, due to the historic probability of transmitting physical or psychological disease, they have often involved contact with the dead (executioners, undertakers, soldiers) or servicing the bodily functions of society members (butchers, dung collectors, prostitutes). While the social segregation of the “pure” from the “defiled” seems unfair (the historic treatment of the 部落民) if a society sincerely believes that a necessary activity defiles some of its members (and would potentially defile it, were those members too warmly embraced) then caste separation, while unfair, would also seem rational. It has been noted that, during the war, Japanese soldiers were sent from their homes with the expectation that they would die (fulfilling 忠 toward the emperor—being reverenced for their sacrifice—but also, not bringing Nanking back to Tokyo). They (like Namima-san/Yayoi-san) were not simply being sent to defilement—they were being sent to defilement and death. We should not feel superior; western societies also exploit an underclass. “Class” is a social construct, so we can argue about class boundaries, but western societies (except in the aftermath of Hitler, or the bubonic plague) traditionally consider their underclass too large, and have taken advantage of war and disease to “bleed” less-desirable members. Western societies crowd the bottom end of their underclass into unsanitary ghettos; and, as Voltaire noted, makes their go-to industries prostitution, and the rank-and-file (mostly file) of standing armies. Here, they perform a supposedly useful social function, becoming defiled in the process, and quickly dying, rather than returning or maintaining prolonged social contact. Of course, with penicillin and body armor, wars and disease are not-what-they-used-to-be. Maybe we should be thinking less about “managing” the underclass and more about finding ways to transcend class altogether.

  • Loredana M.
    2018-09-28 10:27

    Încă de când a apărut la editura Polirom, în 2013, romanul „Cronica zeiţei” (colecţia Biblioteca Polirom, seria ACTUAL, traducere din limba japoneză şi note de Florentina Toma, 256 de pagini) al scriitoarei japoneze Natsuo Kirino a exercitat asupra mea un fel de fascinaţie combinată cu admiraţie şi curiozitate faţă de stilul de scriere şi de povestea inspirată din mitologia japoneză. Iar acum, în urma unei mici excursii la biblioteca locală, am avut ocazia să mă pierd în paginile acestei cărţi şi să îmi dau seama încă o dată, deşi ştiam deja, că scriitorii japonezi chiar au acel ceva aparte, care, zic eu, nu se mai regăseşte în nicio altă literatură de pe glob. Iar acel ceva pe mine mă atrage mereu aşa cum o lumină nocturnă atrage un fluture de noapte.Fiindcă este prima carte de Natsuo Kirino tradusă în limba română, nu am putut să compar „Cronica zeiţei” cu alte romane ale scriitoarei, şi chiar dacă aş fi vrut, nu aş fi putut. Pe tot parcursul celor 253 de pagini, mi-a tot revenit senzaţia pregnantă că nu am de a face cu ceva care să se asemene cu ce s-a mai scris, de Kirino sau de altcineva. Nu ştiu, poate e un mic impuls de paranoia, dar nu reuşesc să scap de senzaţia asta. Mai mult, deşi povestea a fost inspirată de legenda zeiţei Izanami, cea care păzeşte Tărâmul întinat al Morţilor, nu a fost deloc prezentată într-o manieră tradiţional japoneză, ci mai mult prin prisma unei gândiri contemporane, care ştie exact ce aspecte să evidenţieze, chiar şi dintr-o poveste veche de sute de ani, pentru a captiva cititorii din prezent. Nu mi se pare deloc o îndeletnicire uşoară pentru un romancier, iar tocmai acest lucru mă convinge că Natsuo Kirino este o prozatoare talentată, care ştie să dea romanelor sale propriul său suflu, să le personalizeze mult peste simplul fapt de a-şi pune numele pe ele.CONTINUAREA AICI -->> http://literaryjungle.wordpress.com/2...

  • George
    2018-10-03 10:39

    The Canongate Myth Series has recruited some of my favorite authors, and I have been eagerly waiting to get my hands on this installment from Natsuo Kirino. The myth she has chosen is one of dualities -- the darkness and the light, the pure and the not pure. When Namima is still young, her beloved sister, Kamikuu, is taken to live with her grandmother. Namima doesn't understand why, but the two are forbidden to interact and everyone begins treating Namima very differently. It is in the second half of the book that we find the anger that marks so many of Kirino's characters. I am not familiar with the Japanese myth that inspired the story, but there are definite similarities with myths from other cultures, including in particular the tale of Orpheus and the anger and jealousy that mark so many of the relationships between gods and goddesses. The story swells gradually, from a tale about two girls growing up on a small island, to something more epic. There is much smiting, fates are both embraced and challenged. The movie trailer would feature large, capitalized words like "Revenge."I found the book compelling enough as I was reading it, but find that my opinion of it has only grown during the two weeks it's taken me to write this review.