A Cathedral of Myth and Bone: Stories

368p. S. & S./Saga Pr. Oct. 2018. Tr $25.99. ISBN 9781481492157.
This collection of 16 short stories offers a fresh perspective on mythology. The focus of the tales ranges, but all have realistic settings, well-developed characters, and relatable story lines. The lives of several college students begin echoing the pattern of Arthurian Camelot, and a romance in another entry centers a young woman who slips from her real life into the fictional tales her boyfriend writes about her. Other vignettes explore the idea of breaking curses, following a map to purgatory, and becoming a worshipped saint dispensing miracles. Howard laces each one with hints of magical realism. The immersive, dramatic plots will have teens contemplating themes such as identity and spiritualism.
VERDICT Purchase where short story collections such as Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man are popular or where thought-provoking fantasy reads are needed. Pair these pieces with traditional myths, or hand them to fantasy and mythology fans.

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