A collection of folktales retold with a modern twist? Sounds great! A retelling of "the most beautiful love stories from history and mythology"? Ok, I'm not a romance reader, but I'm game to try!
The concept sounded cool, and as I started off reading, there was some beautiful language, so I was excited. Unfortunately, the excitement waned as I read more of the stories, because they were all so tiresomely similar, and the writing started to feel like fan fic (not that there's anything wrong with fan fiction, it's just not something I've delved into before, and it wasn't what I was looking for).
Of the 13 tales included, the first 10 stories are as the title suggests - Stories based on myths and folktales, mainly from the continent of Africa, but also the Middle East, China, and Greece. The final three stories are originals, the final being a story based on Babalola's parents' love story.
I wanted to like this book, but the sameness of the stories and the repetition of plot and character really became quite boring. Maybe it just doesn't work as a collection to be read one-after-the-other? It might have been better to read one story at a time, spread out over many months. A few of the stories have a magical realism element, and those ones stood out as more interesting. The ones that took place in a modern-day setting without anything magical were a lot less compelling to me.
I do think someone who enjoys romance, and who really likes mythology would enjoy this book. I'm just not really a person who loves either of those things.
UP NEXT: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton