Cover Image: Warriors, Witches, Women

Warriors, Witches, Women

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Member Reviews

Fabulous feminist prose as Kate Hodges collates 50 female lives covering the witches and warriors of the title, with some spirits and benevolent goddesses thrown in for good measure. Each of the women has an equal amount of space in the book and there's a chance to explore further reading which is a great idea as you often want to know more about them. A glorious celebration of women that should be read far and wide.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an Advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  This is a really beautiful book.  The illustrations are gorgeous.  I also really loved the fact that the women depicted in the book were taken from all over the world - Ancient Sumeria, Haiti, Greece and Japan to name a few.  The author concentrates on the pro-feminist influences that these goddesses and historical figures have had on the modern woman.  Some are very relevant and thought-provoking.  Others are more tenuous but still entertaining.  I particularly loved the Mythological Women Playlist suggesting music I might listen to that inspired the author.  I think this would be a great book for a history loving young woman who wants to understand how mythology, religion and social history have been formed with a feminine twist.
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This collection was thorough and well constructed, providing backgrounders on the different mythologies surrounding women throughout time. While it is more like a coffee table book or fun reference text than it is an actual book, the information is useful and fun, especially if you love to read contemporary fiction influenced by mythology. Would highly recommend for anyone wanting to learn more about different powerful women throughout mythology.
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Just ok. I liked the premise which is why I requested it. But I just dont think it was for me. No specific criticisms. it just didn't hold my attention like I hoped it would.
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Mythology through a feminist lens. This was a wonderful and empowering collection of tales centred around women from all over the world. rom Maman Brigitte to Futakuchi-onna, we learn the history of each persona and their original story before they have been tainted by male authors and changed them to be more wicked or weak. 
Kate Hodges did an amazing job of giving us an overview of myths and tales.
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Thank you for the opportunity to review this title. Unfortunately I due to technical difficulties I was unable to download the book so cannot post a review, which is a shame as it sounded amazing :)
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This book takes women from mythology and gives them their proper credit. Women who were cast in the role of villain, shamed for their strength and beliefs. This book is beautifully illustrated and comprehensive. It covers not only the well-published Greek, Roman and Norse mythology but also other little known myths. 

Told through a feminist perspective, this book gives new life to the Myths and also incorporated modern representations. 

I received an arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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In Warriors, Witches, Women, readers get to learn a little bit about 50 prolific mythological women. 

Though it felt kind of strange, grouping the myths of so many different cultures together, I really appreciated that the myths were more than just the usual Greek and Roman. I appreciate how the author tied the myths to current issues, such as climate change and #MeToo, but some of  the comparisons did seem rather forced. 

An interesting overview of mythological women (but maybe not an interesting book to read straight through).
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Great little taster of mainly mythical women. Loved it and read it in one sitting. Keep it on your shelves!
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I am new to mythology as I always shied away from it as too complicated or inaccessible. Warriors, Witches, Women is neither it gives a good overview on the women who have shaped our history and given me a foundation to learn more. It is beautiful, accessible and inspiring.
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While I was requesting the book on Thor, I also chanced upon Warriors, Witches, and Women. Requesting this book from NetGalley was a no brainer because I love mythology and I thought it would be very fun to have the spotlight on women in various myths from around the world. While I enjoyed this feminist take on various women in religions and myth overall, it failed to impress on several counts.

Warriors, Witches, Women looks at fifty different women that are grouped into five categories – Witches, Warriors, Bringers of Misfortune, Elemental Spirits, and Munificent Spirits. Each profile comes with an illustration, a quick biography and a short paragraph or two about their relevance to the modern world.

For the most part, I liked that the profiles managed to give the readers a good sense of the woman being discussed, exploring their mythology and bringing out their relevance. The author did mention that she chose certain narratives over others, but they don’t always seem to the most traditional ones. For example, in the story of Uzume, it’s said that the mirror was hung so that it could reflect Uzume’s butt, whereas I’ve always read that the mirror was hung from a tree so that Amaterasu could see her face. I imagine that would be hard to do so if it was reflecting Uzume’s butt.

I’m also a bit iffy on the book proclaiming that Saint Brigid was a lesbian – while I agree that her origins are possibly pagan, the claim that Brigid was in a relationship with her ‘soul sister’ seems to a bit of a reach and from what I understand, not an orthodox interpretation. The concept of Anam Cara, which I assume is the basis of the ‘soul sister’ claim, reminds me of David and Jonathan’s friendship which was deep and true and without romantic implications, as well as the call to koinonia within the Church. We should be celebrating and encouraging intimate friendships because we need friendships that are deep and true and it frustrates me a little to see that everything interpreted in a romantic way. So that chapter was mildly annoying on two accounts – first because we don’t know for sure what Brigid identified as and what was presented as fact seems to be a more modern interpretation, and second, because I’m tired of all ‘deep’ relationships being seen in a romantic light because that is not the be-all and end-all of our relationships. The whole “you can only find true happiness and fulfilment in a romantic relationship” idea is a damaging one that leads women to seek happiness in a relationship but that is a rant for another post.

I also liked that there was a reading list and a playlist at the end of the book so that you can use it as a starting point to explore more about the women featured here.

But sadly, there were a few points that stopped this book from being truly impressive to me.

Firstly, there was the issue of diversity. The book definitely tries to be diverse, but it came across to me as not trying very hard. Out of the fifty women profiled,

10 were Greek and/or Roman
16 were from Europe (out of the 16, 4 were from the Celtic mythos)
6 were from Asia
6 from the African continent
2 from the continent of America
10 from the rest of the world
I did my best but the contents page freely jumps between classifying by religion and ethnic group and as someone familiar mostly with Western and Asian cultures, I have a gap in my knowledge with regards to other countries. But even this count shows that over half the women are from traditional Western myths, with the Celtic myths representing a quarter of the whole of Europe. I’d argue that Asia and Africa have equally rich mythic traditions, yet they take up just under a quarter of all the women profiled. It seems like no matter what, there’s still dominance by the traditional Western and Greco-Roman myths.

Secondly, the women chosen were kind of odd too. I mean, from China we only have Mazu, but what about Guanyin, Chang’Er, Mulan, the Huli Jin, or historical figures like the four great beauties? From Japan, there’s the Futakuchi Onna and Ame no Uzume but what about Ameterasu, Yuki-Onna, Murasaki Shikibu? Where are Korean women? Where are Cambodian women? Malay and Indonesian get lumped together in the Pontianak, which is described as a “Malay ghost” but whose Indonesian moniker, Kuntilanak, is also mentioned. I can only really comment on the Asian section but it felt rather random and unbalanced, especially compared to the amount of Green and Roman women mentioned. I can imagine that just reducing the number of Greek and Roman women (most of whom are already pretty famous) to three or four and then adding one or two women from other parts of the world would have made it so much more diverse.

And the parts that were diverse really were the best parts. My favourite bigoraphies were of women who were completely new to me, such as Mami Wata (African goddess) and Yennenga (Mossi, African Princess). If the book wanted to celebrate the lesser-known women figures, as it seems from the Asian selection, then I want to see more of them and less of the more mainstream names like Hel, the Valkyries, Freyja, Cassandra, Medusa, etc.

Finally, the illustrations were a bit odd too – the one about the Pontianak did not remind me of a pontianak at all. Perhaps it’s the lack of blood on her dress, perhaps it’s because her colouring was very similar to that of the selkies, but I did not get pontianak feels. The Japanese characters were better but I suspect it’s a lot to do with the kimonos.

Overall, I’m conflicted about the book. I really like the concept and I think that for the most part, the biographies are well done but I wasn’t impressed with some of the illustrations and while I really love the Greek, Roman, Celtic, and Norse myths, I would have loved to see more from other countries as well. I suppose this is a case of misaligned expectations – For some reason, the introduction made me think it would be a lot more diverse than I found it.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.
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This is a beautifully constructed book that I'd recommend for fans of Taisia Kitaiskaia's "Literary Witches." It's pages feature a different female figures. The information doesn't delve too much (like Edith Hamilton's "Mythology"), but it's a solid primer for a well rounded book! The graphic design is the real showstopper here, the pages are lovely.
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A unique reading experience that places a spotlight focus on women's role in mythology....and it has some very lovely pictures to help our mental imaginings.  Each story brings the female role to the front, showcasing her strengths and weaknesses while still telling the story of how she fits into this piece of fiction.  A very good read made even better by being centered on the women's roles.
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Title: Warriors, Witches and Woman
By: Kate Hodges
Published by: Quarto Publishing Group - White Lion Publishing
Publishing Date: Pub Date 03 Mar 2020
Genre: History, Nonfiction (Adult)
Review on Goodreads:

Warriors, Witches and Woman tells us stories of exactly that. Historical female Warriors who fought against men, with men or leading men into battle. It included those most hunted of females, Witches, whether they were real occult members or just herbalists this book told us how they lived and died. Then lastly the majority of what we are just a Woman, persecuted simply just for existing. 
Real or not these women’s stories will inspire readers. The stories of myth, legend and history will show just how powerful we truly are. It connects all of us women no matter where we are or where we come from. 
It is obvious from the title that this is a feminist read. Warriors, Witches and Woman dose not just tell you about these women it also explains how through history these women have been pushed and dragged of pedestals. Mainly this happened though two ways, a change in political hierarchy or religious orders. 
One thing I found particularly interesting was about St Bridget. When the Catholic church branded her a Saint they left out the story of how she had performed an abortion.  
The art work too showed not just the beauty of the female figure but the poise, strength and power of it, even if they were half human only. Though the female and male body may differ it is the mind that shone through in these stories. 

From Baba yaga to St Bridget this book brings them all to life even if they have only ever been myth. The ill treatment of women through the centuries but even more so in the last thousand or so years. I found the three-page, one illustration format great, I had enough to get me interested and learning something new. It also meant that the piece was short enough that I never found it boring.
The only thing I would perhaps have changed was that if the same character appeared more than once that the stories be closer together but I do see why they weren’t. It’s just a personal thing. I did appreciate that their previous mention was noted at the bottom.
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As a longtime fan of mythology and a feminist by nature, this book was a perfect for me. It covers both well known entities as well as those who are not. The variety is astounding, and as someone who has read so much, it was a breath of fresh air to read about ladies not typically covered, particularly in more mainstream media. I also appreciated that they showed them in a different light. Many times, these females entities are shown as th.e antagonists or opposing force to a male hero. This showed them as more dynamic  and complex. 

Overall, a lovely addition to anyone's library.
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This ARC was not quite what I expected.  I am big time into mythology and was leaping out of my chair at the chance to get a chance to read this book.  The artwork is very tasteful and eye-catching for sure but I was a little let down by the writing.  I think I wanted more details on each woman.  The basics of each one is covered nicely but I just couldn't help wishing there was more substance. Still, overall this is a very solid read.
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In my life as a woman so far I have frequently strove to be both warrior and witch, to varying success. In my quest to be thus, I have frequently been in need of a role model, of inspiration. A book like Warrior, Witches, Women would have gone a long way to help me out. Thanks to Quarto Publishing Group, White Lion Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Hodges displays a wide variety of women, warriors, goddesses and witches in her book. Some of them, lke Circe, I knew, some, like Ame-no-Uzume, were completely new to me. The mythology that comes down to us can be very whitewashed the way that the Grim fairytales were in later editions. No more hacked off toes, no more dancing in hot-iron shoes. Hodges gives us the tales straight up with relish, not hiding away the odder or more unusual parts of mythology. Whether it's the double-edged sword that is Kali or the life-giving gifts of the White Buffalo Calf Woman, each of the women mentioned in Warrior, Witches, Women has left an imprint on a culture or a society. Hodges tracks how their stories have changed and evolved, both for the better and the worse, and what impact they have today.

Warriors, Witches, Women covers 50 different women, goddesses, spirits, messengers, from all over the world who each receive a page or two in which their tale is told. Alongside this are stunning illustrations by Harriet Lee-Merrion. There is a timeless simplicity to them which I found very affecting. I would love to frame these and hang them up in my house. The cover is, clearly, Medusa, and the colourful calm that Lee-Merrion brought to play is beautiful. WWW would make a perfect coffee table book, to be picked up by a little girl or boy, bored of the conversation happening around them. To me, it felt a little bit like a gateway, a first step into reconnecting with some of the mythology we have forgotten or never been told. Here is a whole range of stories, ready to be explored. I took notes, I Googled, and I listened to the songs recommended at the end. By the end of Warriors, Witches, Women I felt enriched and surely there is nothing more you could ask for?

Warriors, Witches, Women is a beautiful introduction to the sheer volume of amazing myths and legends around women. Let it inspire you to look further and to discover some fo that rebellion and rule-breaking within yourself.
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4.5 stars.

I enjoy reading mythology and was interested in this since it was written through a feminist lens. Though it was fun reading through them, I can't help but feel like it was getting a bit repetitive with the feminist aspects in each entry because there were many.

Each entry explained the history of each woman and the original story about them before the male authors of the past changed their description to be more wicked or weak and dimmined their strong aura so that people would not follow/worship these powerful women.

Overall, it was fun to read about these women from different culture though it had too many modern references to the point it was spoilery at times.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with the digital copy for an honest review.
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Easy to read, engrossing, short essays take a look at the mythical women of antiquity from all over the globe - and give them an interesting twist, viewed through a 21st-century feminist lens. The accompanying artwork was great too.
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A wonderful mix of characters from mythology full of strength and character , all female. I absolutely adored this and I love all mythology but this was an extra special read, some tales in here I hadn’t read much about before. I loved it so much I need a copy in hardback as soon as it’s out, a wonderful read, perfect for the fan of mythology, feminism or just great strong women. 

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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