Title: No Man of Woman Born
Author: Ana Marsdell
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Acacia Moon Publishing
Page Count: 300
Type of Book: Netgalley ARC, Kindle Ebook
Review Word Count: 600
Rated: 5/5 stars
No Man of Woman Born. The title is what caught my eye, it was catchy and interesting and sounded like the kind of thing I would read. Then I realized it was a collection of short stories, and while I’m not normally one for Anthologies, I definitely had to read this. It was exactly what I hoped for; true love, heroes, girls turned boys, boys turned girls, dragons, magic, witches…it was an amazingly, awesome experience reading this book.
I wish to thank the publisher for letting me have a copy of this on Netgalley. I was crossing my fingers, but wasn’t sure I would receive it, and am thrilled to have gotten it, and even more thrilled in reading it. Yet before I dive into the review, let’s go over the trigger warnings, shall we? Because there’s quite a few of them to list here.
Warnings: trans-characters in trying situations, non-supportive family members of a trans character, death of family members and children, imprisonment, murder, war crimes, suggested genocide of certain kinds of character, suggested rape
There’s various different kinds of short retelllings you might notice in here. The ‘sword from the stone’, not to mention the ‘sleeping beauty’; but there’s also quite a few that I didn’t recognize as being retellings. If they are, they’re done well enough that I’ve missed it, and it doesn’t state it in the story either.
I liked all the stories, though I think my favorites are probably “the Father’s Son” and “The sword from the Stone” remixed version. The writing was strong, the characters were believable, and I wish, I wish that I had found and read this as a thirteen year old teenager when I was confused about gender and everything else. While I’m not trans, I have a lot of trans friends, as well as gay and lesbian friends too. Most of my circle is part of the LGBT community, in fact. I have the feeling that had I read this as a teenager, it would have helped me to grow and figure a few things out a lot quicker.
I can’t review this book without spoiling it. I will say that there are quite a few scenes that are dark and heart-wrenching to read. So if you’re easily triggered or there are things you don’t like reading in fantasy books that deal with the LGBT community…I highly suggest not reading it.
But if you’re not scared away so easily, then I highly recommend reading this book. Because it is an important book, especially if you’re new to the LGBT community. It shows just how important gender identity is, and why it matters what you call a person.
I’m giving this a 5/5 stars because of how powerful the message is in this book, and I really hope that any who reads this review at least checks this book out and spreads the message that there’s a positive book for LGBT people to read that’s in the YA fantasy genre.
Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book