Legendary Ladies: 50 Goddesses To Empower And Inspire You by Ann Shen
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Summary: From the beloved author and artist behind Bad Girls Throughout History comes this lushly illustrated book of goddesses from around the world. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess whose love overcame mortality. Mazu, the Chinese deity who safely guides travelers home. Lakshmi, the Hindu provider of fortune and prosperity. These powerful deities and many more are celebrated in gorgeous artwork and enlightening essays that explore the feminine divine and encourage readers to empower themselves. Ann Shen’s signature watercolors make Legendary Ladies a unique, gift-worthy homage to the mighty women within.
My Rating:★★★★☆ ½
My Thoughts: Legendary Ladies chronicles the heroic, inspiring, and empowering tales of goddesses from around the world! Through beautiful artwork, Shen illustrates these goddesses lives and what wisdom or guidance they can offer + inspire, if you choose to call upon them!
If your looking to learn more about the origins and inspiring tales of goddesses from around the world, then I highly recommend checking out Ann Shen’s Legendary Ladies!
This was such a beautifully illustrated and inspiring read, that while chronicling numerous tales of heroic goddesses it also was very inspirational and moving.
Separated by sections: Creativity & Manifestation, Love, Power, Protection, and Reinvention, Shen recounts the legends behind goddesses from an array of cultures, while also explaining how each goddess can inspire or help you during certain moments in your life.
For example: If you are seeking good fortune, spiritual strength or inner strength, starting a new chapter in life, whatever the case may be, reading those inspirational messages with each goddess’s story, your left feeling hopeful and with a sense of guidance!
Another one of my favorite aspects of the novel was, with the more you read through each goddess’s tale, the more you see how threads between each of the stories, and across a variety of cultures as well, interconnect.
You see across differing eras and cultures how these inspiring ladies and their stories have such universal truths. Additionally, how their tales set up many integral and essential foundations for numerous cultures across eras!
It was great to see such diversity among each section! While many are familiar with the gods/goddesses of Greek Mythology, I loved seeing numerous cultures represented throughout the entire novel!
From Hindu, Chinese, Native American, Yoruba, Hawaiian, Egyptian, Shinto, Vietnamese, Japanese, Mayan, Aztec, and so many more, it was amazing to see such diversity throughout the sections!
It saddens me that there were quite a few goddesses I’d never even heard of before, but its so great a book like this exists because each of these goddesses has such an inspiring story to tell!
One of the most memorable goddesses that I read about (& who’d I’d never heard of before) was Nüwa, a goddess of Chinese origin. Half human & half dragon, her legend states that she molded people from clay and when crisis came, she created 5 stones (of differing colors) to create water, air, earth & wind.
Her’s was probably the story I re-read the most! And I especially loved the “Call” for the end of her story:
“Call on Nüwa when you want to create something beautiful out of the raw material of your life” (25).
+ It was so great to see rep. of Mayan and Aztec goddesses in this book too! I’m pretty familiar with the legend of Ixchel (Mayan goddess of fertility & healing) and overall it was just so great to see that representation in this beautifully illustrated book! I loved it!! ❤❤
The artwork is absolutely stunning! Each illustration beautifully captured each goddess and accentuated, I felt, each of their stories even more!
Shen masterfully highlights the stories of each goddess and the origins of their legacy.
I can’t speak highly enough about this book! The art is beautiful and each story is just inspiring!
Honestly, I just wish this book was longer! 50 seemed like far too little for me. I would read hundreds of Shen’s books about even more Legendary Ladies!!
Legendary Ladies is colorful, vibrant and has spectacular illustrations that brilliantly capture the triumphant and empowering spirit of each goddess! While allowing each story to stand on its own, Shen also manages to weave in common threads that link each of the stories so beautifully! If your looking for a bit of guidance, inspirational words, or just want to read about empowering goddesses, I highly recommend this book!