Title: Gods of Jade and Shadow
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Pub date: July 23, 2019
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.
Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.
In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.
I was really looking forward to reading this, as I enjoy mythological stuff and it fits in tandem with my upcoming trip to Mexico. I’m fascinated by Mayan culture and so I was excited to read a darker, fairy-tale-like story taking place in the 1920s but focusing on Mayan magic.
Reading this book took me back to some of the fairy tales and fables I read as a little girl. While there is some violence and a tad of romance in this book, it reads like an elaborate story told over a fire to a group. Casiopea’s journey is a hero tale, but Moreno-Garcia does an amazing job of making her relatable. The story is more than just a meeting and journey between a human and a Mayan god, Hun-Kame. It’s an exploration of what it means to be human and how we are stronger than we know.
Overall, this book was a nice refresh from some other books and romances I’ve read lately, and it has a nice sense of closure for the characters. I’d recommend it to anybody that wants to learn about Mayan mythology or wants to read a beautiful and complex fairy tale with a strong female lead.