Gods of Jade and Shadow is a beautifully written ode to Mayan and Mexican mythology, weaving a story filled with twists and turns that delight. With a strong protagonist and the magical mysteries of the many gods roaming the land, it’s an enchanting read through and through.
Moreno-Garcia has painted a marvelous world, complete with the natural beauty of Mexico and the glamor of the early twentieth century. We’re transported to rural towns, beautiful cities, and sprawling metropolises filled with any number of luxuries. Coupled with historical tidbits and fashions of the age, we get a vivid picture of this beautiful land.
These moments come to us through the eyes of Casiopea Tun, a young woman who has spent her life dreaming of moving on to greater things. She’s suddenly thrown into the world she’s dreamed of and her excitement leaps off the page. Her society and her family don’t want her to be powerful and she refuses to accept their shackles. She holds more power than she knows and watching her grow into herself is half the fun of the novel.
The storytelling style adds to the magic of the tale. Moreno-Garcia writes with purpose, making each sentence an important piece of the story. There isn’t a huge buildup to a magical appearance or shock and awe from the central character. One moment she’s living a Cinderella life amidst her terrible family and, in the next, she’s awakened a god and is off on an epic journey. That sense of realism blurs the line between fairy tale and reality, making for an especially enjoyable reading experience.
Gods of Jade and Shadow
By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Published by Del Rey
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.