Saturday 4 April 2020

GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but it's passing Casiopea Tun by. She's too busy scrubbing floors in her wealthy grandfather's house to do anything more than dream of a life far from her dusty, small town in southern Mexico. A life she could call her own. 

This dream is impossible, distant as the stars - until the day Casiopea opens a curious chest in her grandfather's room and accidentally frees an ancient Mayan god of death. He offers her a deal: if Casiopea helps him recover his throne from his treacherous brother, he will grant her whatever she desires. Success will make her every dream come true, but failure will see her lost, for ever.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed only with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey, from the jungles of Yucatan to the bright lights of Mexico City and deep into the darkness of Xibalba, the Mayan underworld.

I'm a sucker for stories set during the 1920s, so of course I was interested in this one. Add that it's set in Mexico, pepper in a variety of intriguing gods, an awesome main character, and I'm definitely in.

Casiopea Tun lives with her mother in her wealthy grandfather's house. Through no fault of her own, the rest of the family looks down on her and she spends her days cleaning, running errands, and dreaming about freedom.

All of that changes when she frees the entity trapped inside an ornate box in her grandfather's room. Now, Casiopea finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime. One that will take her all over Mexico and beyond...

Wow. This was quite an entertaining and dark journey. I was instantly hooked and couldn't put it down.

Casiopea is such an amazing character. I liked her from the moment she was introduced. She's clever, brave, kind and so noble. Her family doesn't take her seriously, but she's better than every single one of them. I enjoyed following her on the very interesting adventure she embarks on with a fallen god from Xibalba. The time she spends with him brings out the best in her. It was also nice to watch as she takes charge of her own life. Until she realises she's worthy of respect and freedom.

The awesome character growth also extends to Hun-Kamé. Sure, a lot of his physical and emotional changes are because of the symbiotic connection he has with Casiopea, but it goes even deeper than that. And even Martín, her annoying and mean cousin, has an arc that I enjoyed.

There's a LOT to love about this book. I loved the Mexican location because it was refreshing and gorgeous, all the details so vivid. The worldbuilding is perfectly established and described in a way that sounds familiar, yet new. And the pacing worked so well at keeping the tension and magic moving.

Gods of Jade and Shadow is the amazing story of a brave young woman who longs for adventure and excitement, then finds herself caught in the middle of an ancient struggle between two gods fighting to rule the Mayan Underworld. The journey she embarks on is full of danger, strange beings, colourful places, and so much wonder.

This is such a gorgeous book with so much heart. I loved every second I spent with these characters. And the cover is stunning!

Gods of Jade and Shadow, February 2020, ISBN 9781529402643, Jo Fletcher Books

No comments:

Favorites More