Gods of Jade and Shadow

Gods of Jade and Shadow

A Novel

Book - 2019
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The Mayan God of Death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.
Publisher: New York : Del Rey, [2019].
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780525620754
Characteristics: 338 pages ; 25 cm.


From Library Staff

The Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark, one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.

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LoganLib_Sheridan Jan 11, 2021

I've been in a reading slump lately so this book was hard for me to get into and honestly I'm not sure how I feel about the story. It's definitely different and I think the characters are done amazingly well.

This story has definite woman power vibes and I think Casiopea does all that is in her power, fighting against the consistent forces that want to oppress her. I mean this is the 1900s. She is curious and stubborn but in a thoughtful way that we don't see in a lot of strong female protagonists who go headfirst into stupid danger.

I think Hun-Kame was made to be a sort of ally, one of the 'good guys' - because we need to have a token good guy - and for the most part he is but there are just some spots where he falters and the ally-ship falls a little flat. You can see the struggle to keep his character and ally-ship at the same time.

I feel like I should also mention Martin because Vacub-Kame is 'the bad guy' just because, he wants power, but Martin is the bad guy who we're meant to sympathetic for... kind of. I like that Casiopea lets go of any anger and feelings of revenge towards him but makes it clear that he is going to have to work for it if he wants forgiveness.

I loved the magic realism (I'm pretty sure that's what this is) but I think my biggest (probably only really) problem with the story is the ending. Like it works perfectly but I'm over here going why did she go through all of that if she could have just ended things like she did. I don't know.

This was definitely an interesting and thoughtful read and I would recommend it for people like me who are trying to expand on the different types of stories they read.

Nov 06, 2020

Ancient gods returning to the world, sibling rivalry in a struggle for power, human sacrifice…this novel revisits some familiar tropes of mythology and fantasy, but does so in a refreshingly different setting. If you're tired of European-based fantasy worlds, Moreno-Garcia delivers the tale of a quest through the ancestral land of the Maya. Though set in the modern world, the ancient gods and monsters haunt this novel, seeking to restore the bloody rituals of their past. Moreno-Garcia, with this and her newer novel, is quickly becoming the poster child for Latinx fantasy. The diversity is overdue and highly welcome, but her writing here doesn't quite reach the mark of crafting relatable characters. She has upped her game with "Mexican Gothic," but this one is still a worthwhile visit to a fascinating world.

Sep 27, 2020

This is a great adventure book. It’s a stand alone and just about 300 pages, but still gives off great adventure. Also, the book gets right into it—which i love.

Aug 23, 2020

Excellent enjoyable fantasy. Well balanced. Fun to have it set in the roaring 20's flapper era with bits of architecture, culture and design woven into the scenery.

Jul 24, 2020

Fascinating story. I loved every second and had no idea what was going to happen next. Can't recommend it enough.

IndyPL_SteveB May 14, 2020

Something different in a fantasy novel – A Mexican-Canadian author using Mayan mythology and folklore, spiced with Mexican history of the 1920s. It has won several awards, and it would make a great film.

Casiopea Tun’s mother left her wealthy Mexican family to marry a poor poet and clerk of Native background. When he died, Casiopea and her mother had to return to her grandfather’s house in shame, to live as barely-tolerated servants to her grandfather. In anger one day Casiopea unlocks the secret chest that lay at the foot of her grandfather’s bed and touches the bones within. A small bone splinter goes into her hand and this action releases Hun-Kamé, the God of Death, imprisoned by his twin brother.

We then have a story that is partly a two-fish-out-of-water buddy-movie road-trip, part romance, and part fantasy battles. Hun-Kamé gains some human feelings and Casiopea becomes a tougher woman with a sense of independence. Moreno-Garcia creates an imaginative underworld landscape. Good characters and a nice balance between terror and humor make for a very enjoyable story.

Apr 02, 2020

I really enjoyed this book, from the incredible mythology to the vivid details, this book is immersive and such a lovely cultural deep dive that will keep you turning the pages! It's so easy to get lost in and such an easy read. I really appreciated how culturally diverse and historical this book is as well, people said this book was a Cinderella retelling but I didn't really see that.

Mar 31, 2020

2020 Nebula Awards nominee.

Mar 18, 2020

The writing style reminded me of Neil Gaiman, and that's a good thing! Very enjoyable and recommended for those who like urban fantasy or magic realism.

Jan 16, 2020

Beautiful writing--effortless to read and worth savoring the word craft while reading 'slowly'--as you would an excellent meal of your favorite foods. Extremely enjoyable. Give it as a gift to a reading companion.

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Apr 02, 2020

CORI D. MORRIS thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Aug 09, 2019

Caryn thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Apr 02, 2020

A heroic young woman, a quest, a handsome fallen god, magic & mayhem set in post-revolutionary 1920s Mexico woven with fantastic Mayan cosmology. What's not to love?!

Aug 09, 2019

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. Then one day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather's room, 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.


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Feb 12, 2020

Violence: Mentions of murder and suicide, a character commits suicide


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