Gods of Jade and Shadow
Mr B's review
This retelling of Mayan mythology takes the reader on a magical quest across 1920s Mexico, as the sparky, defiant heroine Casiopea is plucked from a lonely life of obscurity to join a Mayan god of death on a journey to defeat his twin brother. From the Yucatán to Tijuana via Mexico City, this is an entertaining, fantastical tale of adventure packed with demons, sorcerers and evil spirits, that brings traditional Mayan folklore vividly to life.
‘This is historical fantasy at its best’ – S.A. Chakraborty, author of The City of Brass
Inspired by Mexican folklore, Gods of Jade and Shadow is a magical, wildly imaginative coming-of-age tale for fans of Katherine Arden, Naomi Novik and Helene Wecker.
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.
‘Wondrous and magical’ – Kevin Hearne, author of The Iron Druid Chronicles
‘Evocative and moving’ – Rebecca Roanhorse, author of Trial of Lightning
‘An adventure for the mind and the heart’ – Christina Henry, author of Alice
‘A joy to read’ – Genevieve Cogman, author of The Invisible Library series
It was exciting and adventurous and full of wants and longing and the pull between life and death, darkness and light. If you’re looking for a book to sink into and really savor, look no further * The Bookish Beagle * Casiopea is not a damsel in distress, but rather a young woman coming of age in a time where music, myth, art and exploration thrum colorfully around her. . . . Readers will be floored by Moreno-Garcia’s painstaking attention to detail. Her descriptions of the emotionally charged interactions between realistic human characters and otherworldly gods, witches and demonic forces are unforgettable, as are the fairy-tale and folktale aspects of the plot * BookPage Starred Review * The fundamentals of storytelling have been, and will always be, a distinctive setting and well-drawn, memorable characters. Gods of Jade and Shadow has both these elements in droves . . . One of the more appealing and defiant heroines in recent fantasy * Locus * An enchanting cocktail * Strange Horizons * Well worth checking out * SFX * A coming-of-age fairy tale of haunting shadows commingled with vibrant life * The i * A page-turner that immerses you in a forgotten culture and it is a coming-of-age story about finding what you really want in the most unlikely of circumstances * The Nerd Daily * I recommend Gods of Jade and Shadow to fantasy/mythology fans looking for something a little different * Nicki J Markus * A great reading experience, I look forward to reading other books by this author. Highly recommended! * Annarellix * An extremely impressive tale . . . Beautifully brilliant * Run Along the Shelves * Full of energy, vibrancy and Mayan culture * Umut Reviews * I loved reading about mythological characters that were new to me, in a setting that was so energetic and exciting * Alphabet Hannah * Part Jane Eyre and part Cinderella story, Moreno-Garcia’s Gods of Jade and Shadow is a beautiful fantasy tale based on Mayan mythology. In a time with so much negative emphasis on Mexico, it’s easy to forget that Mexico is a country with a very rich heritage, mythology and folklore. Moreno-Garcia successfully retells this myth with a beautiful prose and description of a Mexico of the 1920s * A Wondrous Bookshelf * A vibrant, visceral look at the duality of Mexican folklore . . . A twisting, constantly exciting story with an unmistakably sharp-edge looming in even its most innocuous scenes * Reminders of the Changing Time * A fantastic own voices story of Mayan Mythology, with a dark edge that brings you a brilliant and nuanced female character and is definitely a book you have to read * I Just Kinda Like Books * An astonishingly beautiful book. This is up there amongst one of my favourite books of all time and I strongly encourage everyone to read it * Esoteric Elixir * If you are a fan of magical realism, fairytales, Mayan civilisation and history in general then you will enjoy the Gods of Jade and Shadow, so make sure that you read it * Cultural Life Connection * A richly imagined historical fantasy and one of the best I’ve read in a while * Reader’s Retreat * A magical fairy tale about identity, freedom, and love, and it’s like nothing you’ve read before * Bustle * Silvia Moreno-Garcia writes with verve and the Mayan mythology she draws on is fascinating * The Times * Gods of Jade and Shadow was an easy, fun read that enchanted every step of the way, with the mood of a classic fairytale drifting beneath a whirl of Mayan myth and 1920s Mexico * While Reading and Walking * An elegant and immersive tale, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Gods of Jade and Shadow opened my eyes to the Mayan Underworld and took me on an adventure with a strong-willed, practical heroine and a prickly fallen god that I never wanted to end. It feels like a modern classic, and is absolutely unforgettable * Kendare Blake, New York Times bestselling author of the Three Dark Crowns series * An exotic adventure * Woman’s Way * Snappy dialog, stellar worldbuilding, lyrical prose, and a slow-burn romance make this a standout * Library Journal Starred Review * Silvia Moreno-Garcia beautifully weaves the glamour and possibility of the Jazz Age with Mexican folklore, crafting a lush, enthralling coming of age fairytale . . . A hopeful and bittersweet tale, with a whip-smart, practical protagonist, and will appeal to fans of S.A. Chakraborty, Naomi Novik, and Katherine Arden * The Skinny * A magical novel of duality, tradition, and change . . . Moreno-Garcia’s seamless blend of mythology and history provides a ripe setting for Casiopea’s stellar journey of self-discovery, which culminates in a dramatic denouement. Readers will gladly immerse themselves in Moreno-Garcia’s rich and complex tale of desperate hopes and complicated relationships * Publishers Weekly Starred Review * A vibrant story of grit, giddiness, and glory with a protagonist whose personality burns bright as a star. Casiopea Tun will capture your heart and draw you into a jewel-toned world of myth-making and jazz music * Lara Elena Donnelly, author of The Amberlough Dossier series * Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s prose is like the best kind of fairytale – dark, enchanting, and makes you wish that you could live within its pages. Casiopea’s journey belongs on every bookshelf * Zoraida Cordova, award-winning author of Labyrinth Lost * A beautiful work that will draw you in and keep you transfixed and reading far too late. It blends the ‘real’ and the mythic seamlessly, and the clear-sighted heroine is a joy to read about. It’s the sort of book that will leave you with beautiful after-images for weeks to follow, and going back to re-read favourite sections * Genevieve Cogman, author of the Invisible Library series * A lush, bittersweet tale of courage, love and carving your own place in the world . . . Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s evocative prose will take you on an adventure for the mind and the heart * Christina Henry, author of Alice * Set in a lushly rendered and gorgeous world, this is historical fantasy at its best: a fresh, feminist coming-of-age tale that lets the ancient and the new meld and clash in a tale you can’t put down * S.A. Chakraborty, author of The City of Brass and The Kingdom of Copper * A moving description of a young girl’s coming of age and a seamless fusion of the real and the magical * Guardian * I lost myself in the world, the magic, and the brilliance that is Gods of Jade and Shadow, a story that will linger with me for a very long time. Casiopea Tun will take readers on a journey they will not soon forget. She is the kind of heroine I rooted for from the very first page! * Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor’s Game * An evocative and moving fairy-tale about a downtrodden girl and the Mayan God of Death and how they both find each other and their humanity together . . . Loved it. Highly recommend * Rebecca Roanhorse, author of Trail of Lightning * Simultaneously heartbreaking and heart-mending, Gods of Jade and Shadow is a wondrous and magical tale about choosing our own path. I felt weepy and happy and hopeful when I finished – everything you want to feel at the end of a great story * Kevin Hearne, New York Times-bestselling author of the Iron Druid Chronicles and Kill the Farm Boy *
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