GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Fun and clever books are, I confess, are the only time my curiosity so gladly and without hesitation sets out to learn about the history and culture of a country and a people. Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s “Gods of Jade and Shadow” (and more recently Chanel Cleeton’s “Next year in Havana”) quickly made me bite my tongue over all those past statements that were something like, “History and the culture of South America have little interest for me. “

It may have been the judgment that the Mayan god of death appears very quickly in the book and naked… But let’s start over.

Cassiopeia Tun is a young girl who, after her father’s death, returned to her wealthy grandfather’s home with her mother. But Cassiopeia and her mom don’t live a comfortable life. In fact, one does not need to look too closely at the dynamics of the household’s relationship with them to realize that they are treated almost as much as any other servant.

Cassiopeia’s days are filled with monotonous chores and attempts to avoid (often in vain) the impossible moods of her frail but still extremely unpleasant grandfather, and to spared her cousin, grandfather’s favorite, pranks, that he is so fond of.

Cassiopeia is not a girl who is easily intimidated; she is not the girl who dreams of meek dreams of a small woman’s life that does not extend beyond the home roof. Cassiopeia is aware that she is more capable of a different fate – at the very least, the one intended for her skinny cousin. The only question is how she will find her way out of that house, from the role of a maid, and into life …

Who would say that the path to life would be granted to her by non-other then – the god of death?

On a very ordinary day, Cassiopeia, irritated by the last of her cousin’s pranks found herself in a somewhat defiant mood that made her disregard her grandfather’s rule, which required that no one – no one, ever – open a wooden chest at the foot of his bed.

Convinced that Grandpa was hiding his fortune there, Cassiopeia lifted the heavy lid and…

Next thing you know, in front of her, naked, stands an attractive man who introduces himself to her as the god of death, informing her that he was betrayed and imprisoned many years ago, that… eh… on his body some things are missing (and NOT THAT thing. evidently) and that he will regain full strength (khm!) when he finds these things and regains his throne in the world of the dead. Cassiopeia, he says solemnly, was honored to serve and assist him in this mission.

Well, how do you say “no” to the carved god of death who stands before you naked?

Over the next three hundred pages, this unusual couple will guide us through the beautiful, colorful, but also dangerous realms of the world of the living, as well as the world of the dead, introducing us to the many peculiar characters of Mayan mythology.

I have to admit that I really enjoyed this story; Cassiopeia is a smart and handsome young woman to whom the author, thank heavens, intended a fate more interesting and complex than that obtained by ninety percent of the young heroes of the NA (new adult) novel.

I only regret that the novel was not longer, that this fantastic adventure was not more layered, to take this incredibly interesting mythological world more seriously and abundantly.

I have the feeling that a more experienced (I will not say older – just someone with at least 5 fantasy titles) author would write a book that is not so predictable in places, so much… I will say amateur, but I will say it very cautiously because it does not mean “no I like it”, but rather “she deserved it and could have been at least 30% better”.

I think Laini Taylor would blow this up, but I hope Silvia Moreno-Garcia continues to brush the pen on new, fresh stories like this.

If you are looking for something fun and unconventional about the upcoming gloomy months, which, in my opinion, was created to explore the fantastic worlds between covers, you won’t be fooled by this one. If nothing else, the god of death in this book is very hot, and the story will not leave you with the impression that you have read some kind of already seen, overrated, romantic read.

30 thoughts on “GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW by Silvia Moreno-Garcia”

  1. This review was incredible and had me thinking a lot of different things about this book. Maybe not the greatest but it sounds like a fun light read at least. I loved your review, so thorough and well written without giving too much away x


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love historical fiction and I must say Mayan mythology is not something I’ve explored before, but this sounds very interesting!!! Great review, I definitely want to check this out now. Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow this book is certainly different from the ones I have read. It sounds really good and worth a deviation from my usual reading material.

    Liked by 1 person

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