Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Silvia Moreno-Garcia beautifully weaves the glamour and possibility of the Jazz Age with Mexican folklore, crafting a lush, enthralling coming of age fairytale
In Gods of Jade and Shadow, we first meet Casiopea Tun in a small town in 1920s Mexico, toiling away for her ungrateful family with no hope for freedom. She longs for adventure, to carve out her own life – and she gets her wish during a moment of rebellion, when she accidentally awakens Hun-Kamé, the Mayan God of Death. If she's to survive, she must accompany him on a quest to restore his power and defeat his brother, Vucub-Kamé. As they travel from city to city, from Mexico to America to the Mayan Underworld – battling ghosts, sorcerers, and even her own cousin – Casiopea learns to spread her wings, even as Hun-Kamé grows increasingly mortal.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia beautifully weaves the glamour and possibility of the Jazz Age with Mexican folklore, crafting a lush, enthralling coming of age fairytale. Full of wonder and symbolism, it delves into the power of myths and stories, the choices that make a hero, and what it means to actually live. The relationship between Casiopea and Hun-Kamé develops tenderly and quietly, built on courage and wistful dreams. This is 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. [Sim Bajwa]