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Gods of Jade and Shadow

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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  28,888 ratings  ·  5,170 reviews
The Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.

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. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A l
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Hardcover, 338 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Del Rey
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Silvia Moreno-Garcia Thank you! Yes, this is an adult novel, as are all my other novels and novellas. SFF by women seems to be automatically classified as YA, which is whe…moreThank you! Yes, this is an adult novel, as are all my other novels and novellas. SFF by women seems to be automatically classified as YA, which is where the error comes from.

PS: The reasons for having this out as an adult book have to do with the choices of my publisher, but also my own feeling that the omniscient tell-don't-show bits of the novel would make it feel distancing and unappealing for teenagers (plus some other stuff, which I won't go into right now). And sure, there's adults who also hate omniscient POVs, but teens seems to hate them more (at least judging by the ones I know). If new adult had taken off as a category maybe that might have worked as a shelf, but it doesn't seem to have done very well. Ultimately, I think it's a fantasy bildungsroman, which may be very appealing to adults who like a fairy tale feel but also cross-over well to older teenagers.(less)
Emmers From the author herself.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia: "Thank you! Yes, this is an adult novel, as are all my other novels and novellas. SFF by women seems to …more
From the author herself.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia: "Thank you! Yes, this is an adult novel, as are all my other novels and novellas. SFF by women seems to be automatically classified as YA, which is where the error comes from.

PS: The reasons for having this out as an adult book have to do with the choices of my publisher, but also my own feeling that the omniscient tell-don't-show bits of the novel would make it feel distancing and unappealing for teenagers (plus some other stuff, which I won't go into right now). And sure, there's adults who also hate omniscient POVs, but teens seems to hate them more (at least judging by the ones I know). If new adult had taken off as a category maybe that might have worked as a shelf, but it doesn't seem to have done very well. Ultimately, I think it's a fantasy bildungsroman, which may be very appealing to adults who like a fairy tale feel but also cross-over well to older teenagers."(less)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  28,888 ratings  ·  5,170 reviews


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chai ♡
Gods of Jade and Shadow is a story about love as fragile as the finest porcelain, myths and the power held within them, and people who yearn, and hunger, for the vastness of all there is. A story that is not robbed of its sharp edges, and is all the better for it.

Read my full review on my blog: here.

ko-fiblogtwitter
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Nilufer Ozmekik
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-m-intrigued
Five in the love of Mayan Gods or in the most charismatic and attractive Hun-kame we trust! What an amazing, vivid, joyful, fast-pacing, perfectly described, one cup of mythology and two cups of Mexican culture and history, three cups of author’s unbelievably impeccable and detailed imagination mixed into a fantastic journey stars!

I insist to give too many awards to this book, let’s start our award ceremony (Carlos Santana made its opening by singing “Black Magic Woman” which fits perfectly to
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Rick Riordan
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved Moreno-Garcia’s vampire novel Certain Dark Things, so I was excited to read her take on the Maya gods. Set in Mexico in the 1920s, the book follows Cassiopeia Tun, the ‘poor relations’ granddaughter of a small town patriarch in the Yucatan. Cassiopeia’s mother disgraced the family by eloping with Cassiopeia’s dark-skinned father, then had no choice but to return to her family when her husband died. Now Cassiopeia is forced to work as the family maid, while her arrogant cousin Martín miss ...more
 Teodora
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.75/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺

I've dreamed of travelling to Mexico since I've first discovered telenovelas decades ago and if this book is the closest thing to that then so be it.
description

It really felt like I was sitting at a wooden table listening to a Mexican grandma telling me a story of her childhood while wrapping up tamales. It really felt that warm.

I liked it very much but I didn't love it.
Mostly because I am weird. But that's not all.

I somehow managed to have a tangled vis
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megs_bookrack
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
Gods of Jade and Shadow is a Mayan-inspired fable set in Jazz Era Mexico. That should be reason enough to pick it up, but let me tell you more!

Channeling her inner-Cinderella, Casiopea Tun, is tidying up her Grandfather's living quarters when she unintentionally frees Hun-Kame, the Mayan God of Death.



Captured and sealed in a locked box after being slayed by his brother, Hun-Kame, is ready to get his life and kingdom back.

Unfortunately, for Casiopea, he needs her help in order to do so. Whether
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jessica
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i enjoyed this a lot more than i thought i would! im really into reading stories inspired by mythology that im not very familiar with, and recently ive had an interest in mesoamerican culture, so this did not disappoint.

i found this to be extremely easy to read. the writing is very straightforward and has more of a ‘telling rather than showing’ feel to me, but i honestly didnt mind it. its also a long journey narrative with not a whole lot happening other than subtle character development. again
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Amalia Gkavea
‘’Some people are born under a lucky star, while others have their misfortune telegraphed by the position of the planets. Casiopea Tun, named after a constellation, was born under the most rotten star imaginable in the firmament.’’

Yucatán, Mexico, during the 1920s. Casiopea has found herself in an awful situation. Her beloved father, a lover of mythology and fables, has died. Her mother is a weak woman who only knows how to cry and pray. The young woman has been left practically alone, strug
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Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Oct 27, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm not going to write a review of my own book but here's some common questions I get.

1. Will there be a sequel?
Short answer, no. It's intended as a stand-alone.

2. Is it really adult? Isn't it YA?
Book classification is a funny thing. Some reasons for having this out as an adult book have to do with the choices of my publisher, but also my own feeling that the omniscient tell-don't-show bits of the novel would make it feel distancing and unappealing for teenagers (plus some other stuff, which
...more
Samantha
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
3.75 stars. This is a beautiful book, but it’s a beauty that kept me at a distance. The world and mythology is lush, and the prose fits the story well, but the feeling of reading a myth kept me from truly engaging with the story. I loved our main character and rooted for her, but truly never felt she was in danger and even though this isn’t a mythology I’m familiar with, I still felt I knew the general beats the story would take. This reminded me a bit of American Gods in that way with the prose ...more
Anna Luce
★★★✰✰ 2.5 stars

In spite of the beautiful attention that Gods of Jade and Shadow pays to the function of myths and deities in our everyday lives...this turned out to be an unexpectedly juvenile read...

The swift storytelling found in Gods of Jade and Shadow might not appeal to those readers who prefer slower and more in depth narratives such as The Song of Achilles. Here there is a focus on the action or better yet on the quest undertaken by our protagonist. Scenes rarely featured the same backd
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Amy Imogene Reads
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Unlike anything I’ve ever read. This Mayan death god myth-making tale was perfect.

Writing: ★★★★★
Concept: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★

I could not get enough of this story.

Gods of Jade and Shadow follows the story of Casiopea, a girl growing up in rural Mexico in the early 1900s who discovers a chest of ancient black bones in her grandfather's bedroom. Accidentally cutting herself and bleeding on the bones, Casiopea resurrects the Mayan god of death, Hun-Kame. Hun-Kame was cursed and impris
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carol.
“‘Do you understand what is at stake,’ he asked?
She had no idea… She was, however, curious.
‘Tell me,’ she said, knowing a story lay ahead, as fine as any of the legends and tall tales her father had spun for her.”

Gods of Jade and Shadow is like reading modern mythology–mythology set in the 1920s in Mexico, that is. Though it is also a coming-of-age tale, Moreno-Garcia gives those conventions her own twist, paralleling it with a mythological hero’s journey. I highly recommend it, even for those w
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Rebecca Roanhorse
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, my heart! So, so very good. This is a evocative and moving fairy-tale about a downtrodden girl and the Maya God of Death and how they both find each other and their humanity together. Moreno-Garcia consistently knows how to find my heartstrings and pull them - not in a sappy way but in quiet moments of vulnerability and honesty. Her vision of 1920's Mexico and, more strikingly, the Maya Underworld, are vivid and enchanting and bring the story alive. I'm convinced both are/were equally real. ...more
Robin
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
↠ 5 stars

Oh to unlock a chest, accidentally bringing the god of death back to life and binding him to your mortal body, then accompanying him on his journey to reclaim his throne from his brother in the underworld. Set in the backdrop of 1920's Mexico, Casiopea Tun leaves home to embark on a journey encompassing a world she's only ever dreamed of, and one she never thought existed. With a Mayan god at her side, and the jazz age in full swing, who knows what will happen along the way.

Gods of Jade
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Yun
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
In Gods of Jade and Shadow, Casiopea and her mother have been living with relatives ever since her father unexpectedly passed away. Because the two of them don't have money of their own, they are treated like servants, ordered to do menial tasks for the family. One day, Casiopea accidentally opens a chest full of bones, and what follows is the adventure she has always dreamed of.

Casiopea is my kind of heroine. Life dealt her an unfair hand, but she works hard and stays true to herself. Though he
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Nataliya
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Mortals have always been frightened of the night’s velvet embrace and the creatures that walk in it, and yet they find themselves mesmerized by it.”

As much as gods may tell puny humans to cower in fear, they actually need us, mortals. They needs worshippers, belief and sacrifice to fuel the godhood itself. And in order to play their godly games, they need mortals to be their chess pieces, even if the role required is usually disposable sacrificial pawns. And since we create them in our imag
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Marzuqa
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My 10 year old “fairytale-buff” self is thoroughly satisfied. I expected this to be good, but not this good. This was so heartwarming and mesmerizing.
I went into this with absolutely zero knowledge on Mexican folklore, but that didn’t matter because the writing and story line were so consuming.
I truly feel like Moreno-Garcia’s works deserve a lot more acclaim than they get. I’m just so glad I picked this up.
Mari
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing



Why you may not like this book: A peak through the reviews might leave you confused as some people describe this as slow and some as swift. I think it depends what you are expecting. To me, this didn't have those injections of action sequences that I've come to expect from fantasy, but it was a quest and there is a time clock that pulls you toward the end. I would describe this as steady. If you want a slower, deeper character study or a faster, more action filled adventure, this will not quite
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Emer (A Little Haze)
Publishing July 23rd, 2019

I was so excited when I heard about this book and so was beyond thrilled when I was lucky enough to be granted an ARC from NetGalley and WOW DID THIS BOOK NOT DISAPPOINT!!! I loved it. Absolutely loved it. This book to me is the perfect blend of fantasy, mythology and historical fiction. It's filled with Mayan folklore that truly came alive for me. I must confess I know nothing about Mayan mythology but this book has been a wonderful starting point for me. Apparently it
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enqi ☁️✨
Jun 23, 2018 marked it as to-read
"a dark fantasy set in 1920s Mexico inspired by Mayan mythology" and is that a hades & persephone reference i see? this is WONDERFUL. sign me up ...more
Charlotte
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bradley
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2019-shelf
This one could have gone either way with me. Either I would bounce or I would fall in love. Fortunately, it had all the right mixtures, enjoyable classic storytelling, great characters, and above all, it was a very fun read.

So I call this one a winner. Whew! Aztec death gods. The 1920's. And we throw this poor girl into a situation where she must help a death god find his missing pieces before he drains the life from her and he loses his godhood... in mortality.

Such. A. Classic. Storyline. I me
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Olive Fellows (abookolive)
I have two reviews for this beauty!
A video on Booktube...

and the below written review originally appeared on Open Letters Review:

In her newest release, Silvia Moreno-Garcia gives readers the glitz of the Jazz Age, south of the border. Gods of Jade and Shadow, based in Mayan mythology, tells the story of eighteen-year-old Casiopea Tun, who unwittingly releases the rightful king of the underworld of Xibalba from his makeshift tomb in her grandfather’s home. Set on the Yucatán peninsula in the 192
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Lilith Black Bee
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Amazing book! As l have said in my last update, l am not a big fan of political background. This, and the fact that in the first half the book was slow to read, made me give it 4 ⭐. But, otherwise, l highly recommend this beautiful piece, mostly to people that read and liked/loved Middlegame.
Althea | themoonwholistens ☾
Oh to go take off on an adventure with the god of death and fall in love and want to bury myself in the ground alone with my pain.

— overall: 3.75 —
*All of my reviews are as spoiler-free as possible unless stated otherwise*

After reading Mexican Gothic I knew that I wanted to see what Silvia Moreno Garcia’s writing would look like in a fantasy setting. I don’t know if this is a legitimate category but I would label it as dreamy but sensical. My favorite kind.

description

It's not too heavy while still deliveri
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Spencer Orey
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
The 1920s Mexico setting is awesome! I'm less sure about the Mayan mythology elements, which to me seemed a little... not strange enough? I guess I'd expect timeless Mayan death gods who arrive into our world to feel so so so horrifically out of place. There were some glimmers of Mayan death god terror but mostly it was an oddly chill reading experience? There are certainly some strange elements woven in, and some of the "why isn't this stranger?" aspects are explained in the story. But overall ...more
Elle (ellexamines)
Jun 23, 2018 marked it as on-my-shelf
"a dark fantasy set in 1920s Mexico inspired by Mayan mythology" this sounds AMAZING ...more
Angelica
First. let me say that I really enjoyed the complexity of the characters, especially Martin. I mean, I totally hated him and thought he was a horrible person, but I understood him and how he had been shaped by his surroundings to become the little jerk that he did.

I also liked Casiopea and her internal struggles. And yet, at the same, I really didn't like her all that much for some reason. I don't know why! I also didn't quite like Hun-Kamé but at the same time I actually kind of did. I think th
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K.J. Charles
This was tremendous. A downtrodden girl in 20s Mexico inadvertently wakes the imprisoned Lord of the Dead and has to go on a quest to recover his missing body parts (this is the point we're glad it's fantasy not romance :P) in order for him to reclaim his throne. Wonderful defiant angry heroine, fabulous mythology and magic, really well drawn setting, a lovely villain whose evil lies in selfishness and privilege rather than innate badness, and a terrific thread of romance as well.

It really is e
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jade
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of myths and fairy tales (and possibly old soul romantics)
Recommended to jade by: Nicholas Perez
“mythmaking. it’s greater than you or i, this tale.”

casiopea’s life in 1920s yucatán is a strained routine. living under her elderly grandfather’s roof, she’s mostly stuck doing chores and contend with her bully of a cousin.

but then unexpected excitement enters her life when she opens the chest by her grandfather’s bed: out hops a pile of bones that turns into a handsome, otherworldy death god ready to take revenge on his twin brother.

and so casiopea gets drawn into a modern day myth
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6,538 followers
Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of several novels, including Mexican Gothic, Gods of Jade and Shadow and Untamed Shore. She has also edited a number of anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award-winning She Walks in Shadows (a.k.a. Cthulhu's Daughters). Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination. ...more

Articles featuring this book

Myths and mayhem, the fantastical and the scientifically plausible, these are readers’ most popular sci-fi and fantasy novels published in the...
152 likes · 29 comments
“Words are seeds, Casiopea. With words you embroider narratives, and the narratives breed myths, and there's power in the myth. Yes, the things you name have power.” 56 likes
“Is that why you stare at the stars?” he asked. “Are you searching for beauty or dreaming with your eyes wide open?” 41 likes
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