Posted in Book review, Books, Helmet Reading Challenge, Popsugar Reading Challenge, Reading Challenge

Book review: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

What a delight it was to read Gods of Jade and Shadow. A fun mix of Mexico in the 1920s, Mayan mythology and good old fairytale. Last year I thoroughly enjoyed Moreno-Garcia’s book Mexican Gothic, and was happy when I got my hands on yet another great book from her.

The things you name do grow in power, but others that are not ever whispered claw at one’s heart anyway, rip it to shreds even if a syllable does not escape the lips.

These days when travel still restricted, it has been even more enjoyable to be whisked away to new locations with books.

The Gods of Jade and Shadow is set in 20s Mexico. We have a very Cinderella type of a start to the story: Casiopea Tun is a poor relative and is forced to work as a servant with her wealthy relatives. She dreams of going away, seeing the world and freedom. One must be careful what one wishes for: Casiopea opens a chest and frees the Mayan God of death and joins him in his quest to reclaim his throne. It is an adventure and a very traditional setting for quests that need to be completed before the climax.

Obviously the god of death is rather gorgeous. 😀 The changing relationship between a common girl and the god of death had good chemistry. But most of all this story is about Casiopea, her adventure and her growing into her real self. With the two of them we get to see different cities of Mexico, learn about Mayan mythology and meet some of the creatures involved in the quest for claiming the god of death’s throne back. And as is fit for a fairytale: there are some tough moral decisions to be made and the stakes are high. In the end it’s still all about dreams coming true. ❤

I really enjoyed the way this story was told, like a fairytale. I love fairytales and Mayan mythology is not that familiar to me so it felt very refreshing to read a fairytale in this setting. The locations are quite vividly described and you can really feel like you are there with Casiopea and death god Hun-Kamé exploring around the streets of Mexican cities. I almost wish this story was written into a series, just to be able to spend more time with the wonders of Mexico.

We visited once the Yucatan area, long before the Covid-pandemic, and that holiday seems like a dream now. Reading Gods of Jade and Shadow brought to mind that lovely vacation and the longing to travel. Perhaps we will visit again some day.

The Gods of Jade and Shadow fills these prompts from the two Reading Challenges I’m doing this year:

A fairytale book (Helmet Reading Challenge)
A book with a gem, mineral, or rock in the title (Popsugar Reading Challenge)


I love books, games and the coziness of our house (currently it's the kingdom of me and my husband). My work in a game studio as a Senior HR Specialist keeps me busy and social, but I am an introvert in my core. Navigating life between my very social work and my introvert, less social personality can be tricky and it goes hand in hand with my interest in overall personal well-being.

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