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Review: Gods of Jade and Shadow

Gods of Jade and Shadow

What did I just read?

I mean what genre is this even?

Gods of Jade and Shadow is a combination of folklore, Mayan mythology, Mexican history, a teeny tiny slice of Cinderella, Gods, demons, love … a lot!

It’s the late 1920s in a small Mexican town and Cassiopeia Tun lives a life of servitude to her cruel family until she inadvertently wakes the spirit of the God of Death. Hun-Kame was betrayed by his twin brother, with the help of Cassiopeia’s grandfather, and now Cassiopeia must venture with him to find his missing ear, finger, necklace and eye in order to become whole again and retake his throne of the Underworld.

Cassiopeia is a likeable character – with her strong spirit, her yearn for adventure and ultimately her quest for a life that is her own. She is fiercely intelligent, brave, and independent and was unlike any character I’ve ever read. I loved her story.

Hun-Kame was a great counterpart on Cassiopeia’s adventure as I always enjoy deadpan observations on human behaviour – which of course a God of Death would have regarding us odd humans.

This a dark fairytale. It wraps Mexican folklore, history and make believe in one bewildering novel. While some compare it to a Cinderella retelling, I really didn’t get that outside of the first twenty-odd pages. To me it was more gothic, dark, and foreboding. The world building is completely realized, often absurd (in a good way) and a bit psychedelic … it was, different. So very, very different.

My problem is I can’t determine if I liked that level of different, because many times I found myself confused! This could be I stalled out a bit due its slower pacing (especially the beginning), could be I struggled to pronounce many peoples/places (I huge pet peeve of mine), could be the novel itself!

Having said that it was extremely enjoyable and stands out as one of the most unique novels I’ve ever read – I enjoyed Cassiopeia as a heroine so much, I loved the dynamic between her and Hun-Kame, I adored the ending …

 If you are find yourself feeling bogged down reading the same story after story, this is definitely a palate cleanser. I won’t forget Gods of Jade and Shadow … even if I’m still a little confused here.


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