Gods of Jade and Shadow
by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Del Rey, 2019
Adult Historical Fantasy
8 cups of tea out of 11
Summary: After her father’s death, Casiopea’s mother returns with her to her father’s house where they are treated like servants. When Casiopea opens a box in her grandfather’s room, accidentally freeing a god of death, her life is changed forever as they go on a journey to retrieve his missing pieces.
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 (49).
Likes: The sensory detail and imagery is fabulous. I felt like I was in the Jazz Age plus I felt like I was in each of the places they went to on their journey because they were distinctly described. It did take me a little while to get used to Casiopea. She has anger and resentment because of their situation in the beginning but there is lot to sympathize with. And as the story goes her stubbornness is an asset as they move forward on the journey. The lore and myth woven throughout also gives this book a mythic quality, makes everything feel connected, and adds to the settings. I also liked the ending. It’s what the characters needed in the end. Hun-Kamé, the one imprisoned, is also an interesting study, especially what happens to him as the story progresses.
Dislikes: All the detail did make this a slower read than I anticipated.
Overall I’m just really glad this book exists and that I read it. I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it before. I do recommend Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly and The Diviners by Libba Bray if you’re looking for more fantasy inspired by the Jazz Age. I’m also reminded of books by Jacqueline Carey because gods and goddesses play a role in her plots.