Gods of Jade and Shadow
Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Del Rey, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-0-525-62075-4
Moreno-Garcia (The Beautiful Ones) crafts a magical novel of duality, tradition, and change, set in the late 1920s as Mexico transitions from its post-Revolution period to the Jazz Age. Casiopea Tun leads a constrained life in her grandfather’s household in a small town, barely daring to dream of more. Such dreams are quickly snuffed by both her grandfather and her spoiled, narcissistic yet self-deprecating cousin, Martín Levya. A minor act of rebellion, opening her grandfather’s secret chest, releases the injured and imprisoned Mayan death god, Hun-Kamé, Supreme Lord of Xibalba, and inexorably binds her to his quest to regain his underworld throne. Hun-Kamé’s bond to Casiopea infects him in return with vestiges of mortality—a circumstance his ambitious twin, Vucub-Kamé, plots to use to his advantage, assisted by a somewhat reluctant Martín. Moreno-Garcia’s seamless blend of mythology and history provides a ripe setting for Casiopea’s stellar journey of self-discovery, which culminates in a dramatic denouement. Readers will gladly immerse themselves in Moreno-Garcia’s rich and complex tale of desperate hopes and complicated relationships. Agent: Eddie Schneider, JABberwocky Literary. (Aug.)
Correction: An earlier version of this review misspelled the character Vucub-Kamé's name.
Reviewed on: 03/13/2019
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-525-62077-8