I saw Gods of Jade and Shadow on Goodreads and was captivated by the summary! Fortunately, I have since realised that it’ll be the first book in my Time Magazine’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time Reading Challenge as well!
I absolutely adored this book. It’s like a modern-day myth, where the hero, or in this case, heroine, has to undertake tasks and trials in order to prove themselves and fulfil their main quest. I love classic mythology epics and legends, and this was very much in the same vein, though set in the “jazz age”.
Casiopea is the perfect protagonist, she is strong and independent, but she still shows weakness, which makes her human and more relatable. Sometimes with fantasy-romance books, I find they can get a little cheesy, especially when love interests are concerned, even more so when the love interest is a god, or an angel, or some other mythological creature. It’s so easy to write this off as one of those sorts of stories at first glance – but it’s not. There is a romantic element to this book, but the end result was surprising, and not in a bad way. It was a refreshing change of pace for a fantasy book and I felt that although the romance was a key theme, it was still secondary to the adventure itself.
The story was really well-written and you can tell from reading the sheer amount of effort that went into researching and conveying the mythological aspects of the story. Mayan mythology is not one of my strong points, so I especially loved learning even more about it. I also liked that the setting was not simply the modern-day and that instead, the author opted for 1927 when jazz was at a high and prohibition was still very much a thing. It added an interesting new facet to the story, as sometimes a modern setting can seem a little bit bland.