Book Review | Gods of Jade and Shadow

I’ve been looking for some great diverse historical fiction – because it truly is one of my favorite things to read – and was so excited when I came across Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Gods of Jade and Shadow. This book combines so many of my favorite things, and I was a little worried it might not live up to my high expectations. But I shouldn’t have been, because this book is exactly what I wanted and more.

(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)


I love historical fiction, especially when it’s set in the 1920s. And I love any kind of mythology. Combine the two, and we’re well on our way to a book that I absolutely love. Which is exactly what I got with Gods of Jade and Shadow. This book is just fantastic. It absolutely blew me away, and I loved it. The Jazz Age is easily one of my favorite all time eras to read about. It’s just so fun, and I really enjoyed what it added to this novel. But the highlight of this novel, for me, was definitely the Mayan mythology.

Going into this book, I didn’t know much about Mayan mythology that I didn’t learn from The Road to El Dorado. Which I’m sure is totally accurate (not). But I really, really loved reading about it. Moreno-Garcia paints such a vivd picture that I felt as if I was walking through this story, and not just reading it. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had such a visceral reaction to a book, but Gods of Jade and Shadow did it. I was almost vibrating with the energy I got from reading this book. I know saying “I couldn’t put it down” is kind of a cliché, but I honestly felt a strange magnetic pull to this book. The writing pulled me in – it felt magical in the way that Erin Morgenstern’s or Neil Gaiman’s writing feels. Which is my favorite kind.

Not only are the setting and mythological element fantastic, the characters and story are, too. I don’t know what to say other than I loved everything about this book. Casiopea is such a great heroine; it was extremely hard not to be immediately invested in her story. It was just so, so good. I’m hesitant to say much more because I really loved going into this book and discovering the story along the way. I wouldn’t want to ruin it for any of you. But trust me when I say this book is incredible, and you should definitely read it.


★★★★★ – I loved Gods of Jade and Shadow. It’s already one of my favorite books of the year. I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoyed Naomi Novik’s Uprooted or Spinning Silver.

This book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

12 thoughts

  1. I have seen a lot of positive reviews about this book, and I would love to read some more culturally diverse books! It was already on my list but your review has made me want to read it all the more! xo

  2. Ok I am a few chapters in and I’m not into it yet – I’m struggling because it’s a bit choppy and I feel like the story is very surface-level so far. Apparently though, it’s worth pushing through. I’ll keep trying after reading this review!

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