Gods of Jade and Shadow is a book where fairy tales and myths collide. The book begins in a 1920’s version of “Cinderella,” but in Mexico. Casiopea is a poor cousin of the richest family in their town, and she is given the role of maidservant while her mother is the cook. Casiopea does as she’s told, but not necessarily as subserviently as her cousin Martín would wish. One day while the family is away, she gets a chance to open up the forbidden chest in her grandfather’s room, hoping to find valuables. She’s disappointed to find only old bones (gross) but oops, it’s really a Myan Death God! And her life is tied to him via a shard of bone she got stuck in her hand! So the two set off on a journey to get all of his missing bits back and to restore his throne.
Something about the way this is written seems different to me. It’s either that English is not the author’s first language, or she’s trying to go for a more fairy tale/fable/myth feel. The language feels stilted to me for some reason, and I can’t point to any one phrase or page that specifically shows it. But it does capture the feel of a myth, so it works. Casiopea comes off as a little naїve, but she’s willing to change that. She was fairly sheltered up until this point, but she’s not stupid. She’s also not infallible, and she makes mistakes.
Also, Casiopea is named for the constellation, so why is it spelled with only one “s”? Why?!? It pains me to see it like that.
If Gods of Jade and Shadow took place in 2020:
Casiopea: “Okay, Death God wants me to go on a crazy adventure or I’ll die. You know what? F*ck it, let’s go. At this point, the world is crazy and nothing surprises me anymore. You’ll just have to wear a mask. Why? There’s a world-wide pandemic out there! I don’t care if you can’t get diseases, it’s to protect other people. And I don’t want people getting pissed at us because you aren’t wearing one. Oh, you’re missing an ear… no problem! We’ll either get a mask that ties behind your head, or we can just stick a pop socket where your ear was. It works, I saw it on a Tik Tok!”
This fulfills the 2020 Bingo square of “The Roaring 20’s” because it takes place during the 1920’s!