Gods of Jade and Shadow - Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This is one of those books which has been on my TBR list for a while and recently went on sale, so I snapped it up - I'd previously read another book by the same author (Certain Dark Things) which meant that I knew there was a reasonable chance I'd enjoy this one as well. 

 

Gods of Jade and Shadow is set in the 1920's but for our protagonist, Casiopeia, her life in small town Mexico is anything but full of the excitement of the Jazz Age. Instead she's stuck working as an unpaid servant for a family who begrudge her very existence, with both self-important cousin Martín and belligerent grandfather Cirillo demanding her attention and obedience. Casiopeia's life is about to take a turn for the strange, however, when she opens a metal chest in her grandfather's room and discovers a set of bones inside - the bones of one of the gods of Xibalba, who promises Casiopeia her heart's desire (if she can ever figure out what that is) if she'll help him regain his throne. 

 

Meanwhile, Cirillo's wealth and status has come about because of his deal with the god's twin and Casiopeia's cousin is recruited to stop her. Through a series of journeys with the now-resurrected god Hun-Kamé, she starts to experience all the things she'd wanted to try and expands her horizons greatly - it's her own stubborn nature that will help Casiopeia make it through to the end of the story, as Hun-Kamé regains the parts of himself that make it possible for him to rule Xibalba and also struggles with becoming more human. 

 

Another entertaining novel from this writer, with a lot of interesting world-building - I'm not particularly familiar with the mythos of this region, having heard of some of the characters who appear here but not really knowing much about them. For once, I also quite liked the open-ended nature of the way the story finishes, with Casiopeia still trying to figure out what she wants but now having both the means and opportunity to obtain it, once she decides what it is.