Gods of Jade and Shadow

Gods of Jade and Shadow

In the opening passages of the novel, Gods of Jade and Shadow, I was a bit put off by the heroine’s position, but it took a few pages, chapters even, to realize the story is set in Mexico, around a hundred years in the past. Females were treated like that.

I didn’t say it was right; just an observation about the historicity of the novel’s presumptive frame.

Next point? I am notoriously weak on my Meso-American mythology and indigenous religions, the pyramids and temples in the Yucatán, and the related religions. However, as magical realism? This works. The gods walk amongst us.

The personification of the twin gods of the Mayan underworld, along with the skills those gods have, strange combination.

But what of the old gods?

“Mortals believe gods to be omnipotent and ever-knowing. The truth is more slippery; their limitations are multiple, kaleidoscopic, and idiosyncratic. Gods cannot rudely move mortals like one moves a piece across a game board. To obtain what they wish gods may utilize messengers, they may threaten, they may flatter, and they may reward.” Page 167.

I’d suggest, yes, works like that, based on my own observations.

There is a point in the story when the tale passes through El Paso. Myth, magic, and a land awash in sorrow, my old, mythic second home. Less about the novel and more about the sadness that comes, and it seems, only fitting, through more modern haruspices, first Ciudad Juarez and then El Paso proper, in more recent times. But all mythology, while an immortal reflection of humanity?

“The nature of hate is mysterious. It can gnaw at the heart for an eon, then depart when one expected it to remain as immobile as a mountain. But even mountains erode.” Page 364.

Fiction, unlike life, has to make sense.

As a writer, it is almost impossible for me to maintain metaphor for a sustained time. What an excellent novel.

Gods of Jade and Shadow

Gods of Jade and Shadow

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