Star rating: 5/5 stars
Synopsis: via Goodreads– “The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.
Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.
In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.”
General information: It was published in 2019 by Del Rey, an imprint of Random House.
Favorite quote: “Words are seeds, Casiopea. With words you embroider narratives, and the narratives breed myths, and there’s power in the myth. Yes, the things you name have power.”
Wow. Just, wow. I could barely put this book down! It read like a fairy tale in the best possible way.
As far as characters go, Casiopea is amazing. She’s such a strong main character with a very vivid personality. Vucub-Kame is an amazing antagonist. I even felt for Martin, Casiopea’s cruel cousin, by the end. I love how much agency Casiopea has- even though she’s a mortal caught up in a fight between gods, she still finds a way to leave her mark on the story.
The prose was beautiful, I love Moreno-Garcia’s style. I might even have to pick up a copy of Mexican Gothic, her newest book, next time I’m at the bookstore. I loved the inclusion of Mayan myth, something I’m not very familiar with, but it was worked into the story very well.
My only problem was the ending. I wanted more! I said that about The Starless Sea too, but at the end of this book, I felt both a little unsatisfied and emotional at the same time. In the best possible way, of course. Everything was resolved beautifully, though, so overall I can’t complain.
If you haven’t read this book already, please do! It’s well worth the read.
Thanks for reading! Now go pick up a book.