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JADE CITY by Fonda Lee

JADE CITY is a gripping Godfather-esque saga of intergenerational blood feuds, vicious politics, magic, and kungfu.

The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It’s the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities. 

The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion–but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection.

When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself. 

Title : Jade City
Author : Fonda Lee
Series : Green Bone Saga (book one)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 560
Genre : fantasy
Publisher : Orbit
Release Date : November 7, 2017

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ .5

Hollis’ 3.5 star review

I’d just like to start out by saying that this ARC has been hanging over my head, haunting me, since 2017. I a l w a y s read my ARCs. But this one was due around the time of an epic slump and once I crawled out of it I was intimidated by both the page count and of starting a new, unfinished, complicated series. Eventually I just told myself I would wait until the series ended. And here we are.

This has been a long time coming. Was it worth the wait? Well, it wasn’t not worth the wait. If that makes sense.

Listen, you’ve probably heard all you need to know about this series. You’ve either picked it up already or determined it’s not for you. You are aware it’s an Asian-inspired fantasy about multigenerational feuding clans, pitched as comparable to The Godfather, with magical jade. And yes, it’s literally all of that. I actually have nothing more to add, really.

The stand-out here is the writing. I’ve read Lee before and while it was ages ago this still feels like a step apart. It’s well done. The complexities of the world, the history of it’s people, the politics, the families, it’s all well done. For all that it required some brainpower, and the page length was long, I found it very easy to not only stay engaged but it was hard to put this down. But did I like it? I don’t know. I definitely didn’t dislike it. And again I’m in awe of what the author crafted together. I also did like the characters in the sense that I was interested in them as opposed to, like, enjoying them.

Yeah, this is a tough one to explain.

Maybe it’s easier to say that for all that I was pulled into the story, I wasn’t invested. But maybe that’ll change. Book two has the word “war” in the title and let me tell you that there was a lot of war in book one. So I think (no, I know) the stakes are going to be much higher in the coming instalment. All in all I’m curious to see where things go and do hope that somewhere along the line I get emotionally invested in the characters.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

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