JADE LEGACY by Fonda Lee

Jade, the mysterious and magical substance once exclusive to the Green Bone warriors of Kekon, is now known and coveted throughout the world. Everyone wants access to the supernatural abilities it provides, from traditional forces such as governments, mercenaries, and criminal kingpins, to modern players, including doctors, athletes, and movie studios. As the struggle over the control of jade grows ever larger and more deadly, the Kaul family, and the ancient ways of the Kekonese Green Bones, will never be the same.

The Kauls have been battered by war and tragedy. They are plagued by resentments and old wounds as their adversaries are on the ascent and their country is riven by dangerous factions and foreign interference that could destroy the Green Bone way of life altogether. As a new generation arises, the clan’s growing empire is in danger of coming apart.

The clan must discern allies from enemies, set aside aside bloody rivalries, and make terrible sacrifices… but even the unbreakable bonds of blood and loyalty may not be enough to ensure the survival of the Green Bone clans and the nation they are sworn to protect.


Title : Jade Legacy
Author : Fonda Lee
Series : Green Bone Saga (book three)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 713
Genre : fantasy
Publisher : Orbit
Release Date : November 30, 2021

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ .5


Hollis’ 3.5 star review

I think, in some ways, this might have been my favourite of the series. Mostly because it made me cry (twice!) but also because even though it’s the longest, and a bit drawn out at times, and it was sometimes hard to gauge the fact that the story spanned two decades, I did really appreciate certain characters the most in this instalment.

This book, Jade Legacy, might have been the most aptly titled and I think was a perfect name for the finale. This series was about many things but the legacy of this family, of the clans, of Kekon, was what it was all about.

Hilo, the man who eventually became the Kaul patriarch and leader of the No Peak clan, was a character I liked right from book one. But his journey over the course of the series was so interesting because in many ways he did not change. But there were subtle differences, as he aged, as he had a family to think of, as he saddled the weight of years of losses, that showed his progression as a person despite all the other factors at play. Shae, Hilo’s sister and right hand man, was a character I was always a bit perplexed about. She was so strong and independent, and rarely swayed by her brother and often outright challenging him when she shouldn’t, and I don’t think I ever liked her. But I absolutely appreciated her role and how she made space for Wen, Hilo’s wife, who could not be a Green Bone. The two shouldn’t be compared but I loved how their strengths came out to play in different ways and despite those differences they were both forces to be reckoned with. Anden, the aforementioned characters’ nephew, was another favourite — mostly. I loved that Lee put him on the journey she did because it was not remotely what was expected of him and where he ended up was so different from where he began. But it was very needed. I think his particular path, and POV, was maybe one of the most lackluster in a lot of ways but he was still integral.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

With a series that spanned over twenty years, with the amount of POVs we got, there’s no way to touch on everything. At the same time I do think, as characters grew older, and more were introduced, it was harder for those new faces to make as much of an impact. There was definitely some overshadowing. But I think maybe that was also intentional? And it’s also how it sometimes feels, growing up in the shadow of legends, being part of a new and more modern, or sometimes just different, generation. Nothing stays the same forever and that was beautifully touched on, too. Having said that, the plotting was plodding sometimes and the action occasionally felt really spaced out because of how much time the story spanned, but when it was good? It was good. When it hurt, it hurt. Lee pulled no punches even if the wind up could take hundreds of pages.

Strangely, considering I do think I enjoyed this most, this was also the one I had to push myself to get through as I did find myself frequently pulled out or distracted and I put it down a lot. But it also made me cry so maybe that’s a fair trade off. I’m sure there are things that, if I were more invested, or if I were to reread (which I don’t think I ever will), I might feel didn’t get explained as well, or weren’t resolved to enough satisfaction, but as it is? I am satisfied.

This was an immensely ambitious project with so many moving parts, so much history, and Lee gets massive amounts of credit for that. I had read her before and enjoyed her and after having read this series, even though it’s far from a favourite, I will definitely pick her up again.

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

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