Book: Jade City (Green Bone Saga 1) by Fonda Lee
Release Date: November 7th 2017
Tags: Fantasy / Adult / Urban Fantasy / Family / Mobs / Clans
Trigger Warnings: Violence / Death / Explicite Sex Scene / Mentioned Suicide / Mentioned Sexual Assault / Mentioned Self-Harm / Drug Use
Jade is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. It has been mined, traded, stolen, and killed for — and for centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their magical abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion.
Now, the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon’s bustling capital city. They care about nothing but protecting their own, cornering the jade market, and defending the districts under their protection. Ancient tradition has little place in this rapidly changing nation.
When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone — even foreigners — wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones — from their grandest patriarch to the lowliest motorcycle runner on the streets — and of Kekon itself.
Jade City is one of those books that kept popping up on my radar. I bought it but then heard it was more of a mob story and that made me a bit iffy. I shouldn’t have worried. When I finally did pick it up, I fell in love.
You see Jade City isn’t about the mobs. It is about the characters. This is a character driven novel with intense family and character interactions. There have been so many feels here for me. For Lan, the leader who is trying to be the voice of reason. Hilo who has an itch towards violence who gets thrown in a situation where he can’t use that. Shae who returns back to the city and is trying to find her own way outside of the family. And Anden who is so focused on graduating so he can help the family. There are so many little lines and undercurrents in these interactions that was just amazing to see. The character development was also amazing.
“Sometimes even the most loyal and devoted men make mistakes when they’re forced to make decisions under terrible circumstances.”
I fell so hard for these characters that I could have cared less about the mob side of things. However I think Fonda Lee masterly managed this part too. It builds up, gives us time to get attached to the characters and then bam. The storm starts and it doesn’t quite let up until the very end.
The idea of Jade, the fantasy element to this story, was an interesting addition that set the differences between the normal people and the green bones, as Jade carriers are called, very stark. Yet I felt Jade wasn’t a huge part of the story. It was just an element of the story. Something that was a part of the world of this novel. And I think that was the strength of this novels world building with all the parts. Everything made sense and felt like it fitted in with everything.
All in all this review does not do justice to this book so just pick it up and give it a chance!