Blogmas Book Review: Jade City by Fonda Lee

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.

Book Cover

Wow, I am so glad I finally read this book. I don’t think I can actually tell you about what happened in this book, but to keep it short and sweet, I’ll try. This is a book about family and loyalty. It’s about politics and culture. It’s also a book about magic.
The world building was excellent. I felt like I knew what was going on and I understood it. It was a complex world, with lots of different pieces that make up the whole, but it was well explained and easy to understand without just dumping the information on the reader. The magic was also incredibly interesting. The magic in this story comes from Jade but only very few people, called Green Bones, can use it successfully. For most others, it will make them incredibly sick, and a rare few people that it doesn’t have any effect on at all. I thought the ways that this magic was used were fascinating. I loved seeing it incorporated into the fighting scenes and the training. I can’t wait to see more of it later in the series.
The characters were equally as interesting as the world and the magic. We mostly follow three siblings, Lan, Hilo, and Shae. Shae was my favorite. I was just waiting for her to come back into the family operation, but I definitely didn’t predict it happening the way it did. I loved that Hilo was all fire and Lan was mostly calm. The balance between the two brothers was a really great dynamic. I thought the familial aspects of the story were really interesting because we got to see all sides of it with how the story was told. I also really enjoyed most of the supporting character, except for Bero. Someone please just kill him already?
The politics of this world were the main focus of the story, I think. The biggest conflict in the story is that the two strongest clans are on the brink of war. But we learn a lot about how the clans interact and try to effect the local government. How they run their operations and how they plot against one another. It was this part of the story that made the book feel like it had a slow start. Mostly because compared to the end, where we get to see all the magical fighting, it was a slow start. But it was just a build-up, before things completely exploded and chaos took over.
Overall, I had a great time with this book. The world was intricate and still easy to understand. The characters were flawed but compelling. I definitely understand why so many people love this series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.


One thought on “Blogmas Book Review: Jade City by Fonda Lee

  1. Pingback: Amanda’s 2022 Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Recommendations |

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