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Monday, July 25, 2022

Book Review: Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga, #3) by Fonda Lee

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BOOK review
Started on: 30 June 2022
Finished on: 17 July 2022
 
 
Title: Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga, #3)
Author: Fonda Lee
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 713 pages / 640 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2021
Price: Rp 213,000 (https://www.periplus.com/)

Rating: 5/5
*for those who haven't read the first book, this review may contain spoiler.
Review for Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1) by Fonda Lee here.
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"Jade is said to be a gift from Heaven, but it's a curse from hell and its demons. All over the world, people use it for evil." 
Jade, a 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 governments, mercenaries, criminals, doctors, athletes, and even movie studios. As the struggle over the control of jade grows larger, the ancient ways of the Kekonese Green Bones will never be the same. As a new rebellion arises, the clan's growing empire is in danger of coming apart. The clan is forced to discern allies from enemies, set aside bloody rivalries, and make terrible sacrifices. However, 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.
"No one was guaranteed anything—not them, not their enemies."
"The clans had fought each other for years. Yet it was a different enemy who had struck today, intent on destroying all the Green Bone clans at once."
I've read quite a few trilogies in the past and most of them always started out strong in the first book but failed to give the satisfying end that I hoped for in the final installment. That's why I tried not to set my expectations to high as I started reading Jade Legacy, even though the previous two books in this series was utterly amazing and beyond what I had anticipated in the beginning. Fortunately, my concerns are groundless because Fonda Lee successfully wrapped up this trilogy well and gave The Green Bone Saga the grand ending that it truly deserves 👏. Even though Jade Legacy is longer than the previous book, I was able to finish it faster since it's such a page-turner and I was constantly eager to know what's going to happen next. As I predicted in my review for the sequel, more people died in this book—which is heartbreaking, but I guess it's an inevitable part of war 😢. *Hint: I cried.

The most amazing thing about this book is the timeline that spans over two decades with time skips in between. I'm in awe at how Fonda Lee managed to efficiently highlight all the important events that happened within those years without making it feel rushed, increasing the stakes and tension as the story progressed towards the final showdown. We literally saw Anden grew up into an adult who found his life's purpose. The Kaul children were babies in the previous book and now they're going to college. I think witnessing the characters' growth made me feel even more attached and emotionally invested in them, as if they're real people who I know personally. So many things happened in this book: the uprising of the Clanless Future Movement and their plan to bring down all the Green Bone clans, the Mountain's secret deal that made me anxious, and then there's me constantly wondering how No Peak is going to handle all of these crazy situations. Jade Legacy is literally a roller-coaster ride full of ups and downs that kept surprising me in ways that I could never imagine. It was heart-warming at one point and then suddenly heart-rending not long after. Even until the very end when I thought we're past the climax, the author still gave a final twist that shook me to the core 😵. I was able to finally breathe a sigh of relief when I reached the last page. It was no doubt a bittersweet ending, but I think it was the perfect way to close this incredible saga.
"The big clans were getting bigger. We're still two tigers, Shae thought grimly, eating all we can before we have to face each other again."
"You'd think it would be easier to face death as you get older, but it doesn't work that way. You get more attached to life, to people you love and things that are worth living for."
Now it's time to discuss my thoughts and feelings about some of the plot points in the book that made my jaw drop. The first one is the Clanless' grand plan. Of course I won't reveal what exactly happened because it will totally ruin the fun for those of you who haven't read it yet. But I can safely say that this part of the story almost stopped my heart completely out of shock. The scene was truly epic and full of emotional turmoil. I feel the dilemma that the characters are facing, whether to save someone's life or end it for the sake of the clan. I'm stressed about it as if I was the one who had to make the decision when I'm just an audience reading a fictional story 😂. The turn of events is so abrupt and unexpected, it all happened so fast without giving me time to process my emotions. My heart is pounding really hard as I'm waiting with dread to know whether the characters survived or not. I genuinely felt what the characters are feeling and want to applaud Fonda Lee for being able to do that so well 👏.

Another extremely gripping moment in this book when the characters suddenly got ambushed and abducted. Imagining the torture and the pain that they had to go through made my screen crawl because it was so cruel 😢. The rescue mission was heart-pounding and so much fun to read—the Fist who uses his superb Perception skill was definitely the MVP here. On top of that, I was astonished when a character was willing to set pride aside and asked for help from the enemy. I've watched a scene similar to this one in a k-drama and it gave me goosebumps because it shows how far a person is willing to go for the people they love 🥺. The final 'battle' is no less intense either since everything that we've read from the first book is building up towards this climax. I love seeing all of the characters play their role in the grand scheme and I read with anticipation to see who will prevail in the end. Regardless of the outcome, both No Peak and Mountain clan has certainly lost a lot during the war. That's why I'm at peace with the way Fonda Lee concluded this trilogy and end the war once and for all. It enabled me to close this book feeling hopeful despite enduring the scars and heartbreak that was experienced throughout the series.
"When something has to be done, there's always a way to do it."
"At times, when faced with difficult decisions, he would think back to the duel that had dramatically earned him his jade and reputation, and he would remind himself that sometimes the most obvious solution required only the willingness to take the most unreasonable of actions."
I kept saying how much I appreciate the characterizations in this series and I will say it again. Aside from the well-thought-out storyline, I personally think that the characters is the best part of The Green Bone Saga. It's amazing how Fonda Lee managed to introduce so many different characters and yet each of them feels unique and distinct from one another. Not only the main characters like the Kaul family or Ayt Mada, but the side characters who only had minor appearances also left an impression on me. All of them had their own personalities and had to face the consequences of their decisions—which ultimately affect the story as a whole. Through these characters, we got to witness the beauty of relationships: the gradual reconciliation between Hilo and Wen after the incident in Jade War, Shae's love life which can be frustrating to read but I'm still rooting for her to be happy, loyalty, friendships, and even the complicated relationship between parents and their children. It just shows how relationships can be messy yet extremely rewarding at the same time ❤️.
 
One of the characters that went through a lot of development is Niko, the oldest son in the Kaul family who is expected to become the next Pillar of No Peak after Hilo retires. Under the pressure and scrutiny coming from all around him, Niko decided to rebel against his parents' will. I love how the focus on Niko's character is like its' own coming-of-age story—seeing his character evolves as he goes through various things, realizing the harsh truth of the world that wasn't anything like he initially imagined. Ru, on the other hand, has a different kind of struggle because he's a Kaul but he's a stone-eye—a trait he inherited from his mother. Despite his flaw, Ru carries himself well and is naturally good with people. I absolutely adore his personality and courage even though he doesn't possess any jade ability. There are many more characters that I'd like to talk about but I'll stop here before this review gets to long and I end up spoiling everything. As I said earlier, more people died in this book, but of course I'm not going to reveal who. I can only say that the deaths in this book came as a huge shock and left me feeling devastated. As the characters grieved over those who died, I cried together with them 😭.

"Every week, I ask the gods for their understanding and forgiveness. And yet, when I walk out of the temple, I still have to make decisions that might stack up even more against me. I'm not sure there's any other way to be a leader in a Green Bone clan."
"No one is destined to become like their parents. In fact, we can learn from their mistakes and be less likely to repeat them."
To be honest, I'm running out of words to express just how good this series is. The Green Bone Saga is definitely one of my favorite trilogies of all time and Fonda Lee is officially one of my favorite authors now. The way she masterfully craft the story and the numerous characters is indeed praiseworthy—worthy of a standing ovation if it was a performance. I was completely immersed in the world that the author skillfully built, emotionally invested in all the characters, and the plot successfully kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish because I never know where the story's going to turn next. I'm glad I decided to start reading this series, but I'm also sad now that it's over. I would've regretted not reading this incredible saga at least once in my life. I truly hope that Fonda Lee will continue writing more books in the future because I'm looking forward to what astonishing story she's going to present us next 🥰.
"The clan is my blood, and the Pillar is its master. On my honor, my life, and my jade."

by.stefaniesugia♥ .
 

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