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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Book Review: Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1) by Fonda Lee

BOOK review
Started on: 20 May 2022
Finished on: 7 June 2022
Title: Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1)
Author: Fonda Lee
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 560 pages / 612 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2017
Price: Rp 205,000 (

Rating: 5/5
"He felt no pain at all, only a wild, fierce invincibility. This was the power of jade."
The Kaul Family leads the No Peak clan, one of biggest 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 jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion—but nowadays, they are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection. When the simmering tension between No Peak clan and their greatest rival 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.
"That was what these thieves didn't understand—jade alone didn't make you a Green Bone. Blood and training and clan made you a jade warrior; that's how it had always been."
"Jade amplifies what you have inside you. What you intend... Without intention, no amount of jade will make you powerful."
I heard about The Green Bone Saga since a few years ago and I finally decided to read it now that all three books has been published. It's been quite some time since I last read a fantasy series, so I was really excited to dive into a fictional world in which I could immerse myself in. On the other hand, the hype surrounding this trilogy made me question whether I will end up loving this book as much as other people did; because sometimes having high expectations can lead to disappointments. Thankfully, now that I've finished reading, I can safely say that this book didn't disappoint and I understand why a lot of people loved it. To be honest, I had to take a lot of notes as I started reading because there was so much information to take in right from the very first page: a lot characters' names, unfamiliar clan terms, and also the worldbuilding. I referred to my notes a few times to remind myself of the hierarchy of a Green Bone clan and made a list in my head of all the main characters—because there are quite a lot and their unique names can be difficult to remember. At a certain point, I didn't need my notes anymore because I'm completely immersed in the story and this world of Green Bones.

Jade City is written in third-person point of view, which allows the reader to know some things that the characters may not discover yet. In the first-half the book, the author laid the foundation of the whole story: the Green Bone clans who are each other's greatest rivals, introducing the family and clan members, the importance of jade in this society, and the war that is rising between the opposing clans. I truly admire how Fonda Lee is able to string together a series of events that slowly builds on the conflict and increase the tension of the whole story as it reaches its climax. As I was reading, I feel my heart race with anticipation and worry about what will happen to the characters. I was so emotionally invested in these characters that I ended up thinking about them even when I wasn't reading 😆. I can't say much about the plot without spoiling everything, but I guess I can tell you that the death(s) in this book came as a huge shock to me because it was so sudden and unexpected. My jaw literally dropped when it happened 😵; never imagined that the story will turn in that direction. It's amazing though, I love getting surprised by books like this. I thoroughly enjoyed the thrill 😆.
"We're different. We're Kekonese. We're Green Bones. Never forget that."
"But let our enemies know this: No Peak defends and avenges our own. You wrong any of us, you wrong us all. You seek to war with us, and we will return it a hundredfold. No one will take from us what is ours!"
One of the best part about Jade City is its amazing set of characters. Each one has a distinct personality, with their personal strengths and weaknesses that makes me root for them in a different way. I love how all the characters feel so real and relatable, that's why it wasn't so hard for me to be emotionally invested in them. Since they're all so well-written, I had a difficult time choosing my favorite character in this book. I personally think Emery Anden (Andy) is the most interesting one so far because he has  a pretty dark history which makes his relationship with jade a little bit more complicated. Due to his high jade sensitivity, it means that Anden might have stronger ability in wielding jade or have a lethal propensity to experiencing the Itches like his mother. Kaul Hilo, the Horn of No Peak clan, is also my favorite because his role has the most action-packed scenes since he's in charge of the streets. I love his charismatic personality and the way he leads his subordinates. The relationship between the Kaul siblings is worth highlighting as well because of how different they all are and how they'd like to deal with conflicts. They're forced to work through their differences and disagreements to achieve the greater goal that they all want. Aside from that, Fonda Lee also writes this characters in such a way that made me continuously suspicious of everyone 😅. Or is it just me and my trust issues? 🤣 Because I feel like a betrayal is going to happen during the clan war.
In terms of plot, the story focuses a lot on the clan war between No Peak and Mountain clan. Tension continues to build between these two rivals through a series of events that will end up affecting the whole city. There's also political conflict which involves the issue of "shine" (SN1) production and sales—a drug that will allow people to have jade tolerance. I especially love the scenes when there's a battle between Green Bones and they display various abilities such as Strength, Steel, Perception, Lightness, Deflection, and Channeling—the six disciplines that needs intense training for those who wears jade. Fonda Lee describes this fighting scenes so well that I can imagine them in my mind like I was watching them on screen. There's an epic battle towards the end and it definitely gave me goosebumps as I was reading. The magic system and the worldbuilding in this book is just exceptional!😍
"You're graduating into a war, Anden. You have to be ready for what it means to be a Kaul, or you won't survive."
"People were people. The power of jade didn't make them better or closer to godliness; it just made them more powerful."
Overall, Jade City managed to live up to my expectations and is definitely worth the hype. This is my first time reading a book written by Fonda Lee and I immediately fell in love with her writing style. I am both excited and anxious at the same time to start reading the second book of The Green Bone Saga, because I know things are going to get even more intense and there will probably be more deaths in the near future. I have no idea what's going to happen in the next book but I am more than happy to be surprised by what the author has to offer. I'm glad I decided to jump into this incredible trilogy; and if you're also a fan of fantasy books, I suggest you to try reading this one for yourself 😉.
"I know you don't think I can do this, but you didn't leave me any choice, did you? So I'm going to prove you wrong. I won't let it happen; I won't let No Peak fall. If there's an afterlife, when you see me again, you tell me if I kept the oaths I made to you."
"We can win every battle on the streets and still lose the clan if you don't realize that the war is bigger than you think."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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