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Monday, October 30, 2023

Book Review: Jade Shards (The Green Bone Saga, #0.75) by Fonda Lee

BOOK review
Started on: 14 September 2023
Finished on: 21 September 2023
Title: Jade Shards (The Green Bone Saga, #0.75)
Author: Fonda Lee
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Pages: 136 pages / 106 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2023
Price: $5.99 (

Rating: 4/5
In this book, Fonda Lee returns with four prequel short stories that dive into some of the personal histories of the Kaul and Ayt families. The first one tells the story of Ayt Mada before she became the ruthless leader of the Mountain clan, befriending Aun Ure—a renowned assassin who yearns for a simpler life. There's also the story of Kaul Lan as he challenged his grandfather to help a boy who had lost everything. The third story is about Kaul Hilo and Maik Wen, the son of a top Green Bone clan in love with a stone-eye girl from a disreputable family. Lastly, we glimpsed at Kaul Shae's life before she left and returned to Kekon, when she became a secret informer to a foreign country.
The Green Bone Saga was my favorite read last year. It's also one of my favorite series of all time. That's why when Fonda Lee announced the publication of Jade Shards, I was so excited to be reunited with the characters from the series. As mentioned in the synopsis, there are 4 prequel short stories in this book focusing on the personal history of Ayt Mada, Kaul Lan, Anden, Kaul Hilo, Wen, and Shae. It's truly fascinating to have a glimpse at their lives before all the drama that happened in the trilogy. Even though these four stories take place before the events of Jade City, Fonda Lee said in the introduction that they are best enjoyed after reading at least Jade City if not the complete trilogy. I think it's because the world-building and magic system is not explained thoroughly in these prequel short stories—which can cause confusion for readers who haven't read the trilogy yet.
"It doesn't matter who you were before," she said encouragingly. "It doesn't matter that you're a girl, or an orphan, or that you're not from Janloon. As long as you have jade and can use it, you can do anything."
Among the four short stories, my favorite is Better Than Jade and Granddaughter Cormorant. Better Than Jade centers on Kaul Hilo and Wen at the beginning of their relationship. Reading this story tugged at my heartstrings as I remember what they went through in The Green Bone Saga trilogy. I have always found their love story intriguing because of their different social status and how they stayed together against all odds. It warms my heart to see them going on their first date and how they tried their best to make the relationship work. Besides that, it's also nice to see the Maik brothers again who have been incredibly loyal to Kaul Hilo and the No Peak clan.
"I was only thinking of how strong I'll have to become, to be with you forever."
"Someday, Shae promised herself sourly, people would call her by her own name instead of recognizing her in relation to men of her family. One day, they would address her properly as Kaul-jen, as they did her brothers."
Granddaughter Cormorant is the most plot-heavy among all the short stories; it's about Kaul Shae's life before the events in Jade City. I enjoyed this one because the other three short stories don't really have a concrete plot to them. So, this one felt more exciting and action-packed compared to the other stories. In this prequel, we can clearly see that Shae is the favored granddaughter of the Kaul family—but she had a forbidden relationship with a foreign soldier and became a paid informer for the Republic of Espenia. This story is the reason behind Shae's absence at the start of Jade City and it's interesting to see Shae's life before she became the Weather Man of the No Peak clan.

When I started reading Jade Shards, I was delighted to be back in this world and witness the background stories of some of the characters. However, it is time to say goodbye because Fonda Lee announced this will be the last book written in The Green Bone Saga world. Although it's bittersweet to be parting with all the amazing characters that Fonda Lee has created, I'm looking forward to the stories that she will write next. I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it because her writing style is impeccable. 👏

by.stefaniesugia♥ .

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