In Jade War, the sequel to the World Fantasy Award-winning novel Jade City, the Kaul siblings battle rival clans for honor and control over an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis.
On the island of Kekon, the Kaul family is locked in a violent feud for control of the capital city and the supply of magical jade that endows trained Green Bone warriors with supernatural powers they alone have possessed for hundreds of years.
Beyond Kekon’s borders, war is brewing. Powerful foreign governments and mercenary criminal kingpins alike turn their eyes on the island nation. Jade, Kekon’s most prized resource, could make them rich – or give them the edge they’d need to topple their rivals.
Faced with threats on all sides, the Kaul family is forced to form new and dangerous alliances, confront enemies in the darkest streets and the tallest office towers, and put honor aside in order to do whatever it takes to ensure their own survival – and that of all the Green Bones of Kekon.
Jade War is the second book of the Green Bone Saga, an epic trilogy about family, honor, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of blood and jade.
Representation: Asian author, Asian-inspired worldbuilding, gay MC, M/M relationship, bi/pan secondary character (love interest), diaspora (Kekonese-Espenian)
Content warnings: (click to show)
graphic violence, blood, gore, on-page self-mutilation (cutting off ear), on-page murder, on-page suicide, mentioned rape, racist slurs (for fictional ethnicities), societal queerphobia & ableism, unplanned pregnancy & abortion, possibly-dubious consent, explicit sexual content
I received a copy of the book for the blog tour through Caffeine Book Tours; all opinions expressed are my own and honest.
I was initially a little hesitant to (literally) sign up for more of the brutal violence and heartbreak that I experienced in Jade City — it’s such an intense novel, so far outside my literary comfort zone. But Jade War just blew all my expectations out of the water, and I’m so glad I followed my instincts to give it a chance.
The sheer scope of this book is awe-inspiring: it seems to span so many years and so many experiences, but without scattering or overwhelming the narrative focus. Perhaps my favorite part of the expansion is that we get to see how Kekon fits in the wider world, including differing attitudes toward jade and the clans, some of the most incredible diaspora rep I’ve ever come across, and even higher stakes as the war between No Peak and the Mountain becomes more complex.
But at its heart, this series is still about the Kaul family and No Peak Clan, which is what I loved about Jade City and continued to hold my heart hostage in Jade War. More characters are introduced, allies and family members alike, and I honestly don’t know whether I’ll make it to the end of the series because I’m so scared for all of them. We get to see each of the Kauls grow up some more (to varying degrees) and — equally importantly — certain members of the family build the most wonderfully supportive relationships in one-on-one scenes that remind the reader that every character matters, every life matters. Every little action or conversation can make a difference.
Unlike many middle novels in other trilogies, not a single page of Jade War feels like filler. There’s a good balance between tense action scenes and soft character/relationship development, the best kind of emotional roller coaster; I can’t wait to see how all the plot threads come together to test the characters in the series finale.
I wish I could say more without getting into spoilers, but this really feels like the kind of story you have to read for yourself. No review from me could ever do justice to the experience.
Quotes were taken from an Advance Review Copy and may change upon publication.
About the Author
Fonda Lee writes science fiction and fantasy for adults and teens. She is the author of the Green Bone Saga, beginning with Jade City (Orbit), which won the 2018 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, was nominated for the Nebula Award and the Locus Award, and was named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, Barnes & Noble, Syfy Wire, and others. The second book in the Green Bone Saga, Jade War, releases in the summer of 2019. Fonda’s young adult science fiction novels Zeroboxer (Flux), Exo and Cross Fire (Scholastic), have garnered numerous accolades including being named Junior Library Guild Selection, Andre Norton Award finalist, Oregon Book Award finalist, Oregon Spirit Book Award winner, and YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. In 2018, Fonda gained the distinction of winning the Aurora Award, Canada’s national science fiction and fantasy award, twice in the same year for Best Novel and Best Young Adult Novel.
Fonda wrote her first novel, about a dragon on a quest for a magic pendant, in fifth grade during the long bus ride to and from school each day. Many years later, she cast her high school classmates as characters in her second novel, a pulpy superhero saga co-written with a friend by passing a graphing calculator back and forth during biology class. Fortunately, both of these experiments are lost to the world forever.
Fonda is a former corporate strategist who has worked for or advised a number of Fortune 500 companies. She holds black belts in karate and kung fu, goes mad for smart action movies (think The Matrix, Inception, and Minority Report) and is an Eggs Benedict enthusiast. Born and raised in Calgary, Canada, she currently resides in Portland, Oregon.
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(also available on the blog tour launch post)