TOUR / REVIEW: Jade War by Fonda Lee

**I received a finished copy from the publisher (thank you, Orbit Books!) for this tour. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

Jade War by Fonda Lee

Release Date: July 23, 2019

My Rating: 5 stars

Summary: 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.

Today, I'm lucky enough to be a part of the blog tour for Jade War! My stop includes my review as well as some of my favorite quotes from the book, hand-lettered. Don't forget to check out the rest of the tour, schedule below!
The clan is my blood and the Pillar is its master. I have a lot of regrets in life, but those oaths aren't one of them.
Jade City was one of my favorite reads last year, and Jade War was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019. When I was chosen for this tour, I honestly might have let out a scream or two. This book was the sequel to end all sequels . . . it was exhilarating, bone-chilling, and truly heartbreaking. Jade War throws you into the tense war of Kekon and the world beyond, with even higher stakes and even more jade.

When I finished the book, I put it down and stared at the wall for a good five minutes processing everything I'd just read. I mean, how am I supposed to carry on with my daily life after all the suffering Fonda Lee just put me through?

There was so much dread coursing through my body the entire time I was reading, I think I prematurely aged the same amount of time that passes in this book, something like three years in three days. I would start each chapter with such trepidation because I just knew something bad was going to happen. It was not good for my heart, honestly.

As in Jade City, Lee masterfully balances the slow pacing with incredibly vivid action scenes. This book unravels slowly, culminating in the most intense events with such ease that I was in awe. It was akin to watching a bud bloom into a gorgeous flower, except that the same flower blooms like ten times.

The tension in this novel, however, somehow surpasses that of its predecessor. We're thrown into a war that's several steps past the clans' rivalry. Yes, the Mountain and No Peak are still feuding, but Lee introduces new players in the game. With foreign enemies closing in, this war slowly spreads across the world, but even overseas, it all comes back to jade, a jade war of epic proportions.
The clan has enemies everywhere now. We're not just fighting other Green Bones. We're fighting the world.
As I mentioned before, Jade War expands the known world; with Anden being sent to Espenia, we get to see how people outside of Kekon view jade. It's jarring, honestly; as the reader, we've adapted the Kekonese mentality of jade. We're so used to the Green Bones' code of honor (aisho) that seeing how other people are willing to use jade is almost revolting. There are the barukan soldiers (the ethnic Kekonese in Shotar), the stereotypical jade gangsters as depicted in Shotarian films who carry mostly fake jade and are complete mockeries of Green Bones, and the Espenians, with the ethnic Espenians using jade and shine in an elite military crew but view jade only as a means to an ends and the ethnic Kekonese in Espenia trying to live their lives in a loose approximation of Kekon.
In Janloon, the question of who would control jade had led to open bloodshed in the streets between No Peak and the Mountain; here it was just beginning, simmering in the Espenian underworld and the shadows of immigrant communities, but it existed nonetheless.
Speaking of the ethnic Kekonese in Espenia, Anden's plot line also displays a common story that many can relate to: immigrants' lives and how they adapt their heritage country's culture into their new home country's way of life. They are trying to live their lives as they once did in Kekon; however, they live in a country that despises Kekonese  traditions, making it dangerous to maintain their culture. This so easily translates to the world today, and Lee handles it with grace.

The amount of character development in this book is unreal. Hilo grows into the Pillar role, although he approaches it as if he were still the Horn, which only causes more problems. Meanwhile, Shae dives headfirst into her role as Weather Man but at the risk of destroying what little she has of a personal life. Anden is resentful towards his cousins for sending him away but eventually comes to like Espenia, the people there, and the life he carves out for himself without jade. He even has a little bit of a romance! Wen is now one of my favorite characters ever, and I would do anything for her; she becomes a more prominent character, and I loved reading about her. Similarly, Kehn and Tar adjust to their respective roles better.

I touched on this in my review of Jade City, but one of my favorite parts about this series is seeing prominent women in this patriarchal society. We get to see Shae and Wen develop an even stronger relationship. Their scenes honestly made me cry a little; I mean, Wen standing up for Shae and also being the friend that tells her to get her shit together!! Also, Ayt Mada becomes more of an underlying antagonist for this novel, but make no mistake, her presence is still very strong. Every scene with her made me hold my breath; her dialogue sent chills down my spine.
We women claw for every inch we gain in this world, and you'd worked too hard to for your place on Ship Street to let it be taken from you . . . There are always people looking for signs of weakness, for chances to steal what we care about away from us.
We're no longer under the time constraint of the clan war; it's a long game now. Many years pass, and we gain new characters and lose old ones. Jade War pulls no punches; you'll find yourself experiencing pain as if you're in Janloon, as if you're the one holding jade. I can't wait for the next book especially with that ending! Jade War is out today, which is definitely a sign for you to start this series. You won't regret it, trust me!

Check out some of the hand-lettered quotes I did! Click each one for a higher quality picture.

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.

1 comment

  1. Your letter art are so beautiful!! I love the quotes that you picked out. And I lost so many years of my life reading this book, thank you for sharing in the pain with me. I blame half of my near-death experience on Kaul Hilo and his fucking shenanigans! I cannot wait for the next book, but also I don't want to actually die so Fonda can take her time.


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Maira Gall