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Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1)
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Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,928 Ratings  ·  509 Reviews

Magical jade—mined, traded, stolen, and killed for—is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. For centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion.

Now the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon's bu
Hardcover, 498 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Orbit
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Thesincouch Several. It focuses on the Kaul family - mainly three characters - but you also find other points of view besides theirs.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it

it took me an embarrassingly long time to get through this book. between life-sorrow and the early bitchslap of summer weather, i’ve been very bad at reading. however, once this clicked for me, i was completely hooked, and when i finished, i felt that very specific emotional mashup of yearning and frustration that comes when you read the first book in a series six months before it is even published, making the wait for the next book that much longer.

this is the author’s first nov
Fonda Lee
May 24, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: i-wrote-this
Jade City is my adult debut and it also marks my foray into epic fantasy. It came about from watching kung fu movies and thinking, "You know, I'm a long-time student of martial arts, so why can't I punch through concrete or fly thirty feet into the air yet?" I started envisioning a society where magical jade granted special abilities to warriors with the proper training and bloodline, and the idea merged with my longstanding enthusiasm for mafia stories to become this modern gangster family saga ...more
James Lafayette  Tivendale
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I received a review copy of Jade City in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Fonda Lee and Orbit Books.                                   

Although presently at a time of an uneasy peace, the city of Janloon is controlled by two rivals groups which are the No Peak Clan and the Mountain Clan. The families that run the clans are powerful and world famous as they mine and control the Jade. Jade is a precious stone that enhances a warriors capabilities in six disciplines. Strength, s
4.75ish stars.

Blown away. The holy trinity of great characterization, unique world-building, and well-written prose. In that sense I'm reminded of the Broken Earth series (starting with The Fifth Season), which is the only recent series I can think of that has reached the same distinction. I'm one of those nerds that has to read each of the novels nominated for the Nebula award even if I probably never would have otherwise. Glad I did in this case, even though the cover is lame, because I would
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing

You wrote the book I was desperately searching for but didn’t know I was searching until I found it.

- A brilliantly constructed, brutal mob-like family saga.

- Epic territorial clan showdown between two jade-wielding clans known as Green Bones - the No Peak clan and the Mountain clan.

- Fight sequences so descriptive and vivid it’s like you’re watching a mothefucking badass martial arts movie.

- And the characters? I haven’t felt this level of connection with char
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

First I'd like to clear the air and say that although I probably ought to be a better person by now, let it be known that I'll shamelessly judge you if you don't read Jade City. I wouldn't go as far as saying that we can't be friends if you don't, but, hey, we never know.


Jade City is the kind of books that make me second guess all my recent 5 stars reads - even if I know for a fact that it's just ridiculous. Loving something shouldn't dim the brilliance of everything else. Now, I make a
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled upon this book on pure chance, had not even known the existence of this title. I was going through list of last year’s releases and found this. Blurb sound interesting and someone has described this as “Godfather meets Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon". I usually don’t pay attention to these lines but damn I love those two movies. Hence I ended up reading sooner than expected, and this book did not disappoint me.

So this book tells us the story of Clan War between No Peak and the Mountai
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~

Damn. What a book.

Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Melanie by: CW (Read Think Ponder)

I loved this so much! Like, Fonda Lee is my new queen. RTC very soon! <3

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Buddy Read with the lovely Gelisvb! ❤
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars - and after some thought I moved this book to my favourites-2017 shelf. It's really sticking with me.

I thought this was just such an excellent book. It takes a lot of the things I liked about New Moon by Ian McDonald - rich worldbuilding, compelling characters, a complex story based on conflict between dynastic families - and situates them in a unique Asian inspired urban fantasy setting that feels a bit like something out of an old school martial arts movie. The result here actually w
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm pretty happy to say that this book, which I picked up largely based on the quotes from so many of my favourite authors which adorn its beautiful covers, was actually a really fun political fantasy. I usually don't enjoy politics in my fantasy too much, it can get dry or dull, but this book does a great job of involving lots of politics with a host of characters and some very wonderful plot-twists. This is set on an island called Kekon, where there is a single race who can wield the Jade magi ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
On the island nation of Kekon, rival clans powered by mystical jade war for dominance in a mafia-like dynastic epic.

Green Bones are people of Kekon descent who have the unique ability to tolerate and channel the bio-energetic jade stones mined on the island. Kekonese society includes Green Bone clans who function basically like mafia families. The Kaul family controls the No Peak clan, the second largest of the Green Bone clans. Increasing tensions with the One Mountain clan who have a new and a
Geek Furioso
Jade City es sin duda una de las novelas de fantasía más ambiciosas que he leído últimamente. Una historia de crimen y guerra de grandes mafias, semejantes a las tríadas chinas, luchando por el control de un jade que otorga poderes sobrehumanos en algo que claramente se asemeja al Hong Kong de los años 80. Es fuerte en la caracterización de su mundo y de sus personajes, tal vez con demasiado ímpetu, pues Fonda Lee peca mucho de info-dumping. No obstante, que Janloon y la sociedad y cultura de lo ...more
"On my honor, my life, and my jade."

Overall thoughts:
First I have to say that I have not written many reviews this year and the ones I have written were just a mish mash of all my my thoughts. This has been the first time in a long time I have really wanted to sit down, organize my thoughts and write the review that this book deserves. Thank you Fonda Lee for this fucking masterpiece. Excuse my long review, but I LOVED this!

I am in absolute awe of Fonda Lee and the masterpiece she produced
Taryn Pierson
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mobster-style crime families in an east Asian-inspired fantasy world where jade gives people superhuman powers is not something I knew I wanted, but now that I’ve read this bonkers awesome book, it seems obvious because OF COURSE how could that not be incredible?! I am notorious for avoiding long books, but the 500 pages flew by with zero lags in the action. Even the fight scenes are so beautifully written they seem choreographed--and I hate fight scenes! The only thing that would make this book ...more
CW (Read Think Ponder)
I think Jade City is, objectively, one of the best books I've read - EVER.
I know that's a very bold claim, but I'm serious: I am in AWE of this book and Lee's incredible skill and vision as a writer.

- Jade City can be described as a perfect merging of Hong Kong gangster drama with wuxia.
- It's an amazing story has everything from gripping fights between powerful warriors that draw power from bioenergetic jade, or Green Bones, to the politics of war and family, to the tender moments of love, ded
Wow. That unassuming (read: boring as shit) book cover is the only explanation I have for having seen this book around before but not bothering to pick it up.

Lee has created a brutal world here, rich with culture and a gripping story filled with flawed characters that you can't help but root for.

Blah, ok wait, that sounded like generic boring praise just now. Seriously though, this book was fucking cool. It's urban fantasy that didn't feel like just the same ole same ole UF. The way that magic a
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Godfather meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. And kicks all the ass.

This is the first truly enjoyable magical martial arts story I’ve read, from start to finish. Even at 500+ pages, there’s not an extraneous paragraph in this book. It is a lean, mean, green entertainment machine. I’d love to see this as a movie, but there’s almost nothing to cut out. Netflix or Amazon needs to jump on these books and turn them into limited series.

The concept itself is terrific: gangsters in a fictional Asi
Excellent start to what will no doubt be an excellent series. I admit to not really feeling this book at the beginning, but it grew on me and gradually sunk its jaded hooks into me by the end, and this is the most fun I've had in awhile.

Readers familiar with The Godfather will recognize similarities between these two books--family, honor, tradition, revenge, war. Where this book diverges from crime family sagas that came before it is the inclusion of urban magic into the mix and setting the sto
K.J. Charles
First thing: this is a very good book. It's set in an invented Asian country with a really fleshed out history and culture. The immense cast is a bit overwhelming at first but is handled with sufficient skill and depth that we really get to know them very quickly and to invest in them. The writing is vivid, the plotting is twisty and engaging.

It's a gangster novel. It's all about the basically decent people who've become part of this gang culture as a matter of honour, leading to huge amounts o
Cyn (semi-hiatus)
- an absolutely immersive world!
- wonderfully in-depth characters!
- queer rep!
- over 500 pages!
- gangster epic!
- influenced by East Asian culture!
- complex family bonds!
- may be slow at times

Favorite character/s: Anden and Shea
Sherwood Smith
Sep 08, 2017 added it
Shelves: fantasy
I'm not sure what to call the subgenre this intense, brilliantly gripping fantasy falls under. Epic fantasy, at least to me, usually signifies world-changing events involving countries and cultures.

In Jade City, the history, cultural detail, and mythology are every bit as involving as those in big epic fantasies--everything centering around the mysterious properties of jade.

We do get brief and tantalizing glimpses of other cultures, but most of the focus is on the city of Janloon, main city of a
Liz Barnsley
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was totally rock and roll from the strong, immersive world building to the brilliantly drawn and enigmatically layered characters to the belting plot that is pacy, smart and utterly gripping.

A fantasy world in a very authentic setting, Jade City is actually extremely difficult to quantify – it’s kind of like The Godfather with added magic, the political landscape is intelligently drawn and intriguing, the characters pop from the page and as a reader you get all tangled up in their live
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, net-galley
Totally not my usual kind of book, fairly violent and essentially glorifying gangs. All that said, it's such a fresh take on urban fantasy, with a technology level of around the late 1970s and not a detective to be seen. It's basically The Godfather set in a secondary world 1970 era Japan, and it's insane and awesome like you might expect something with that description to be.

I really liked the various viewpoint characters, and the way the beginning of the book played with my expectations based
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

If anyone had told me that they would publish a book that would blend The Godfather with magic in an Asian setting, I would have probably been skeptical and overlooked it without second-guessing my decision. Fonda Lee brings shames to doubters with her latest novel part of The Green Bone Saga series, Jade City. Maybe it is my love for anything related to organized crime (Goodfellas, The Sopranos, The Godfather, etc.) that helped me enjoy this mo
Fafa's Book Corner
Mini review:


Jade City has been circling on Twitter and GR. After seeing my friend's glowing reviews I wanted to read it. It wasn't what I expected.

I have to give the author credit for creating such an impressive world. I felt that I was walking amongst the characters. The idea of Jade having magical powers was also very unique! The mafia organization also made sense. I especially appreciated that Jade City was adult rather than young adult. And the author didn't fall into the main tropes wit
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book from Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Jade City is a boldly ambitious and culturally distinctive urban fantasy, merging gangster drama with wuxia flair to create a complex story about family, honour, and national pride. The book sets the bar sky-high on numerous fronts, whether it’s attentive character development, sensory stimulating fight scenes, or cut-throat political trade wars. However, what I loved most about Jade City i
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Here's my spoiler-free video review!


First of all, it was just so refreshing to have an epic fantasy book set in the modern (ish) world. Even though everything in this is made up--setting, history, the magic system, etc.--the world had planes, TV, radio, and more. There's no reason epic fantasy NEEDS to be set in a medieval/Renaissance equivalent world!

I adored all the characters in this. So many of them could be cliches or standard archetypes, but Lee plays around with su
Viv JM
Pure escapism - just what the doctor ordered :-)

Rival clan warfare, family tensions, magic, subterfuge, love, a coming of age side story, martial arts action and more! What's not to like?! This was thoroughly a enjoyable and entertaining read, and I look forward to continuing the saga.

I had the Kindle and audiobook versions and switched between the two. The audio narration by Andrew Kishino was pretty good.
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Rare to come across a fantasy novel that is so gloriously complex and fully realised while being set in a modern world. Very enjoyable - recommended for fans of Ian McDonald’s Luna series.
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Fonda Lee is an author of science fiction and fantasy novels for adults and teens. Her fantasy epic, Jade City, was a finalist for the Nebula and Locus Awards and named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, Barnes & Noble, Powell's Books, Syfy Wire, and the Verge. Her young adult science fiction novels, Zeroboxer, Exo, and Cross Fire, have garnered accolades including being named Junior Library Guild Se ...more
More about Fonda Lee

Other books in the series

The Green Bone Saga (2 books)
  • Jade War (The Green Bone Saga #2)

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“Screw you, Hilo,” she snapped. “I can kill my ex-boyfriends myself.” 5 likes
“The Horn placed his hands on her shoulders, and pulled her close, and laid his cheek against hers. "Heaven help me, Shae," he whispered into her ear. "I'm going to kill them all.” 2 likes
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