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Jade City

(The Green Bone Saga #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  36,103 ratings  ·  6,733 reviews
JADE CITY is a gripping Godfather-esque saga of intergenerational blood feuds, vicious politics, magic, and kungfu.

The Kaul family is one of two crime 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 honorable j
Paperback, 560 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Orbit (first published November 7th 2017)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  36,103 ratings  ·  6,733 reviews

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Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Incredible, the multiple nominees and awards this book has won are all well deserved.

Jade City is the first book in The Green Bone Saga, and it is also Fonda Lee’s adult fantasy debut. Ever since I knew about the existence of this novel, it has always been a book I wanted to read. As usual, the unbeatable TBR pile delayed me, and I was so sure that I won’t be getting into this one until next year. However, after seeing the non-stop praises that Fonda Lee and the book constantly received, as an A
chai ♡
I'm going to attempt a summary of Lee's invigorating new novel, even if I suspect no summary can do justice to the rip-roaring complexity of the plot:

Jade City is set in a world where jade confers great strength and power to those who can wield it—without risking madness or a lethal propensity to the Itches.

More than a quarter of a century before, the island nation of Kekon was freed from the imperial thrall of the Shotarians. Ever since, the jade-wielding warriors of No Peak and Mountain—the tw
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Definitely worth the hype WOW
Fonda Lee
May 24, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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
Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews
Check out my YouTube channel where I show my instant reactions upon finishing reading fantasy books.

A wonderfully gripping tale of a Godfather inspired story set in an Asian-inspired fantasy backdrop

Going into this book, I was extremely nervous that I would not enjoy my experience. I've been burned lately from books that are "the next best thing" lately, and coupled with the fact that I'm generally not a fan of urban fantasy, there was a lot that led me to believe I would be in the minority
ELLIAS (elliasreads)
Feb 10, 2022 marked it as to-read
the most recommended fantasy book to me, y'all better not disappoint.... ...more
this has been getting a lot of love on social media lately. my friends average rating for it is 4.12, so i decided to give it a go.

i will start off with the positives and mention how extremely well-written this is as far as prose and narrative structure goes. its very detailed and descriptive in a way that makes you feel utterly immersed into the city of janloon. the magic system is also cool. even though i cant fully explain how it works, i think the idea of using jade for power is interesting.
mina reads™️
I need to lie the fuck down...how could fonda lee hurt me this much on a REREAD of all things

“The clan is my blood and the pillar it’s master. On my honor, on my life, on my jade” is etched indelibly in my brain

Five stars, easily, I’d give it 100 stars if I could.

Jade City is an absolutely brilliant urban fantasy set on the island of Kekon. A small place ruled my rival greenbone clans, the Kauls and the Ayts. In this world Kekon is the home of a special, magical jade that imbued users with enha
Althea ☾
2nd read update: to absolutely no one’s surprise, i still loved it. The JL parallels… unmatched.

If you like politically intriguing urban fantasy that centers around morally questionable characters with complicated pre-established relationships that find themselves in the middle of inter-clan conflict but still sticks together in the end because they are family… this is the book for you. [ends run-on sentence]

Additional note: I think it's an underrated topic but the way subtle dynamics in the
James Tivendale
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, freecopy
Currently re-reading this as I have a copy of Jade Legacy but want to remember the intricate details from the story so far. Something happens to one of the main characters in this book, and I found myself reading really slow when that moment was approaching as I didn't want it to happen! The power of the re-read definitely adds extra layers and dimensions to the reading experience...

I received a review copy of Jade City in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Fonda Lee and Orbit
Elle (ellexamines)
“Expectations are a funny thing,” Wen said. “When you’re born with them, you resent them, fight against them. When you’ve never been given any, you feel the lack of them your whole life.”

Emotionally, I feel like I was just hit by an entire truck.

In the city of Janloon, jade rules: those with have power, and those without lose it. Those with jade, though, must fight to keep it, and nowhere is this more true than between the No Peak and the Mountain clans. Jade City follows the Kauls,
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Melanie (MelReads)
*4.5 stars

full spoiler liveshow with my thoughts:
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 the nerds that has to read each of the novels nominated for the Nebula award even if I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Glad I did in this case, because I would have been missing out!

Initially I g

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
Em Lost In Books
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
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
Update 01/09 : rereading it with شيماء ✨ because her texts made it impossible for me to stay away from Hilo and also I MISS HIM-

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 - eve
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Guess who just found a new favorite? Man, I can’t gush enough about this book. This gangster fantasy saga was captivating from the get-go. It feels like a rare find being an Asian inspired story that has so many things going on - there’s magic, martial arts, family drama, gang rivalry, politics and of course.. a lot of Jade.

Every part of this book added meaning to the story beautifully. I was afraid it would drag in some parts because of it’s length, but this was fast paced and action packed. A
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“Expectations are a funny thing,” Wen said. “When you’re born with them, you resent them, fight against them. When you’ve never been given any, you feel the lack of them your whole life.”

🌟 I BR this with my friend Fares, he wrote a great review too so I need to go all out now! I am not a big fan of mafia and Yakuza and all these real life gangster thing! I don’t watch movies including them as I feel they are all th
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I’m gonna take this first line right here to recommend this book right away, I mean I really do see why people would love this, so give it a try you never know.

If you told me before I started this that it’s a fantasy with a yakuza like clans in the early 1900s with cars, guns, planes and they use magic in jade stones. I would’ve said that I don’t know how I feel about this.
And I still don’t.


If I must give one reason and one reason only to my lack of enjoyment for this book it’
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Reading this for a second time in preparation for the sequel & tbh because I’ve just been dying to return to this story 😭👏🏼
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Upon my reread, I still LOVE this and am now saying this is one of my favorite fantasy stories (and maybe series)!

The Greenbone saga is an Asian-inspired urban fantasy story set in the fictional place of Kekon. There is a substance called Jade and some people are able to wear it and it causes them to become faster, stronger, and just an all-around better fighter. The production and selling of this very powerful substance are controlled by two crime families. They also control other things like b

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! ❤
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Didn’t like the characters. Didn’t like the story. I’m very picky and weird about my books now. So…..

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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I'm a commitment-phobe when it comes to books. Long books scare me. I like the idea of long books, and the satisfaction that comes from reading one to completion, but it's a long and grueling road to that satisfaction. JADE CITY is a long book. Goodreads says it's not even 500 pages but I'm pretty sure that's a lie. It took me several days to finish JADE CITY, when I can normally read several shorter books in a day. But commitment-phobe
"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 s
may ➹
9/1/21: usually I like to jump into sequels without rereading the first book and simply hope for the best, but this book..... this book I genuinely have no memory of

// buddy read with vic <3


8/1/19: despite how terribly heavy and dense this was... it’s safe to say I’m officially invested and am now in a love-hate relationship with Hilo

// buddy read with my Asian squad
John Mauro
Nov 25, 2022 rated it it was amazing
My complete review of Jade City is published at Grimdark Magazine.

Jade City is Fonda Lee’s World Fantasy Award-winning urban fantasy set in the Asian-inspired island nation of Kekon. Jade City is the nickname for Janloon, the capital of Kekon, which is controlled by mafia-style gangs led by organized crime families.

The two most prominent gangs are the No Peak and Mountain clans, who clash over control of city neighborhoods, but more importantly over the mining and trade of Kekonese jade. When wo
TS Chan
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Upgraded to 4.5 stars on reread. I'm even more excited now about the finale.


Fantasy readers have been calling out for more diversity and Jade City was a resoundingly superb response.

The urban fantasy setting that heavily evoked Chinese gangster/crime syndicate movies, which I've grown up on, is a paradoxical breath of fresh air that carried the scent of nostalgia. All that was needed to make it even cooler and awesome was magic and martial arts.

I will not rehash the
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Update 2021 - 5 stars for the audiobook version; the narrator is excellent.


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
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Fonda Lee is the World Fantasy Award-winning author of the epic Green Bone Saga, beginning with Jade City and continuing in Jade War and Jade Legacy. She is also the author of the acclaimed science fiction novels Zeroboxer, Exo and Cross Fire.

Fonda is as a three-time winner of the Aurora Award (Canada’s national science fiction and fantasy award), and a multiple finalist for the Nebula Award, the

Other books in the series

The Green Bone Saga (3 books)
  • Jade War (The Green Bone Saga, #2)
  • Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga, #3)

Articles featuring this book

  Few things compare to the electric anticipation of the next entry in a series you're obsessed with–you get to drop back into worlds your...
64 likes · 15 comments
“Expectations are a funny thing,” Wen said. “When you’re born with them, you resent them, fight against them. When you’ve never been given any, you feel the lack of them your whole life.” 98 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.” 70 likes
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