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Blog Tour // Jade War Review + Aesthetics!

Hey everyone!!

I am SO excited to participate in the blog tour for Jade War (second book in the Green Bone Saga!) This is my first time reading a book by Fonda Lee, and this series is new to me, but once I started I couldn’t stop!!

In this post today, you’ll find my review for Jade War, as well as a compilation of my aesthetics for this book and quote graphics.

I really enjoyed the characters in this novel, who were multidimensional, believable and relatable: Hiro adapted to his new role in the No Peak clan as well as his responsibility to his growing family. After the aftermath of the first novel, Anden searched for his identity in the world outside of his clan. The female MCs especially shone in this novel, which I loved: Shae wasn’t the strongest jade warrior compared to Hiro and Anden, however her strength lied in her sharp and calculating logic. Time and time again she helped her clan in ways beyond brute strength. Wen was one of the few characters in this novel who had no jade abilities at all, and yet she knew her strengths and was ready to bring them to the table whenever her clan called for her help.

The dynamics within the No Peak clan were interwoven and complex. The No Peak clan was tight-knit and interconnected. In many aspects it acted as a collective, under the direction of the Pillar of the clan. Yet each of the main characters feel a connection and a loyalty towards the clan, although they have motivation and goals of their own. I especially loved the family dynamics within the Kaul family, which were the highlight of this novel. They loved each other, though their clan responsibilities, outside forces, and their own decisions threatened to pit the family members against each other. The characters and the complex dynamics between them were what kept me reading.

Jade had once been a resource that was limited to Kekon, its powers wielded only by the privileged Green Bone soldiers. However, the Kaul family was faced with changing political times. Now foreign countries wanted access to jade, and there were smugglers who would do anything to fulfill this need. A rival clan gained power in Kekon, and its interests were not always in line with the No Peak clan.

Overall, I enjoyed the plot of the novel. However I felt the pacing of the story to be a bit slow for the first 80% of the novel, which was filled with trade negotiations, board meetings, human resource issues, etc. It was highly political. As a person who didn’t have much experience in the financial/political matters, it was hard for me to wrap my head around some of the ideas and strategies thrown around, although I was still able to follow along with the main plot. So the book wasn’t too exciting for the first 400 pages or so. 

THEN, 150 pages from end, EVERYTHING happened, and I was hooked and totally on the edge of my seat, flipping through the pages and wondering what was going to happen next!!?! And it was totally worth wading through the first part of the novel.

Jade War was the second book (in what I guess to be a trilogy), so it made sense for there to be a slow build-up towards the remainder of the series. I think that despite the slow pacing in the beginning/middle of the novel, the events that happened were necessary to create tension and to set the scene for the scene for the eventual finale. I also liked that there was a climactic ending at the end of this book, despite the slow beginning.

The world building is one of my favourite aspects about this novel (this and the characters!!) While reading this novel, I had an idea of not only what Kekon looked like, but the food, religion, politics, trade relations, culture, and even how people thought. I felt that I could understand the mindset of a Green Bone warrior: the need to avenge the death of a friend or family member by seeking blood in return; the need to protect one’s (and one’s family’s) face by defeating a rival; the efficiency and honour in settling an argument by challenging the other person to a duel. This was a very different mindset than the world that we live in, and yet, by seeing the world through the eyes of the Green Bone warriors, I understood their way of thinking and why they made the choices that they made.

I also loved the juxtaposition between the Green Bone warriors of Kekon, compared to the civilians from other countries such as Espenia, who have a completely different culture and mindset.

Jade War is a fantastic follow-up to Jade City, with a fascinating world and a cast of brilliant, complex characters. Just a heads up about the slow pacing in the first bit, but have faith my friends, it is completely worth your time to read until the very last page. I am SO looking forward to book 3!

4/5 fishies!!

Author: Fonda Lee

Publisher: Orbit Books

Publication date: 23 July 2019

Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

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.

Book links:

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.

Author links:

Thank you SO much Shealea for hosting this blog tour and getting everything organized (and responding to all my questions haha.) Thank you Fonda Lee for, well, writing this book and sharing the world of Kekon and jade with us!

Also, graphic credits: Timothy Ries on Unsplash; chuttersnap on Unsplash; Joseph Chan on Unsplash; Larm Rmah on Unsplash; Vincent Camacho on Unsplash; Thao Le Hoang on Unsplash; Leslie Jones on Unsplash; Sebastian Staines on Unsplash; mahdi rezaei on Unsplash; Jonatan Pie on Unsplash

Have you read the Green Bone Saga series? Do you have a favourite high fantasy book? Tell me about your favourite YARC reads this year!

5 thoughts on “Blog Tour // Jade War Review + Aesthetics!

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