Book 2 in the series
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.
Before starting this review I read over my previous one for Jade City and I’m rather surprised that my review for both books are actually pretty similar.
Once again, Lee excels at bringing the country of Kekon, and this time Espenia as well, to life. Both countries feel like places you could get on a plane and actually go to and her characters are so vivid and well-rounded, that they feel like people you would actually meet.
However, as in Jade City, this once again feels like its at the expense of the momentum of the plot. I gave that a pass in Jade City because it was the first book and she was putting down a lot of the ground work for her world, its history, and her magic system. But having her do that all again and then some in this book at many times made it feel as if nothing was happening.
This book covers five years of time and while many, many small things happen (and a few big) and many details have changed, the end of this book feels in many ways as if the characters and the readers are exactly where they where six years earlier at the end of the first book. While there wasn’t a time I wasn’t enjoying reading the book, due to Lee’s characters and writing style, I have to say that the last 70 pages were the only time I couldn’t put the book down, and only a handful of spots where the actual plot of the book stood out.
And, I do also want to make sure to include, that I do once again applaud Lee for both her ability to go for the difficult choices and the way she handles the consequences of a lot of those decisions. This helps greatly to the uncertainty level a big fight scene needs for the reader to be invested in it (something many fantasy novels lack). There was one thing in particular near the end of the book where it would have been easy for her to do “and everything was fine afterwards” but she is dedicated to keeping her book realistic and that was still a standout point for me in this book and I think (hope) will pay off in a big was in the conclusion of the series.
While I am stuck between a 3 and a 4 for this book, I did genuinely enjoy it overall and do plan on moving to my ARC of Jade Legacy immediately, but almost more because I’m afraid that I’ll forgot the hundreds of tiny details I need to remember more than a burning desire to see where the story itself goes next.