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 bustling capital city. They care about nothing but protecting their own, cornering the jade market, and defending the districts under their protection. Ancient tradition has little place in this rapidly changing nation.
When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone—even foreigners—wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones—from their grandest patriarch to the lowliest motorcycle runner on the streets—and of Kekon itself.
Jade City begins an epic tale of family, honor, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of jade and blood.
Author: Fonda Lee
Hardcover, 498 pages
Published: November 7th, 2017
Publishing House: Orbit
Cloaked in myth, Jade City is a fantastical journey of two clans fueled by the magical powers of jade, its mining trade, protection and the fight for the ultimate power.
The island nation of Kekon, mirroring mid-20th-century Hong Kong, is controlled by two major clans. The No Peak Clan and the Mountain Clan. There are hierarchies set in place and the clans have a Pillar > Weather Man and Horn > Luckbringers and Fists > Fingers and > students. For decades, the Green Bone warriors of the clans have maintained a delicate peace by heeding code and honor in the neighborhoods and trade.
Kau Lan is the new Pillar of the No Peak Clan, but isn’t quite following his fathers and grandfathers legendary footsteps to garner real loyalty. His younger brother Kau Hilo is his Horn, the street army general or enforcer.
Jade enhances a warriors abilities like strength, perception, deflection, and channeling. It is garnered or obtained mainly by winning battles victoriously from the deceased opponent to wear on one’s skin. Kau Lan, is very familiar with these strong powers and the effects of ‘overdosing’ by jade. He himself is battling the forces silently, street skirmish after street skirmish, as he is trying to neutralize the effects with a new drug. This drug has been the cause of many deaths and riots, as it allows the Non- Green Bone to use it to simile the effects of jade.
Ayt Madashi is the Pillar of the Mountain Clan and detects a weakened link in the No Peak Clan and wants control of the island and the jade. A conflict of the factions creates a war on all fronts, politically, economically and on the streets. A war of backstabbing treachery breaks out and The No Peak Clan is challenged with unforeseen tragedy to defy the odds in maintaining power and justice in their hands.
Beginning this novel with such a large cast of characters seems a very ambitious task, considering their individualities were not lost in the overall story and myth of the jade. The trials and tribulations of the No Peak leaders, their relationships and families, thoughts, pleasures and daemons, made them all the more relatable.
The overall feel of this novel was real and mythical at the same time. A modern setting combined with fantastical leaders, ideas and principles now doubt inspired by the history of jade and the trade and distribution still going on today.
I enjoyed this Asian inspired setting very much. I haven’t read too many of those yet. As this is book one of The Green Bone Saga, I definitely would like to read the next book Jade War by Fonda Lee.
Definitely recommend this read.