Book Review – Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Content Warnings

death, murder, graphic violence, grief, drug use, torture

“I love you enough to see that you have the right to hate me.”

Brilliant. What Fonda Lee achieved with Jade Legacy is truly impressive, and I don’t think I’ve ever read another book quite like it. The time span of it is enormous – 20 years! – yet the flow of the story never suffered under its weight, but quite on the contrary. I’m amazed that despite the time jumps, the story never lost momentum. Fonda Lee followed an ambitious path, and she delivered.

These past few months have been so rich in books yet I haven’t posted anything on this blog—it feels right that this short review of Jade Legacy would mark my come-back to writing reviews, don’t you think? When a story scarred us as much as we love it, we readers need an outlet to overcome the heartbreak, the sheer amount of love and awe we feel, and today I’m just trying to cope with the heartache of having to say goodbye to this series and its characters.

This book won’t be for everyone, that’s certain. Fonda Lee never lets us forget that the world she created is harsh and often unforgiving. Even though we love her characters, they’re going to make decisions and act in a way we won’t be able to condone or forgive. But as Anden said—sometimes it’s not about forgiving, it’s about understanding. 

From the moment I started, I couldn’t stop reading—Jade Legacy is 736 pages long, yet despite its size I wouldn’t be able to point to any useless page. Any useless sentence. It’s wonderful through and through, and I already know I’ll reread this trilogy sooner rather than later. When it comes to final books, we can never avoid the fear of being disappointed—will the author wrap their story in a way that satisfy us? Will we keep the story close to our heart until the very end? Will we feel? Yes, yes and oh my god, yes. I won’t lie, Jade Legacy hurt me. Several times. But I’m so grateful I got to read it. Green Bone fans, fear not—it’s everything you’ve dreamed it would be, trust me on this.

Kaul Hiloshudon, though. I feel like I’ve gone through every feeling imaginable when it comes to him. I’ve never made a secret that he was my favorite character, even though he’s deeply flawed. Yet there was a moment in the beginning of this book when I felt hate so intense towards him—I couldn’t breathe. It surprised me, and shocked me. It’s a testament to Fonda Lee’s skill that I can now confirm that he’s still my favorite character. It does not mean that I condone his actions, of course. But his character arc, his growth are wondrous things, and handled with such care and talent. The Green Bone Saga—and this last installment even more—is about family, and so many characters make their important contribution but Kaul Hiloshudon? He’s the heart of the trilogy. I’m so, so proud of him.

The Clan is our blood, and the Pillar is its master. Farewell, my beloved. I’ll never forget you.

PS. That flashback with 22 years old Hilo?? IT GAVE ME LIFE.

About Jade Legacy
Author : Fonda Lee | Publisher : Orbit | Genre : Adult Fantasy | Pages : 736

Jade, the mysterious and magical substance once exclusive to the Green Bone warriors of Kekon, is now known and coveted throughout the world. Everyone wants access to the supernatural abilities it provides, from traditional forces such as governments, mercenaries, and criminal kingpins, to modern players, including doctors, athletes, and movie studios. As the struggle over the control of jade grows ever larger and more deadly, the Kaul family, and the ancient ways of the Kekonese Green Bones, will never be the same.

The Kauls have been battered by war and tragedy. They are plagued by resentments and old wounds as their adversaries are on the ascent and their country is riven by dangerous factions and foreign interference that could destroy the Green Bone way of life altogether. As a new generation arises, the clan’s growing empire is in danger of coming apart.

The clan must discern allies from enemies, set aside aside bloody rivalries, and make terrible sacrifices… but even the unbreakable bonds of blood and loyalty may not be enough to ensure the survival of the Green Bone clans and the nation they are sworn to protect.

3 thoughts on “Book Review – Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee

  1. Those were my same thoughts reading this book (although I dragged through it until the last couple hundred pages, when I was hooked and could not stop). Hilo is 100% the heart and soul of this book, and it was incredible to watch him grow and mature. Same with Anden—Anden (and Wen) were always my favorites.

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