Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga #3) by Fonda Lee
Publication Date: November 30th, 2021
Hardcover. 736 pages.
About Jade Legacy:
"The Kaul siblings battle rival clans for honor and control over an East Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis in Jade Legacy, the page-turning conclusion to the Green Bone Saga.
Jade, the mysterious and magical substance once exclusive to the Green Bone warriors of Kekon, is now 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.
Battered by war and tragedy, the Kauls 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. The clan must discern allies from enemies, set 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."
“When something has to be done, there’s always a way to do it.” This quote, to me, perfectly captures the entire essence of the Green Bones, and is also one I have to say I'm rather fond of from this series.
Jade Legacy is the final installment in the epic and unparalleled Green Bones Saga, and I can’t believe that we’re finally at the end of this series–I wish it could just go on forever! This world is so immersive that I was transported right back to Kekon the moment I opened the first page of Jade Legacy, even though it’s been a couple years since I read Jade War. I had no problems picking up where the story left off, and I hadn’t realized just how much I missed these characters until I started following them in this story again.
The Kauls have been through a lot, and things don’t seem to be letting up anytime soon as more and more factions begin to rise and battle for control of both jade and power. Jade Legacy takes us right back into the thick of things as we watch the Kauls and the rest of the No Peak clan struggle to maintain their hold and act as a dominant force throughout the region.
Every character that Lee has created in this series is incredibly compelling, and I think she is particularly skillful in making each one stand out on their own with very distinct personalities. In Jade Legacy, we follow many of the same characters as before, with exceptions, including Hilo, Wen, Shae, Anden, Ru, Woon, Neko, Bero, and quite a few more. Just about every one of these characters has such varying shades of grey to them and their morality that they are hard to fully love or hate, and become characters that you cannot look away from or stop rooting for. I also can’t go into too much detail about specific character arcs or their actions in this final book because that would be far too spoiler-y, but I can say that if you’ve loved the morally grey aspect of these characters, then you are going to be perfectly satisfied with this installment. These are not always great people, but they are great characters. And, really, I think all of them deserve respect for how they’ve–overall–navigated various obstacles and threats to them and fellow No Peak members, and I also think that that’s what makes us like them all so much.
Lee employs the use of many time jumps in this book, some spanning a couple months, some spanning closer to years, and I am always impressed by how well she makes these time jumps work. Although I occasionally find it slightly jarring when a major plot point occurs right before or during a time jump and you have to quickly adapt to the change, overall, I really appreciate how well it works to keep the pace steady by moving things forward in a reasonable way. It seems like a smart way to cover important events in a timeline that actually makes sense, without getting bogged down in including every last detail that would, in all likelihood, caused the plot and pacing to feel as though they were dragging. That being said, there are a few major plot points that seemed to be a bit minimized because of this technique, but I don't think this really ended up taking much away from the rest of the story. This method, when executed skillfully as Lee does, serves to avoid that struggle altogether, which I ended up really loving in this book.
Although the entire trilogy has shown us Fonda Lee’s clever writing and plotting, I think Jade Legacy really showcases much Lee truly seems to always have something up her sleeve for that never fails to surprise me. Her writing is truly top quality and stands out from other books in how efficiently she manages to develop character, plot, world-building, and constantly compelling storylines without overdoing things or causing the story to drag. Lee is also rather brutal to her characters, and I mean that in the best way possible. Actions undertaken by any character are always met with consequences, whether good, bad, or in-between, and I appreciate that this is done in a way that makes the story and the characters feel all the more real and not sugar-coated.
I'm really amazed at how Fonda Lee wrapped this series up while still making it seem like there was constantly happening until the last page. I'm not sure how to explain this accurately, but because of the time jumps I mentioned earlier, I feel as though Lee was able to really highlight the legacy and impact of the Green Bone Clans over many years. They are forever, they are perpetual, they are the ones in power and always will be. I also loved getting to see a peak of what the future of the Green Bones will look like, and I would give just about anything to get even more stories from this future, but I'm still perfectly content with the story and the ending that we've been given.
Overall, Jade Legacy has earned a well-deserved five stars from me! I am eager to see what's next from Fonda Lee, and this series will remain a favorite and special one to me.
*I received a copy of Jade Legacy courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*