Jade Legacy. Easily the most anticipated fantasy novel of 2020 and the conclusion to a story that has taken readers on a journey of loss, identity, and legacy. Spanning 30 years, Jade Legacy gives itself a task to cohesively take us to the end of an era of bloodshed and conflicts of power.
So, how do you encompass 30 years into a book while simultaneously tying up lingering threads from the first two books? It’s a daunting task, but one that’s meticulously crafted. Fonda has outdone herself with Jade Legacy. In one book, Lee takes everything the previous books have developed and tops it off with a consistent and moving exploration of time and custom, experience and expectation, family and legacy. It’s a masterpiece in writing.
“I’ll be remembered not for who I was, but for what I wasn’t. Perhaps it’s for the best. Let the gods judge me for what I did not do.”
The heart of this saga has always been the Kaul family, and that rings true. We’ve been with Hilo, Shae, Wen, and Anden from the first page and seen them at their best and worst. We’ve been there through the betrayals, the heartache, the bone-crushing violence. It’s like you’re part of the family, and throughout this series, we’ve seen them grow as a family and as individuals. Jade Legacy dives further into this as they continue to navigate the national and international conflicts of Jade and the lingering tension between the Mountain clan. However, we also see them take on new roles as parents and mentors to those that carry the future of the No Peak clan.
“You’d think it would be easier to face death as you get older, but it doesn’t work that way. You get more attached to life, to people you love and things that are worth living for.”
Ryu, Niko, and Jaya were only young in Jade War, but as they grow and understand the legacy of the No Peak and their family, each one questions the part they play in this tale and what it means to be a Kaul. It’s hard enough to find your identity in adolescence as is, let alone have the burden of expectation placed on your shoulders too. Some of their choices were painful, with the consequences sometimes devastating. However, it’s these choices that allow the younger Kaul siblings to take control of their legacy and do so on their terms, learning from the mistakes of the past.
“We all make mistakes. Sometimes terrible mistakes we can barely live with. But we learn from them. And maybe… Maybe we can forgive each other.”
It’s a testament to Fonda Lee that she could balance the intricacies of global political conflict with heart-stopping action sequences and a lingering sense of tension simmering in the background. Yet, every action and every choice carried emotional weight. Some of the best scenes in this book come from those moments of dialogue that hold so much weight, but Lee never lets you forget about the dangers of this world, giving weight to the consequence of choice. It’s a world built on a code that thrives on manipulation, violence, diplomacy, and honour. However, Lee doesn’t hesitate to confront the criticism of such a world. Those from those within the clan and beyond are vocal in their opposition as the old traditions struggle to adjust to the changing times and lay rest to grudges of old. As I said earlier, it is a masterpiece in storytelling. One that never falters in momentum and will have readers gasping for breath at the end.
To close, this is my thank you to Fonda Lee for creating this immersive world and introducing readers to a cast of characters that will etch their way into your hearts in a world that is immersive and addictive. The clan is my blood, and the Pillar is its master, and it was a privilege to share in the Kaul’s journey.
“We don’t handle this world. We make it handle us.”
About the Book
Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga #3) by Fonda Lee
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.