A Maze Of Words

An Abode of Books & Reading

Home » Jade City by Fonda Lee — Book Review & Summary

Jade City by Fonda Lee — Book Review & Summary


Jade City by Fonda Lee
Jade City by Fonda Lee

AUTHOR: Fonda Lee

PUBLISHED ON: 26 June 2018

GENRE:  Science Fiction Fantasy

STARS: 4 Stars


     Jade City won the 2018 World Fantasy Award (tied with Victor LaValle’s The Changeling) and the Aurora Award, and was a finalist for the Nebula, Locus, Ignyte and Dragon Awards.


“The clan is my blood, and the Pillar is its master.
On my honor, my life, and my jade.”


Jade City takes you to the city of Janloon where Jade holds the power. Jade helps them to improve their senses better. But with power comes price and if you are not careful, Jade will lead you to life of madness.

The city of Janloon is divided between two clans: No Peak Clan and the Mountain Clan. Both of them are minutes away from a full fledged war. The two clans are constantly trying to capture more area in their territory. But at the same time, along with other royals and political powers, the two clans form an alliance to mine the Jade and supervise the supply of Jade and at the same time make sure that no one who doesn’t deserve Jade get their hand on the Jade.

As we move ahead, we focus on the No Peak Territory. Under the limelight of his grandfather’s victories, Lan despite being the Pillar, isn’t really one. All his decisions are inevitability compared or rather over-shadowed by his grand father. People constantly doubt if Lan is really capable to lead the Clan. And if that isn’t enough, he is constantly pulled in the two opposite tug of war between his Weather Man and his Horn. While the former prefers the traditional approach and take the submissive route as much as possible, the latter is quick to action and bold. But as we move ahead, we realise how much efforts Lan usually takes to maintain the peace and when the inevitable box of secrets & betrayals are unleashed, Lan has no choice but to take decisions that are best for the Clan.

The Horn of the No Peak Clan. Hilo. He is known for his rash actions. And sometimes because of his actions, his emotions are hidden. But at every step of the way, the only thing Hilo wants is to make sure that his clan is what remains. That No Peak Clan is what remains. And so despite what others think of him or what they think that he can do, Hilo rises. Whatever is set onto him, he rises even if it is something he is keen on doing.

The third Kaul sibling made it clear what she wants and what she doesn’t. And so, trying to leave the family shadows isn’t easy. But she slowly does it. But when tragedy strikes on the family, she proves once again, blood is thicker than water. And so she becomes the person everyone knew she would and steps in and fills the role, leaving everyone in awe.

And while the clans are busy clashing, the discrepancy in the Jade supply comes into light.

But when the Mountain Clan manages to outdo The No Peak’s every move and only death seems the option. What will the Horn do. And will the No Peak survive against the Mountain Clan.

“The gods were often cruel, everyone knew that.”


Jade City by Fonda Lee has been in my radar for a while now. Years, I can say. But drowned in the list of books, my masters degree and the fact that back then I would binge read all the series, Jade City was put off. But when Jade Legacy released, I knew it was time. And after months of waiting for physical copies of my books, I finally got them. And believe me, If you knew the waiting period or how long it took, you would count it as a victory too. So, back to this review. Jade City by Fonda Lee is amazing, a masterpiece. Everything- the urban setting, the fights, the characters, the cults, the Jade. EVERY THING IS AMAZING.

What is the masterstroke or the point that I loved the most is that it is character based. The plot is amazing and everything but the fact that we get a chance to witness the three or four depending on how you see Kaul siblings closely was just beautiful. I love characters and while this is just the first book of the trilogy, I am convinced that I am going to get more of the Kaul siblings and my heart is just so full.

The magic system or the Jade Power as we put it. This is something different than what I am used to reading. Most of them generally have division based on their ancestors or something else. But when we have Jade over here enhancing their power, it was something new and I loved it. I have to admit the setting seemed a little incomplete? Or maybe I have to wait to read the other two books to fully appreciate them.

The cold war between the Mountain Clan and the No Peak Clan was brilliant and when that changed into a full fledged war. ooo. Amazing. The strategies used. the planning. Gont was amazing in what he did. And Hilo. OH HILO. You stupid, devious, amazing man. His arc was commendable. Needless to say, I am convinced the next books are going be a blast for his character. Every minute detail was so meticulously planned. The betrayals, the deaths, the political aspects, the family loyalty. The need to rise and become the person that you didn’t want to be but you knew you had to. And more than that the way politics pull you regardless of what you want. Jade City showed once again that in war how no one is sparred. Be it common people, leader or children.

What was really splendid was the fact that Jade City has many fighting scenes and the scenes were easy to visualize, which sometimes is not the case. This proves again how talented writer and fighter Fonda Lee is. I loved how there were females who rose to power, who knew exactly what they wanted and when it was not given to them, they took it by whatever means. It was refreshing to read strong characters in an Asian inspired Fantasy world.

Needless to say, I am so excited to read Jade War. I wanted to read it as soon as I finished Jade City but I knew I wanted to write this review before reading Jade City. What resulted was, months of delay in writing this review and thus reading Jade War also took a step back. Not anymore. As soon as I finish my current read, Jade War it is.

I’d recommend Jade City to anyone who would like to read as Asian inspired Fantasy which has beautiful character arcs and amazing story line.

“Was it possible, Lan wondered, to be both a strong leader and a compassionate person, or were those two things opposing forces, pushing each other away?”


The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It’s the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities.

The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion–but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection.

When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself.

If you enjoy my content, you can support me here.

You can read the review for Sordaneon by L.L.Stephens here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top