Jade City, Fonda Lee – Readalong

Hello Humans! I promised you a readalong and I am here to deliver. I seem to be in a phase of starting books in waiting rooms of late, and this morning (May 23rd) I started Jade City, a book that has been languishing on my TBR since I went to a book blogger meet up in Birmingham at the end of 2018. It was finally time to start this much-beloved urban fantasy novel and I was pretty darn excited.

Goodreads Summary:

Jade CityJade is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. It has been mined, traded, stolen, and killed for — and for centuries, honourable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their magical 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 is the first novel in an epic trilogy about family, honour, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of blood and jade.

Find on Goodreads | Amazon (Affiliate)

Chapter One – Ten

Ok, first impressions – I’m liking this. It’s a good six chapters of set-up, which I was kind of expecting. There are a lot of characters to meet and worldbuilding to describe. This book does a good job of balancing show vs tell so it doesn’t feel like an info dump nor am I confused about what I’m reading. I’m naturally comparing that to how confused I was by bits of The Black Khan since that was my previous read – but the two are otherwise pretty incomparable so I’ll try to stop that there.

What has surprised me is that, normally, by this point I would have a favourite character, or at the very least one person in whose story I would be more invested – not the case here. I think that’s partly because we have only just got to the meat of the story, we shall see how that changes after the next few chapters!

All told, I’m optimistic about this one – I could do with a five-star read.

Chapter Eleven – Thirty

A slightly longer stint this time around. I have favourite characters and anyone who has read Jade City will probably have guessed that they are Shae and Anden. Quelle surprise! Judith falls for the woman and the young boy who is yet to do too much crime! I mean…it was always going to happen.

I’m surprised at how coherent this book is, because there’s so much going on, so many vaguely interlinked points of view, I keep expecting to lose track but everything that happens is so clearly a consequence of the events prior that it just keeps it all on track. This is the kind of book where I feel like I’ll remember what happens when I do eventually read the sequel – though maybe that’s me being overly optimistic.

I’ve loved it so far, despite having left it at home while going away for the weekend – I’m looking forward to reading the second half!

Chapter Thirty-One – End

The fact that I read around 300 pages without stopping to check in is probably the greatest endorsement I can give to this book. Justine put it best when she described it as addictive, this is the kind of writing and the kind of story where it sweeps you up and before you know it there are only ten pages left.

For the most part, my favourites remained my favourites throughout, but a number of other characters really surprised me by how much they grew on me. I thought that Hilo was a really interesting character, I won’t say I liked him but I was fascinated by him.

It’s a strong ending and one that leaves you satisfied but still ready for the next book. Thankfully I won’t have to wait too long as Jade War comes out in July, I’m very ready to add it to my TBR!

Final Verdict

Utterly phenomenal. I’m so glad I read this and, actually, I’m so glad I read this now. It was one of those lovely moments where the stars align and a book comes to you just when you need it. I needed a story and a world where I could throw myself in head first and just be totally absorbed – I’m delighted to say this book did all that and more.

If you’ve got this on your shelf or if you keep eyeing it up in the book shop then I urge you to wait no longer – pick it up and get reading!

My rating: 5/5 stars

I bought this book myself, all opinions are my own.

Find on Goodreads | Amazon (Affiliate)

What will the TBR jar pick next?

The Light Between World

Huzzah! I bought The Light Between Worlds on the recommendation of Asha, and haven’t got round to reading it yet. I have a feeling this one will be more than a little emotional for me but I’m very excited to get started! Stay tuned for a readalong coming very soon.

What say you? Have you read Jade City? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!




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