Book Review: Jade War by Fonda Lee

After reviewing Jade City, I gave myself a short break before jumping into Jade War mostly due to having such a very long TBR, I also didn’t want to suffer from burnout in this world as I absolutely fell in love with it in the first book. Safe to say I loved Jade War too.

Jade War by Fonda Lee book review
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Jade War continues directly on from Jade City. The island of Kekon is still in a tense time with the Kaul family locked in a violent feud for control against other gangs looking to gain control. It continues the great political and gang-related relationships and explores more of this fantastically realised world.

Plot – 4.5/5

The Kaul family continue to struggle to hold control of Kekon island with The Mountain clan increasing their influence and putting pressure on them. With other enemies rising up and war raging over the seas, it’s getting harder for the head of the family, Hilo, to remain focused. 

Hilo, Shae and their cousin Anden are the three main focuses of this novel and it covers their struggles adapting to their new roles. Anden is shunned to a different country where he’ll go to college and make new friends whilst attempting to build relationships for the clan there. Shae has finally asserted herself in her new role and is looking to change the way things are run whilst not displeasing too many that believe in the old ways. And Hilo, as aforementioned is continuing to manage the family whilst maturing. It’s a great story that sees all of the characters we knew from the previous book develop and the world expand to other countries and factions.

As any good sequel does, we learn more of the other threats out there and the struggles expand to these other places. This really immerses you in this world as Lee does a fantastic job of introducing these other cultures, in themselves having their own rules and politics and making them feel utterly perfect for this world.

Characters – 4.5/5

Fonda Lee has done a fantastic job of maturing the characters in Jade War. Hilo, the character from the previous book who we all worried would end up running the family into the ground has significantly matured and you can notice the change in his demeanour which is a change he’s had to make as a leader of the clan.

Shae has settled into her role more but is still continuously nervous about the differences she wishes to implement. However, she realises quickly that to implement these changes she must assert herself and she does this brilliantly. Speaking of asserting themselves, When, Hilo’s partner really has more of a role in this book and you begin to see her loyalty and passion for helping this family, supporting Hilo where she can and even offering support and guidance to extended family and clan members.

There are other characters brought into this novel, all of whom Lee writes in a fantastic way, giving each and every character their own distinct personality traits making it easy to not only understand who you’re reading about but also immersing you into the choices they make.

Jade War summary – 5/5

I loved Jade City and I continued to love the Green Bone Saga with Jade War. It does exactly what every sequel should do – it introduces new characters, expands the impressively realised world and continues to acknowledge the struggles, triumphs and more that we loved from the first book.

If you love fantasy, if you love Asian-inspired culture or you’re even into gangster-style novels then I’d definitely suggest picking up Jade City and feeling comfortable knowing that Jade War is a worthy sequel.

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