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Publisher's Summary

Nominee for Nebula Award for Best Novel

In this World Fantasy Award-winning novel of magic and kungfu, four siblings battle rival clans for honor and power in an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis.

Jade is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. It has been mined, traded, stolen, and killed for - and for centuries, honorable 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 - and of Kekon itself.

The Green Bone Saga

  • Jade City
  • Jade War
  • Jade Legacy
©2017 Fonda Lee (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

Named one of TIME's Top 100 Fantasy Book of All Time

Winner of World Fantasy Award for Best Novel

Winner of Aurora Award for Best Novel

Finalist of Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel

"An epic drama reminiscent of the best classic Hong Kong gangster films but set in a fantasy metropolis so gritty and well-imagined that you'll forget you're reading a book." (Ken Liu, Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author)

"A beautifully realized setting, a great cast of characters, and dramatic action scenes. What a fun, gripping read!" (Ann Leckie, Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author)

"An instantly absorbing tale of blood, honor, family and magic, spiced with unexpectedly tender character beats." (NPR)

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What listeners say about Jade City

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting take on modern fantasy, I'd recommend!

To start off, this is a great book. The character work is done well for the main cast, although the secondary characters are a bit shallow. The plot moves along quick enough to keep you "turning pages". Found myself wanting to finish just one more chapter.

Again the narration is great and I enjoyed the entire performance.

I guess the best praise I can give: Finishing this book made me want to pick the next one up right away.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Stressful, yet so entertaining

This story was bada$$ and I loved every minute, even though I was scared for the wellbeing of all my favourite characters!

The world building was very easy to follow, and so was the plot. The story flew by me.

Narrator read pretty slowly, I actually had to speed up his reading to 1.65x which is the fastest I've ever gone... usually I don't go past 1.25x

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Epic Clan / Yakuza style political drama

This book slowly builds the political tension within the city of janloon families tear at each other both in blood and with physiological warfare as the war for Jade and gold kicks off.

With so many twists and turns in the second half of this book and even more at the end the build up in the first half is worth the wait and I cannot wait to read book 2

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Snorefest

what a boring story with dumb character names. I couldn't get beyond the third chapter. it bounces around to different characters in the same chapter, I didnt know who the story was about. why this is well rated is beyond me. and the performance was bad. what a waste of a credit.

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awesome book

I really loved this story. The narrator's voice was great. not irritating. did the female voices in a normal way so you weren't wincing. I enjoyed the ups and downs of the one family and look forward to reading the next book

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Great Start for a Trilogy!

Jade City has a lot of things I love in a story. Strong characters, conflicts, betrayals and magic. I personally admire Shae and Anden. Ayt is another great figure. For a first book, it's common to have a slow-paced rhythm since it's presenting the reader with the background, universe and purpose. However, that didn't bother me at all. I enjoyed everything and I cant not wait to see what Jade War will bring. Kudos to Fonda Lee and Andrew Kishino to bring the story to life. Clans, violence, politics? Definetely, a modern and fantasy take on The Godfather. Two thumbs up!

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Absolutely Fantastic

Everything really came together in this book to make something truely special. It's really something new and refreshing to the genre and explores some great concepts in a new way that I really haven't seen before. Give it a go, you won't regret it. Great story and great performance.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Interesting story but I'm just not into it...

When I read the summary and other reviews, I was very excited to get this book. Unfortunately, the story moves slowly and I'm just not getting into it. Its become very hard to finish.

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elegant and awesome

I'm left in awe. Please try it. This was really great. All expectations were exceeded. The story combines power, identity, family, legacy, politics, and loss in very satisfying way. The action scenes were gripping. The characters felt understandable and relatable. The setting feels like a real place. I haven't read a setting this clearly articulated and felt in a long time. There was a ton of atmosphere.

The central concept of a type of jade that bestows heightened abilities on those who wear it was handled in a compelling and intriguingly layered way. Jade isn't just a one dimensional power booster. It can damage just as much or more than it gifts if not handled the right way. There are dangers to wearing it, and inborn senstivity as well as level or lack of training affects one's capacity to use it. It can make people godlike martial artists but also destroy their lives. It's hard to sum up in a quick way but it worked very well as a focal point for character struggles and action sequences and the way it informed the culture of the country the story happens in.

There are a lot of POV character changes from chapter to chapter. It was reminiscent of the Game of Thrones books in that way, but with a smaller cast of characters and everything feels much tighter because POV characters are dealing with connecting situations within one city.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Harvey
  • 2020-05-13

The Truth about the Godfather Connection

First- there are a lot of people saying this is/isn't like the Godfather. It most certainly is, and anyone who says it isn't probably hasn't read Mario Puzo's novel. What's similar? The story structure, the pacing, the levels of violence and sex, the themes of family/clan loyalty and honor. Even the conflict is the same (families/clans at war over whether or not to sell drugs/jade). Want a hotheaded fighter light Sonny Corleone? Check out the Horn. Or a thinker and planner character like Michael? Check out the young Pillar. If you enjoyed the political intrigue of the Godfather but you want a little fantasy? This is a book for you. It's a little more spelled out than the Godfather, but it's still there.

Second- The fantasy element is very light. That can be good or bad, just know what you are getting.

Third- The narration is competent. The narrator is Canadian, but many of the characters are read with an American accent that doesn't always fit the tone and setting I had in my mind. It's fantasy, so it's not that big of a deal, but I think that is what is throwing some people off.

27 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • allen
  • 2019-12-25

An unlikable cast of boring antiheroes

This book tries so hard to be an epic fantasy story in the modern world. Sadly, it falls flat on every level. The characters are all one note and boring. The one interesting female character becomes far less interesting halfway through. The "magic" system in the book is interesting but not explored to its fullest potential. Ultimately the characters you are meant to pull for are jerks and unlikable meaning you don't care what happens to them.

I can't imagine I'll try the rest in the series.

Also, I hope you like the word "nonplussed" as the horrid editing missed about a dozen uses of the word.

14 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Wolf
  • 2020-06-05

ZZZZZZZZ......

I tried, I really tried, unfortunately I kept falling asleep. The blurb ticked most of my boxes so I thought it would be good. The writing, for what I was awake for, seemed cohesive. I have enjoyed the reader before. The fight scenes were well written, I just couldn’t get into the story.

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Bonnie Clyde
  • 2020-09-09

Excruciatingly Slow.

When I have to talk myself into listening to more of a book, I know that I need to just let it go. Every time I forced myself back to this story, I found that I couldn't remember what had happened before (because nothing really happened), and I had trouble staying focused on what I was listening to. The narrator did a good job with the material, but the lack of plot and the one-dimensional characters didn't give him much to work with.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rian
  • 2018-08-12

A fresh take on fantasy

There's a little something for everyone in this book. A lot of people have said it's like The Godfather, but with a fantasy twist. Personally, I thought it was a bit more like a more modern twist on Game of Thrones. Magic? Check. Sociopolitical complexity? Check. Characters who must reconcile their ideas of honor and their goals? Check. I recommend this book for any fantasy fan who is tired of Tolkien-esque settings. Can't wait for the next book!

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave
  • 2019-10-23

My Blood for the Pillar!

If A Game of Thrones swapped out settings with Hong Kong and was made by John Woo, it might look something like Jade City. Instead of knights protecting the realm, jade-wielding clan gangsters protect the island of Kekon. It's relatively contemporary -- maybe set in an alternative 90s. Clan warriors from family bloodlines use jade -- believed to be thrown down from the gods -- to give them supernatural abilities such as strength and speed.

The way the clans matched wits, blades, bullets, and bodies against each other definitely put me in mind of George R.R. Martin's famous saga, but the other thing I wasn't expecting was how anxious I'd become for some of the characters and their fates. I was wasting time and gas sitting in parking lots or taking the long way home -- completely worried about whether or not these characters would survive...and not all of them did. All in all, the characters were incredibly engaging and I was surprised by how much I cared about them.

Andrew Kishino's narration is equal parts sharp and smooth. He has a knack for the character voices -- differentiating them without making them sound silly and juggling this cast of characters.

Fonda Lee has made a new fan of me with this one. I loved every minute of it -- even the minutes I was dreading. I can't wait to hear the next book in this series and check out more of Lee's work.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ken Schneyer
  • 2018-03-24

Beautifully realized world, vivid characters; makes you think

An intelligent, exciting, thoughtful novel that teeters on the edge between science fiction and fantasy. One part The Godfather, one part Dune, one part The Left Hand of Darkness, one part John le Carre, this book is also unremitting and unsentimental in its meditation on colonialism, imperialism, and gender politics. The characters are vivid, and their complex traits, sorrows, and weaknesses are entirely believable based on their pasts. Perhaps Lee’s most impressive achievement is making the reader care about and sympathize with leaders who are essentially ritualized gangsters, ruling an entire society through violence and the threat of violence. The narration of this story is splendid as well.

18 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Isaiah Rude
  • 2021-06-28

An acceptably confused story

6/10 | 3 stars

The purported purpose for the magic system is to provide a “reasonable” explanation for the ludicrous kung-fu moves in most kung-fu action films. But there are hardly any fight scenes to justify even having this magic system to begin with. It’s also not really unique or interesting. From what I could tell, it seems to resemble hard stimulants in psychoactive effect. But they also give you superpowers.

..? Odd.

This book is an urban fantasy gangster family crime drama, with some elements of action. I have to commend the idea. It’s a nice shake of pace from high fantasy. This notwithstanding, urban fantasy poses a particular challenge with regards to worldbuilding in that the reader’s familiarity with the technological advancement, way-of-life, governing system, etc. make it particularly difficult to evoke a sense of wonder at the novelty of exploring a totally foreign fantasy land. In this respect, this book does not deliver for me.

The characters aren’t super super deep, despite their deviations from the archetypes they conspicuously fit into upon first meeting them. Hilo is cookie-cutter. Lan is boring. Shae is pretty alright.

The plot was predictable, though I enjoyed it enough to get through the whole thing. I wish I could compare this to other crime dramas such as the grandfather, but I haven’t read them.

So yeah, that’s my take.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • anood
  • 2019-12-24

liked it

this urban fantasy was action filled and well done, the writing was great, the over all feeling of it had me craving for an anime, if you like politically driven adult books about gang wars and family, books that are morally gray and characters that will have you question your self, this is the book for you, I might continue on with this series .

why not 5 stars ?
this is a 5 star read tbh, it's just not my kind of book, I don't usually like political intrigue, and though I enjoy reading about morally gray characters, I didnt like how this book had me rooting for murderers and torturers, I felt bored at some parts and procrastinated myself into a slump , or rather the slump had me procrastinate for more than month .

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mr Dangerous
  • 2019-05-03

Felt like a video game...

I gave it 3 hours. I felt like i was listening to a video game. Cool world, but thin video game characters, thin video game dialogue. A story that didn't draw me in.

Kishino gave a solid narration.

7 people found this helpful