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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning author Fonda Lee explodes onto the adult fantasy scene with Jade City, an epic saga reminiscent of The Godfather with magic and kung fu, set in an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis.

Family is duty. Magic is power. Honor is everything.

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 - from their grandest patriarch to the lowliest motorcycle runner on the streets - and of Kekon itself.

Jade City begins an epic tale of family, honor, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of jade and blood.

©2017 Fonda Lee (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

" Jade City is addictive...with intense martial arts action and high-stakes character drama. I'll never look at jade the same way again." (Beth Cato, author of Breath of Earth and The Clockwork Dagger)
"As this ambitious and complex story unfolds, Lee skillfully juggles a huge cast. Her action scenes are flashy, brutal, and cinematic, while the family dynamics hold their own weight and significance. This is an engaging blend of crime drama and Asian martial arts film tropes...an intense, satisfying experience." ( Publishers Weekly)

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What listeners say about Jade City

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

8 people found this helpful

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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!

10 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

14 people found this helpful

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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

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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Had it's moments

Perhaps having read as many books as I have and listened to more recently I may be being a bit unfair but to me this was 1 dimensional and had little to offer other than the main storyline which was predictable to the very end. I don't think I will continue with book 2

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful