CW: violence, desecrating a body, clan wars (still), mention of rape, abortion, and death
- Jade City – 4.5/5
I’m going be straight up with y’all. I don’t know what the fuck I want to say about this book. All I know is that it was amazing and I just cannot wait for the third book. Which, when I went to get the cover for this book, I saw that the book already has a title and cover and description and I started screaming and crying.
That’s how much I love this series.
But, I need to get back on track because I have a warning for y’all. This will contain spoilers for the first book. I can’t hold myself back because so much has happened and ugh. It needs to be told and I can’t censor myself. Stay away if you want to be unspoiled!
This book picks up months after the end of Jade City. Hilo is the Pillar of No Peak after Lan was killed. Anden recovered from his fight and, after deciding not to become a Green Bone, ends up in Espenia to see how he could be of use there getting an education and being around the Kekonese in Espenia. Shae is still the Weather Man. Wen, Hilo’s wife, is expecting their first child together. Hilo’s grandfather, the former Pillar, has passed away as well. Oh, and there’s also a foreign war on top of the clan war No Peak is still having with the Mountain clan.
Basically, shit has gone down and it’s going down fast.
As with the first book, I was built up and destroyed so rapidly. The plot is a bit slower because of the expansion. After all, it’s not just things going on in Kekon now. It’s also Kekon, No Peak working with the Espenian government, Anden being in Espenia and the people he meets there, the political maneuvering of all characters, and even more. The book has expanded so much and it’s all-encompassing.
At times, I thought that Lee might have bitten off more than she could chew. Mainly with the foreign war that was now going on. I hope that expands more in the third book but I felt like it was very much a background thing in this. I wanted to know more about it and the relationship that Kekon had with them.
But, the characters. Nothing is sacred in Lee’s book. Nothing. I remember that distinctly from reading the first book. No one is safe in this damn thing and I had to brace myself. Wen is, definitely, my favorite character. Shae is a close second. Lee writes amazing female characters. They’re so complex and live in this very male-dominated world. Wen finds ways to manipulate Hilo into doing things that he might not have agreed to before. When that doesn’t work, she and Shae work together behind his back to get shit done that Hilo might not approve of. They are wonderful and ugh. I love it.
I also enjoyed seeing how Hilo is coping with all that’s going on. He was never supposed to be the Pillar. That was Lan and his descendants. But now he’s thrust into this position he was never trained for. I’m enjoying seeing how he retains his old personality and works with the new one that he has to develop to do his job as Pillar. Although, he’s still hella impulsive and I distinctly remember one scene where I was staring, open-mouthed, at the book because I did not expect his actions. I’m still waiting to see the consequences of those actions.
Anden also got a lot of development in this. He’s away from the people he grew up around and in a country he’s never been to. He has to learn this new world, along with reconcile his old identity with his new one. Oh, and he finally really gets to live his life how he wants. Kekon isn’t well-known for being accepting of gay people — it’s still very cishet and male-dominated — so he gets to be in Espenia where it’s not a huge deal. He gets to finally be gay in a more open way. That was lovely to see.
This book is so intense and it spans years. I’m not joking when I say that. The first book felt more contained and in a shorter time span, but this one really is longer. I kind of judged it by Wen having kids. She’s pregnant with her first, then they have a second. The second is starting to walk when the book ends. I mean, that’s years. And it didn’t really feel like it. It just shows how long this game is going to go. Who knows how long the Saga will be at this rate!
What I do know is that I’m going to read the next one as soon as it comes out. And, I’m going to be impatiently waiting for it because I need this stat. Like immediately.
Have you read this? What did you think?
What series is killing you with the wait?