Book review – Jade War by Fonda Lee

Caidyn's review (1)

Jade War (The Green Bone Saga, #2)

4.5/5

CW: violence, desecrating a body, clan wars (still), mention of rape, abortion, and death

  1. 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.


Talk to me!
Have you read this? What did you think?
What series is killing you with the wait?

Book review – The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

Caidyn's review (1)

The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, #2)

Thanks to Netgalley and Edelweiss for an ARC!!

5/5

CW: drug use, addiction, rape, cannibalism (briefly implied), PTSD, grief and violence

  1. The Poppy War – 5/5

Image result for screaming gif

Oh, hello. I didn’t see you there. The above gif is, honestly, my end reaction at the last few chapters because boy did this fuck me up.

So, welcome to my incoherent review that will be spoiler-y for the first book!

The book picks up pretty soon after the end of The Poppy War. Rin has destroyed everything and is now basically wanted by everyone. She won the war, but her win came at a huge cost for everyone. That’s what she’s learning now.

The book’s plot was fucking insane. If I thought the first one had intrigue, this one was fucking madness. We got multiple people trying to pull Rin to their side so they can use her powers to swing the war in their favor. The biggest one is the Dragon Warlord, Nezha’s father, who she throws her lot in with once she realizes there’s really nothing that she can do. Except, really, Rin doesn’t like to be controlled in the least.

And then there’s Rin over there trying to figure out what she wants while she’s dealing with the grief of losing Altan. Now she’s the last of the Speerlies and has to put that burden on her, along with all that she’s done and seen. Which is a lot because Rin has gone down a long path, then there’s even more in this book.

What I really loved about this book was how the characters grew and allegiances were cemented. It was beautiful to read that because it was so lovely to see the survivors band together even if they don’t really like each other very much still.

Then, there’s the world. It expands so much in this book! You get to see more of Nikan and the various people who live in it, getting along and fighting as you can expect. Plus, you get to see new religions and people, like the Hesperians (who are basically the Europeans trying to colonize China and push Christianity as the one and true religion). You also get to see more and new gods in the pantheon in action as the walls are broken down.

I mean, this book was just so fucking fantastic on so many levels.

One thing that killed me was the fact that the ARC doesn’t have the character list completed. There’s a space for it, but it’s not done yet so I didn’t have that helping me out. And, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m horrible with names in books. Especially epic fantasy. I kept getting characters lost since so much happens in this book and you’re introduced to so many new people in the course of the book. So, be prepared for that! This is epic fantasy at its finest. And, unlike GRRM or Brandon Sanderson, there’s an end in sight since this is only a trilogy.

I just loved this book so much and I feel so lucky that I got an ARC of it. It’s been on my must have list since I finished the first book and now I’m just mostly dead waiting for the final book to finish me off.


Talk to me!

Have you read this yet?
Are you dying for it?
What recent epic fantasy do you love?

Mini DNF Reviews

Caidyn's review (1)

Here we go again. I have opinions about books I didn’t finish. This should surprise no one by this point. This time, I present, two books! One’s an ARC by a popular YA author and one is a book that people have loved as the latest feminist dystopian piece. Since these are DNFs, they are going to be 1/5.

Let’s just get into this one!

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