Review: Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga, #3) by Fonda Lee

Title: Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga, #3)
Author: Fonda Lee
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: November 30, 2021
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Rating: ☕☕☕☕☕☕ (6/5)
Content Warnings: *highlight to view* {war themes, death of loved one, grief, graphic violence, murder, torture, drug use, ptsd}


Jade, the mysterious and magical substance once exclusive to the Green Bone warriors of Kekon, is now known and coveted throughout the world. Everyone wants access to the supernatural abilities it provides, from traditional forces such as governments, mercenaries, and criminal kingpins, to modern players, including doctors, athletes, and movie studios. As the struggle over the control of jade grows ever larger and more deadly, the Kaul family, and the ancient ways of the Kekonese Green Bones, will never be the same.
The Kauls have been battered by war and tragedy. They are plagued by resentments and old wounds as their adversaries are on the ascent and their country is riven by dangerous factions and foreign interference that could destroy the Green Bone way of life altogether. As a new generation arises, the clan’s growing empire is in danger of coming apart.
The clan must discern allies from enemies, set aside bloody rivalries, and make terrible sacrifices… but even the unbreakable bonds of blood and loyalty may not be enough to ensure the survival of the Green Bone clans and the nation they are sworn to protect.
(via Goodreads)


Rarely have I considered the last book in a trilogy as my favorite but the conclusion to The Green Bone Saga is on a league of its own: Jade Legacy is hands down my favorite book out of this series – and also one of my favorite fantasy reads last 2021. It was such a technically difficult story to tie – a lot of subplots and a lot of new critical characters introduced – but in a stroke of genius, Fonda Lee managed to tie everything together in a neat little bow.

Perhaps that was the great tragedy of jade warriors and their families. Even when we win, we suffer.

The ending of the first interlude was heavy and dramatic and explosive. And each part (it honestly felt like multiple books bundled in one) will leave you gasping for air. I’ve read this over a whole weekend, continuously, and I felt exhausted – but also fulfilled and privileged to be able to read such an amazing work of art. I wasn’t particularly following a strict schedule but Jade Legacy will just grab you and never let go.

Was this what it truly meant to hold power, Shae wondered, almost detached from her own sense of ballooning fear. Passing on the worst consequences of your failure to others, whether you wanted to or not?

The upside of having a story take place in an extended period of time is that the reader gets to experience peaks and valleys in the lives of characters that we’ve literally witnessed grow up through the pages we’ve read. I was initially skeptical when I learned that Jade Legacy will take place over a period of 20 years because I am honestly not a fan of time skips. They’re tricky and hard to pull off most times but Fonda Lee managed to make the transitions natural and necessary. This book was brilliantly edited and paced. In my Jade War review, I briefly talked about how her expert use of pacing served as a great narrative tool. And in Jade Legacy, it increased a hundred-fold. This was an approximately 700-page book and NEVER in the book did I feel bored. After the first few chapters, I was consistently on the edge of my seat the whole time – it was actually a bit traumatizing. 😅

Lee managed to stage a world where verbal sparring in meetings and closed conversations weigh and hit as much as any physical blow in a duel. Some of the most emotional and unforgettable moments in this book happened in quiet confrontations. There were a lot of heart-wrenching moments in this book and I was here for all of it. The sense of continuity from the first two books is also palpable – as actions and decisions made in the previous books led to huge consequences in the events of this story. I wasn’t able to reread the first two books prior to reading this but I was still instantly transported to this world.

We’ve both hurt each other because we were too stubborn about what we expected, and we paid badly for that. But what’s the point of life if we give up on the people we love?

There’s just too much to unpack in this book: how exciting (and scary) it is witnessing the jade discipline improve with the times, aided by both tragedy and necessity; the choices people made out of love, out of friendship, to preserve the clan, to protect their families and their legacy; how character arcs came full circle, that even the most average of characters played a huge role that set the ball rolling and contributed so much to the narrative; how deliciously choreographed the fights scenes and confrontations are; how even more fleshed out the world in Jade Legacy; how global politics played a huge role in the development of this world and how it pushed the narrative forward in unexpected directions. I could go on and on, but this post will be unnecessarily long.

At the end of everything, this book truly is a story about family. A family saga is an accurate term to describe this series – because it felt that monumental. I can’t get over how this idea was consistently emphasized and challenged not just in this book, but also in the whole trilogy. I have my fair share of favorite characters in this book: Wen, Shae, Anden… even Ru. But what really grabbed me was Hilo‘s journey from Jade City up to the very end of Jade Legacy. It was one that I haven’t expected and one I haven’t seen before. The way his character just grabbed me – made me love him, want him, hate him, and even agree (and disagree) with him at the most unexpected of times. Fonda Lee managed to conjure one of the most memorable characters and character arcs I’ve ever had the privilege of reading – and I am thankful even for just that.

“We’re not finished until we’re all dead,” Hilo said.


It has taken a long time before I even tried to put my thoughts to words about this book… but the more I stew with my feelings, the more I am left in awe and amazed at how this was written, structured, and how Fonda Lee concluded the story. The Green Bone Saga will always be a series I will recommend to people. And Jade Legacy will always hold a special place in my heart: for introducing me to characters I care about so much, for making me hope (and sometimes crushing that hope), and for making me feel a lot of things. You know a book is good if it takes you to unimaginable emotional heights – at least for me, it’s one of those foolproof indicators. And Jade Legacy is one such book. Honestly? Giving this book even a 5/5 felt like an understatement. Again, this is one of the best, if not THE best, books I’ve read last 2021. And probably one of the best conclusions of a series I’ve ever read. 💚

The clan is my blood, and the Pillar is its master. On my honor, my life, and my jade.



“Sometimes I think liars are almost as bad as thieves,” he said through a tight jaw. “They steal away trust, something that can’t be returned.”

She was the softest and most vulnerable creature; she was the strongest and most unyielding of his warriors.

The most honest prayers were inspired by terror.

When something has to be done, there’s always a way to do it.”

We don’t handle this world. We make it handle us.”

Was it worth it?” he asked. “Giving up whatever else you might’ve been, to take the path you didn’t think you would?”

“The clan is our blood, and the Pillar is its master!”

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About the Author

Fonda Lee is the World Fantasy Award-winning author of the epic Green Bone Saga, beginning with Jade City and continuing in Jade War and Jade Legacy. She is also the author of the acclaimed science fiction novels Zeroboxer, Exo and Cross Fire.

Fonda is as a three-time winner of the Aurora Award (Canada’s national science fiction and fantasy award), and a multiple finalist for the Nebula Award, the Locus Award, and the Oregon Book Award. Her novels have garnered multiple starred reviews, been included on numerous state reading lists, named Junior Library Guild selections, and appeared on Best of Year lists from NPR, Barnes & Noble, Syfy Wire, and others.

Fonda is a former corporate strategist and black belt martial artist who loves action movies and Eggs Benedict. Born and raised in Canada, she currently resides in Portland, Oregon.

Author Website | Twitter | Instagram

Find me elsewhere: Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Auditor by profession and a 'round-the-clock geek 🤓 from the 🇵🇭 and currently based in Belfast. I'm a coffee-holic INTJ with an unhealthy obsession with books and stationery. I word-vomit over at Twitter and posts book pics at Instagram: @pagesandcc . I also blog at .

2 thoughts on “Review: Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga, #3) by Fonda Lee

  1. Wonderful review! Sometimes there are just books too great to review and for me the whole saga had me feeling too much to put into words. I just… Every time I think about writing a review for it my brain blanks and cries JUST READ THE THING ALREADY PLS! 😂 This is hands down one of the best fantasy books and series that I’ve ever and will ever read and like you said, a 5/5 star rating feels like SUCH an understatement!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting, Dini! I know, it’s really hard to review this book and this whole trilogy but one that is so worth it. I just followed your blog! Can’t believe I am only seeing it now. 😊


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