Review: Jade Legacy

Series: The Green Bone Saga: #3

“You’d think it would be easier to face death as you get older, but it doesn’t work that way. You get more attached to life, to people you love and things that are worth living for.”


I first read Jade City and Jade War a few years1 ago–before the third and final book was out. So when I finally got a chance for a re-read (re-listen this time), I figured I’d give it a chance.

And oh, does this book ever deliver. If you’re like me and have read the first two and not this–what are you waiting for?

On a slightly more detailed front, this is an epic conclusion all the stories that came before, at once at far more scale (both in time and place) and more personal (several more close calls… and more deaths)2.

While the first books took place over a span of months (maybe a year at most? I don’t 100% recall), this book literally spans decades. We’re still dealing with the same families and clans as before, but throughout the course of the book, we’re literally watching them grow old and their children grow to take their places.

“I think it’s natural in our forties to start wondering if we’re past the main events of our lives, or if there are still other mountains to climb.”

Oh it’s so good.

And like I mentioned, as the years go by for the Kaul family, they’re going by in the world as well. You have Jade spreading to other lands. New variants of shine. Jade soldiers all around the world. Trade. The development of computers. Mass media. All going by in what feels like the blink of an eye.

It’s the passage of time, writ fantasy.

You don’t often see this done well in books (at least I don’t)–especially not when it’s so different from the first two. And I love it.

“Even the biggest tigers grow old, Hilo had once said. But even the oldest tiger was still a tiger.”

And finally, the characters. It’s kind of amazing how much the Kauls have changed throughout the books. Hilo especially and Wen (especially after the events of the second book). But Shae gets some real moments to shine in this one, which I love. Emery Anden, oh, I love his contrasting part. And of course all the children. I think I’m going to miss all of them, which doesn’t always happen to me in books.

“I was angry at you for a long time after you refused to wear jade. Of course you remember. Now, though… I’m thankful you’re not a Fist, Andy. I need—” Hilo’s voice faltered. “I need one of my brothers to live.”

All that being said–this is a very violent book. There are some fairly explicit sex scenes. And there are some painful deaths. If any of this bothers you–how in the world did you make it to the third book in this series? But seriously, it doesn’t get better. But if anything, I think it matters more.

Well well worth the read.

  1. … in 2020? Man COVID did a number of sense of time. ↩︎

  2. It’s also quite the hefty tome. I listened to the audiobook this time around and it clocks in at over 28 hours. Even at the 2x+ speed that’s become normal for me… that’s a lot. ↩︎