Review – Jade City by Fonda Lee

This novel is described as The Godfather with magic and kungfu, which is an accurate description as far as I know.  It is set in an Asia-flavored city.  Since neither The Godfather nor Asian-flavored backgrounds really appeal to me, it doesn’t surprise me that this novel doesn’t either.
The basic story is that the families who control jade, which powers magic, also control the city.  The more jade a person wears, the more power they have.  In addition, there is a new drug, Shine, that allows magically weaker people to use more jade, with all of the advantages and disadvantages of any performance-enhancing drug.

Superficially, this novel about power, all kinds of power, what people will do to get, what they will do to keep it, and the ramifications of the above.  In reality, it is about family and loyalty, what members of a family will do to protect each other, what they will do for those who have given their loyalty, and what they will do to those who have betrayed it.

This isn’t a novel I enjoyed, but it was compelling and well-written.  If the description appeals to you, it is well worth your time.

Lee, Fonda.  Jade City.  New York: Orbit Books, 2017.  Kindle edition.  Amazon.

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