Derek Strikes the TBR pile and finds Fonda Lee’s Jade City
I think everyone’s to-be-read pile is always in danger of collapsing on them so that rescuers can only find cat-gnawed bones. For that reason, I listen via Audible and don’t have a cat.
But still, my to-be-read pile is huge and growing and I’d been wanting to read Fonda Lee’s Jade City for some time. It just won the Aurora and did quite well with Hugo and Nebula readers. Also how cool does a magical Asian Godfather story sound?
Lee has created the world of Janloon, what felt to me as a kind of magical Hong Kong, set sometime after cars, airplanes and phones, but before cell phones and computers. It’s a world of increasing modernity and one where ancient traditions (magical jade) come into conflict.
The Kaul family and the Ayt family are the two big mafia families that run Janloon through politicians and businesses. The people of Janloon are the only ones who can wear magical jade without having major toxicity/withdrawal/addiction problems. In the hands of a trained green-bone, jade can enhance perception, strength, speed, toughness, etc and the uneasy stalemate between the No Peak Clan (the Kauls) and the Mountain Clan (the Ayts) begins to unravel with the possibility of a drug called SN1 which allows foreigners to use jade.