Green Bone Withdrawal? ‘Jade Setter of Janloon’ is the Perfect Fix

Ahh. It feels good to be back in Janloon. It’s been a little over 3 months since my last excursion to Kekon (in Jade Legacy) and I guess you could say I was having some jade withdrawal.

Turns out, Jade Setter of Janloon was my perfect fix.

The first thing it has going for it, is that it’s pretty short, and quickly paced for a Green Bone book (not that any of the other Green Bone books drag necessarily). Second, it’s very much it’s own kind of story. For all that it takes place in the Green Bone universe, it still has a distinct feel. More Noir, and less Urban Fantasy. In some ways it’s perhaps even more grim even than the previous offerings, but Lee does not linger too long on any of those moments. After all, there’s a mystery to solve.

Readers of Jade City, and Jade War (and of course Jade Legacy but I already linked it above lol) will thrill to see some familiar faces but personally, I delighted at the experience of a great cast of new characters.

Pulo is at once, an enterprising young upstart, and a dutiful assistant. His master, Isin, is reserved and conservative in his work, but brash and daring when it seems no one is watching. Their shop is both renowned, yet overlooked; an essential part of all clans but separate from any one group’s control.

Or so they think . . .

Of course, it’s the tilted power structures in Janloon that are the catalyst for most of the story, but the dynamics between characters were my favorite part of this book. For instance, Pulo quickly forms opinions without considering all the facts, which inevitably leads him into situations he isn’t even close to prepared for. It may not make for great detection, but it certainly makes for a compelling narrative.

I’m lucky enough to already be well versed in the world of this story, but even if I had never read a Green Bone book before, I think I would still have rated this book just as highly (and for those who have read other ‘Jade’ books, this one sheds new light on certain places). Each member of the cast has a complicated relationship to each other and the world around them, and it was amazing to see how this seemingly ho-hum group just gets more and more interesting with every chapter.

I’ll admit though, if you’re going into this book expecting the same kind hard hitting (let’s face it, tear jerking) story as the other ‘Jade’ books, you’ll be disappointed. As I mentioned above, this book is its own thing, and I don’t think it tries to encompass the same range of emotions as previous entries. That is not to say there aren’t sad moments, or happy moments too, but we just don’t have the time needed for these characters to get their hooks into us.

After three wonderful but harrowing novels already set in Janloon, I felt this more even keeled approach to be a feature, not a bug.


Emphatically yes! Even if you’ve never picked up the other Green Bone books before, this one will be a fun and enjoyable read. I think I also read that it would be eligible for a Hugo for the Novella in 2023? That’s a long way off, and I’m not sure it’s quite that caliber, but it’s definitely on my radar as a contender.

Has anyone read this book yet? What was your favorite part (who was your favorite cameo)? Please let me know in the comments. I’m looking forward to talking about this one!

See you next time!

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