Hello! I’m still slightly shocked that it’s November already !?! I managed to read 11 books last month, and while there were plenty that I loved, there were two that just really stood out to me. Both are series finales, one to an epic fantasy series filled with political intrigue, family turmoil & epic fight scenes. The other is a loose retelling of Romeo and Juliette set in 1920’s Shanghai. Both of these books took me on an emotional roller coaster… yes I cried at them both, and both are filled with unforgettable characters and stories that will stay with me long after I finished them. As usual I’ve added my favourite quotes but with neither of these being released yet I’ve tried my best to keep my quotes as spoiler free as possible.
The year is 1927, and Shanghai teeters on the edge of revolution.
After sacrificing her relationship with Roma to protect him from the blood feud, Juliette has been a girl on the warpath. One wrong move, and her cousin will step in to usurp her place as the Scarlet Gang’s heir. The only way to save the boy she loves from the wrath of the Scarlets is to have him want her dead for murdering his best friend in cold blood. If Juliette were actually guilty of the crime Roma believes she committed, his rejection might sting less.
Roma is still reeling from Marshall’s death, and his cousin Benedikt will barely speak to him. Roma knows it’s his fault for letting the ruthless Juliette back into his life, and he’s determined to set things right—even if that means killing the girl he hates and loves with equal measure.
Then a new monstrous danger emerges in the city, and though secrets keep them apart, Juliette must secure Roma’s cooperation if they are to end this threat once and for all. Shanghai is already at a boiling point: The Nationalists are marching in, whispers of civil war brew louder every day, and gangster rule faces complete annihilation. Roma and Juliette must put aside their differences to combat monsters and politics, but they aren’t prepared for the biggest threat of all: protecting their hearts from each other.
“Juliette was not frightened. If anything, she was only resentful – not at Roma, but at herself. At wanting to lean in even while Roma was actively trying to kill her. At this distance between them that she had willingly manufactured, because they had been born into two families at war, and she would rather die at Roma’s hands than be the cause of his death.”
“This is a city built on labour,’ Juliette said coldly. ‘If madness tears through the streets once again, we are only as safe as our weakest and poorest. They fall, and we fall too. Do you forget who runs your factories? Do you forget how your shops open every morning.”
“Juliette spat a curse and swung the door open, then pulled it shut after herself with a loud slam. Let the men jump. Let them be afraid of how she moved, like a hurricane intent on destruction.”
“The foreigners see this city as an unborn child to keep in line,’ she said. ‘No matter how they threaten us with their tanks, they will not harm us. They watch us split internally like embryos in the womb, twins and triplets eating each other until there is no one left, and they want nothing more than to stop it so we can come out whole for them to sell.”
Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee
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 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.
“The country may be caught between two tigers, as General Ronu put it, but The Mountain and No Peak are the two tigers of Kekon. Whenever you roar, we smaller creatures run back and forth, trying to decide whose less likely to eat us.”
“Jadeless women – we have so few weapons, Wen thought, with vicious self-satisfaction. We duel each other with smiles and words the way our men duel with knives.”
“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?”
“Good men are remembered with love by their friends,’ declared the Spear of Kekon. ‘Great warriors are remembered with awe by their enemies.”