cover image Jade Shards

Jade Shards

Fonda Lee. Subterranean, $45 (136p) ISBN 978-1-64524-126-3

These four solid fantasy shorts, three of which were previously published through Lee’s Patreon, serve as prequel to the Green Bone Saga series, which concluded with 2021’s Jade Legacy. All explore revelatory moments in some of Lee’s most pivotal characters’ pasts. “The Witch and Her Friend” looks at the school days of terrifying Mountain matriarch Ayt Mada. “Not Only Blood” shows how the orphan Anden came to be adopted into the No Peak clan. In the surprisingly spicy “Better Than Jade,” the spotlight turns to the unlikely yet unwavering romance between No Peak’s Kaul Hilo and the stone-eye, or non–magic user, Maik Wen as it first blossoms. Finally, the tense “Granddaughter Cormorant” chronicles Kaul Shae’s earliest involvement in foreign affairs and espionage. There’s no grand unifying theme to these offerings beyond their setting, with moods ranging from wistful and distant to passionate and immediate, but all grant welcome glimpses into what makes these favorite characters tick. The result will be a treat for die-hard fans and series completionists. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (July)