Book Review; Descendant of the Crane- Joan He

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own

Page Count;416

Publication date May 2020/ Publisher;Titan

GoodReads link



Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?



So here’s my secret; I’ve been holding on to an ARC of The Descendant Of The Crane for THREE YEARS. I couldn’t tell you why I haven’t read it before now, I honestly don’t know. Titan Books very rarely disappoint, maybe it was the massive hype around this release? Had I overdone it on the fantasy genre at that time? Who can say.
I do know why I finally picked it up, my thanks to the 52 Book Club, I used this for the prompt ‘a book that intimidates me’ purely because its the longest netgalley I had awaiting a review.
A big oversight on my part, The Descendant Of The Crane is fantastic!

There’s a brilliant blending of genres in this novel- although predominantly a fantasy adventure, I very much enjoyed the added mystery of who murdered the King and why?

I do enjoy a youngster thrust into ruling a kingdom without preparation, struggling to be just and honourable whilst balancing a population in panic. Let’s be honest it’s a trope, nevertheless an enjoyable one.

Hesina finds herself in this exact position; When her father is murdered and her scornful, absent mother blesses the coronation, Hesina finds herself questioning ‘the Tenets’ created by the kingdoms founders. Sooths have long been feared and hated for evils of the past, but are they to blame or were their powers misused?

With only her adopted brother and sister to confide in, Hesina must battle against her own ministers to reveal the truth of her fathers death, avoid war and appease her suspicious kingdom without compromising her principles.

Joan He describes the setting and characters beautifully, the worldbuilding drew me in and the sibling bonds between Hesina, Caiyan and Lilian kept me captive.
Each chapter holds a phrase from two of the ‘Eleven’, elders who created the Tenets. I always enjoy fantasy novels that utilise quotes as an insight to fictional cultures rather than lengthy info dumps.

The Descendant Of The Crane has everything I want from a YA fantasy and more. Action, adventure, betrayal and secrets, stories within stories and all with a cast of characters you’ll quickly grow to love. A five star read for sure.

Features & Factors:

Author: Roxanne Michelle

Dramatic, curly-haired wannabe writer from a nowhere town in Somerset. Stop-starter of all projects great and small. Here to talk books, film, mental health and lifestyle.

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