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  • Writer's pictureSofiya Pasternack

Review: Descendant of the Crane

Author: Joan He

Genre: fantasy

Release Date: April 9th, 2019

Series: Descendant of the Crane #1


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?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

What I Liked

UMMMMM okay... WOW??? This book was amazing. The cast of characters is so rich and distinct, the magic of the sooths is unique and tragic, and the political workings of the palace kind of made my head spin. Hesina is relatably steadfast, stubborn, and means to do good. The twists all along the way were wonderful. Some I saw coming, and some came out of nowhere, and some were like...

Me: Hey what if such-and-such happens?

Me: Nah that would never--



What I Would Have Liked to See

Sometimes the action was unclear, but that might have been because I was reading too fast because I needed to see what happened next!!

My Favorite!

Lilian! Her attitude, her style, that comic relief. LILIAN!


When Hesina's king father dies under mysterious circumstances, she must be the queen her kingdom needs while trying to figure out the truth of his death. But sometimes truths are better left unlearned, and secrets are better left buried.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for my honest review. All thoughts are my own!



meet sofiya!

Sofiya Pasternack is a mental health professional, the highly-distractible author of Jewish MG and YA fantasy, and prone to oversharing gross medical stories.

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