{ARC} Review: Descendant of the Crane by Joan He || My trust issues are warrented

Descendant of the Crane

Joan He

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, dreaming of an unremarkable life. But when her beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. What’s more, Hesina believes that her father was murdered—and that the killer is someone close to her.

Hesina’s court is packed full of dissemblers and deceivers eager to use the king’s death for political gain, each as plausibly guilty as the next. Her advisers would like her to blame the neighboring kingdom of Kendi’a, whose ruler has been mustering for war. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by
death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.

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

Publisher: Albert Whitman Company

Publication Date: April 9th 2019



Trigger Warning



Death, Murder, Grief, Abandonment

Buddy Read with Anna @ Books of Teacups

I went into this not expecting anything and kind of came out conflicted? This was such a roller coaster of emotions for me: from excited and furiously turning the page to bored to a bit unsatisfied…

The beginning was a bit weird— it starts off right with our main character looking for answers to who killed her father and promising vengeance, but the way it’s portrayed was kind of confusing. It just didn’t flow. 

coffee divider 2

And at first, I was really giving this book some slack: it’s a debut, there’s a sequel coming, there’s more to look forward to… but I really can’t ignore the rushed nature of the story… or how much I was trudging through it that first 40%.

Yet, it felt like I was going through highs and lows. Some parts had me excited to finish the story and then I’d be hit with a wet blanket.

It wasn’t the plot— that’s that thing that drew me to the book in the first place. And the plot is interesting. Court intrigue and Game of Thrones vibes and complicated relationships and trust issues. 

coffee divider 2

Original link here

However, as far as characters go, I really liked Hesina. She wasn’t your stereotypical hardass main character, but she also wasn’t just sweet and a pushover. I mean, one minute she was showing kindness to a criminal and the next she’s choking someone out with their own necklace, you know? 

My favorite kind of character.

And the fact that she makes so many mistakes, it made her even more believable as a character. She managed to be smart and mess up, making her a well rounded character and I rooted for her.

coffee divider 2

But, with the Game of Thrones comparison’s, I did not trust anyone. I liked them, but I had so many theories and ideas and was trying to find out plot twist… and I kind of figured it out? Some characters just seemed blatently untrustworthy, the hints throughout the book were clear enough for me to see, but I really liked how a big part of the mystery is revealed early on in the story, but you just know that there’s so much more that we’re not seeing.

Yet… the ending felt oddly unsatisfactory? Yes, there’s a cliffhanger and such, but it ends with a lot of exposition and reveals and I just… the ending didn’t feel gratifying.  I don’t know if I’ll continue the series, but this wasn’t a bad read.

19 thoughts on “{ARC} Review: Descendant of the Crane by Joan He || My trust issues are warrented”

  1. It’s too bad it wasn’t a satisfying read. It sucks when you like only certain aspects of a book and the rest just doesn’t live up to it. It so conflicting! Still I gotta say this is one of the few somewhat negative reviews I’ve seen. All I’ve seen is people raving about it. I’m not sure if I’ll pick it up though. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree about the writing not “flowing.” It’s hard to describe the style, but it was just choppy and awkward to me. I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t care for it (although I think I liked it even less than you did). Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s