Descendant of the Crane

by Joan He

Albert Whitman and Company, 2019

YA Fantasy

Summary: Hesina is determined to find her father’s murderer as she tries to rule a country rapidly fracturing.

Likes: Hesina’s journey as a young queen trying to make decisions made me feel really bad but I understand why she made the decisions she did and I felt for her. A bunch of the big reveals threw me for a loop. I also loved how much world-building there was. The government is elaborate and the meeting with another country’s leader gave us a peek at more.

Dislikes: Oh man, that plot felt almost unnecessarily convoluted (but I also read a good portion of the final 3rd while sleep-deprived). And there were times when I felt unnecessarily yanked around.

Overall this didn’t feel like a standalone. It wasn’t a cliffhanger ending but there was some pretty dramatic stuff and future events hinted at. I have a lot of questions. Unless the summary of what Hesina wanted to do at the end is how it all goes down… But we’ll see. I’m not sure I’d read companion novels because I don’t think the reveals would be as shocking.

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