Review: Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Descendant of the Crane is a debut from Joan He, an author I’ve followed on Twitter for eons, and I was thrilled to be a part of the street team for it. I also loved a lot about this book.

Descendant of the Crane CoverPrincess 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? (Goodreads)Goodreads

I received an eARC of Descendant of the Crane from the author as part of the Hesina’s Imperial Court Street Team.

I am a sucker for intrigue, and this had it in spades. I adored all of the political intrigue involved in Descendant of the Crane, as well as all of the interpersonal drama. It was a slow build into a very beautifully paced mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat.

The romance in this novel felt entirely unnecessary to me, though. With that in mind, I did love the interactions between the two characters aside from the romance.

The author has talked about wanting a second book to finish this story, and I honestly think it needs it. It’s an incredibly strong debut novel and I can’t wait to read more from her in any genre!

You can (and should) pick up a copy for yourself from Indiebound, Amazon or The Book Depository through my affiliate links!


Title: Descendant of the Crane

Author: Joan He

Publisher: Albert Whitman Company

Length: 437 Pages

Release Date: April 9, 2019

Rating: Highly Recommended

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fantasy

Representation: Chinese-American Author, Chinese-based culture


Want to help support Let’s Fox About It and help it go ad-free? Subscribe to our Patreon!

Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound, The Book Depository, the ripped bodice, and Amazon are affiliate links. If you buy through those links, LFAI will make a small amount of money off of the sale.