Cover Image: Descendant of the Crane

Descendant of the Crane

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Member Reviews

DNF'd on 6.2.19 at 80 pages

I do not really enjoy fantasy anymore, especially YA fantasy, so this was probably on me that I didn't enjoy this
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I Really liked the book and characters a lot. And I h0ad a really good time reading it. And the story was very interesting.
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I absolutely loved this and I'm excited to read more! Hesina is a character I'm greatly interested in seeing grow, along with the others involved in this intricate story.
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I ended up DNFing Descendant of the Crane at 31% it wasnt horrible but it just couldnt keep my interest.
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Heavy is the head that wears the crown. And this book bears that burden better than most. I cried through the ending, shedding tears for the simple tragedy of things that can never be. Imagining another life where things might have been different for these siblings. For Hesina. I think it's safe to say at this point that this was one of the best "Queen takes the thrones" stories I've read. In a genre of mediocre stories featuring one dimensional characters, this was an epic, and one that I hope more people would read. 5 stars.
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Descendant of the Crane was a breath of fresh air. If you are ever feeling that all YA novels are starting to feel the same, pick up this book! It is a beautifully written novel that is full of complex twists and turns that leave you guessing until the end.

This story takes place in a fantastical version of Ancient China and revolves around the princess Hesina who is convinced that her father’s death wasn’t an accident. As Hesina continues to delve deeper into the mystery, she starts to wonder if the truth is worth the price.

At its core this is a coming of age story for Hesina as she learns what it means to be a ruler, and how her mistakes can have far-reaching consequences. This novel really stands on its own in the YA genre and I genuinely hope it will get the recognition it deserves for doing something different. I have favourite tropes as much as the next person but it so refreshing to see an author take more risks and not give into these well-worn story lines. It can get a little slow at times since this book is focused on politics over action, but it is never boring.

Hesina is a great character who follows a realistic progression, as does her relationship with the other characters. The romance is very minimal because it would have been awful if the whole story ground to a halt to focus on a relationship. She has much bigger things to worry about. The worldbuilding is minimal as well but it perfectly compliments the story. The magical elements are few in number, but they are crucial to the plot. The author does a great job of drawing you into her culture and weaving this narrative together.
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Descendant of the Crane is a novel that is inspired by Chinese mythology and history. Hesina has always wanted to escape her duties as a princess. When her father is murdered, she becomes queen. Hesina has to manage her kingdom and find her father’s murderer through the help of Akira, a criminal. Can Hesina and Akira ever discover who the killer is?

     As a huge fan of Chinese historical dramas, I was excited to read this book! I find that Descendant of the Crane did not disappoint! It had all the makings of a clever Chinese drama, political intrigue - betrayal, mystery, and deception! The heroine was strong and complex. Within the first few pages, I feel like I had come to know Hesina. She is a young girl that feels trapped inside the palace. She knows that somewhere within the palace is a murderer. I really admire Hesina’s quest for justice as she tries to solve the murder. Therefore, Hesina is a determined heroine that readers will love to root for.

     Overall, this novel is about trust, justice, and responsibility. I liked all the characters. Akira was intelligent and mysterious. I also like her siblings, each of whom had different personalities. The world-building is lush and vivid in detail that is based on imperial China. The beginning started out slow but picked up pace halfway through the novel. I also did not like that it ended in a cliffhanger. Nevertheless, I’m excited to read the sequel! I recommend Descendant of the Crane for fans of A Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, Spin the Dawn, and The Magnolia Sword! This is not a novel to be missed!
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A solid YA novel that was a good purchase for my library. Students have read and enjoyed it, and I purchased it because of this review copy.
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An enjoyable read but unfortunately it just fell a little flat for me. The worldbuilding was excellent though!
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An engaging fantasy novel that incorporates a murder mystery and courtroom drama makes this an excellent choice for readers of all genres as well as those who are looking to explore the fantasy genre further.
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Such a creative and inventive world, lush characters, and a plot that had me at the edge of my seat. Joan He's book was the first book in a very, very long time that I couldn't put down. I can't wait to see what else is to come from her.
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.

I’ve been struggling with YA fantasy for the past year or so, however I wanted to give it another try while in quarantine. I dusted off my copy of The Descendant of the Crane -- one of my most highly anticipated 2019 releases that I never managed to read (oops), which is coming out in the UK in June. It turned out to be the perfect escapist read filled with gorgeous world-building, fun characters, and more twists and turns than I could have ever anticipated!

This book is a funny one for me because I think it was a fairly generic YA story with fairly generic characters, but there’s something about it that worked so well for me! After some consideration, I think the thing that drew me into this book and kept my interest was the wonderful world-building. The author does an incredible job of creating an intricate world with lush imagery, interesting politics and government system, an in-depth history, and fascinating mythology. As someone who loves world-building above all else in fantasy, I absolutely devoured every single gorgeous detail. The plot itself is fun, but a bit of a mess -- throwing so many twists and turns into the reader’s path that felt almost overwhelming -- but the amazing setting and culture absolutely made this book work for me.

I didn’t find any of the characters particularly outstanding or memorable, but I did enjoy Hesina and her incredible determination to find out what happened to her father. Her strained relationship with her blood brother and mother, especially in comparison to her close relationship with her adopted siblings, was really interesting to read about, especially as the story unfolds and you learn more about this history between family members. You get the sense that Hesina wants to be a good queen, however she’s left a little in the dark, despite the training her father gave her, and she spends most of the book struggling to keep her head above water. She has a very classic reluctant ruler story, but it was one that I enjoyed reading nonetheless. 

The Descendant of the Crane is a fun and twisty YA book that might not work for everyone, but lovers of beautiful fantasy worlds should consider picking up! It was a great quarantine read and was the perfect escape! I am seriously hoping we get a sequel in the future.
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This novel is one of the best I’ve read this year! The characters are so dynamic yet relatable. I loved the flow of the story. It held my attention the whole time.
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This is one of the best own voice, fantasy books I have ever read with an intriguing plot, amazing characters, beautiful character dynamics and such exquisite writing!  This book deserves to be recognized because it brings a sharp uniqueness to the ya genre.  The plot twists were fantastic!
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I really enjoyed this novel. I loved the brutality, the Chinese historical influence, the exploration of estranged parental relationships, and the lore of the sooths. However, what didn't work for me was that this book felt like the beginning of a much larger story. After I finished the book I found out that this is a standalone novel which made me feel differently because I don't feel that the story was properly wrapped up and we almost got zero answers to any of the questions that I had. With that being said, I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
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The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'm so sad to say that this book was not the right one for me. 
The plot sounded really promising: it looked like an Asian version of GoT (and that sounded really amazing), with twists and turns, politics and female power. I was sold. So, the premise and promise were high and I had great expectations, but then, sadly, they were not met. 
I found this book to be very boring to read. I had so much potential, but it wasn't exploited well enough.
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"No might was perfect for treason, but this one came close."

I really wanted to love this. It was just too slow and I lost interest and had to keep coming back to it. I realized after almost exactly a year that it came out I still can't finish it. I keep coming back to it but the words I don't know are too distracting and there are so many characters. I'm done trying for now. Maybe I'll pick it up in the future. Maybe.

"What is truth? Scholars seek it. Poets write it. Good kinds pay gold to hear it. But in trying times, truth is the firs thing we betray."
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I can't believe I waited, like, a year to read this title. BIG MISTAKE!

DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE is SO, SO, SO GOOD.

It's fresh. It's new. It's unique and brilliant and incredible. The world-building is top-notch, the plot is constantly twisting and turning, Hesina is just SO STRONG AND AMAZING - I disappeared into Joan He's lyrical prose and magical world in a heartbeat, and didn't emerge until I was done. It's just that good.

I've read tons of reviews saying that this title is an addicting read, and I cannot agree more. Read it, read it, read it. You're going to love it!
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This ancient Chinese-based fantasy explores the idea of how history is written and crafted by the winners of a war. When Princess Hesina’s father is murdered, she vows to discover who was responsible. But the more she delves into the truth, the more she learns about her country’s history and how that history has been twisted to oppress a portion of the population known as sooths. For generations, her people have maintained what they consider to be a sort of utopia—a world of fairness and equality and peace. However, they’ve covered up many aspects of how that utopia came to be and the costs of maintaining it. The story is admittedly slow at the beginning, but it picks up with a series of twists that keep Hesina and the reader guessing as to who she can trust and what she will do once she uncovers a whole series of very inconvenient truths. Will she be able to lead her country toward a new future or will she be forced to maintain the status quo?

NARRATION: Though I didn’t have an actual issue with the narration, I’ll confess that listening to this book instead of reading it did present a problem for me: I kept getting characters’ names mixed up. This has never happened to me before while listening, but I think a few of the Chinese names sounded somewhat similar, and I had a really hard time keeping track of who was who. This caused me some real issues with tracking the story, but I didn’t count that off in my rating since it seemed like a “me problem.”

***Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher for review purposes. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
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I was provided an e-arc from netgalley to read and review 

I unfortunately missed the opportunity to read
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