Descendant of the Crane by Joan He Read Along – Part I


Title Descendant of the Crane

Author Joan He

Section Covered Part I (Chapters 1-6)

Initial Thoughts

I was so thrilled to receive an e-ARC of this book. The description sounds amazing. I mean seriously, a royal murder mystery? That’s so up my alley.

Favorite Character

Hesina – I don’t usually include the “favorite character” section if I liked the main character best.  But, in this case, I feel like I should make an exception.  I really like Hesina’s character.  She is very mature and tries to balance her responsibilies as Princess (later turned Queen) with her sense of justice.  She wants to do right by her father but at the same time, she respects what her brother, Sanjing, is telling her about the political powers at play.  Hesina’s decision-making and choices are fascinating to read about as she is very deliberate and wise for such a young age.

Writing Style

This story is told with third person omniscient narration.  I am not usually a fan of that, as I prefer first person narration, but I think it works here.  Hesina’s character is incredibly magnetic when she is described through narration where I don’t think she would be as vibrant narrating her own story.

The Twins

For some reason, I don’t trust the twins, Caiyan and Lilian.  There is something about them that just doesn’t sit right with me.  I want to like them, but for some reason, I just don’t.  I do, however, think Hesina doesn’t give her biological brother, Sanjing, enough credit.  He does seem trustworthy (at least right now).


The set up for this story is different from anything else I have read.  I have read Asian inspired stories but this is the first Asian inspired trial oriented murder mystery I have ever read.  The history provided is also notable.  I like the idea of the mysterious soothsayers and how they were cast out from Yan society.  Joan He has created an intricate world that already has me captivated only 6 chapters in.

Hopes for Part II

I want to see more of Akira.  We don’t get much of him in Part I, except that he is her trial representative and he has a mysterious past and many hidden talents.  I can’t tell if there is romance forming between Akira and Hesina (but it wouldn’t surprise me).  Hesina is related to all the other characters that are around her age.

I also want to see the trial start.  I want to learn more about the fictitious court system that Joan He has created.


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