E-ARC, 416 Pages
By: Joan He
“What is truth? Scholars seek it. Poets write it. Good Kings pay gold to hear it. But in trying times, truth is the first thing we betray.”
🌟 I have read this book months ago as I had an ARC. This of course does not affect my opinions on this. I don’t know how much this review will be helpful in the first place because I remember only bits of it!
🌟 The story takes place in a Chinese inspired court where the king is killed and Princess Hesina becomes Queen. Hesina wants to find her father killer and then much drama ensues. The book is dark, it gave me trust issues and it was brutal. I can see why it is called a Chinese Game of Thrones. But for me, they were two different entities.
🌟 The characters are well written and what I really like is that as in GOT, the author does not put the characters in molds of good and bad. The characters have motives and there are both sides to all characters. By the end, I couldn’t trust myself even because what the hell were everyone doing????!!!
🌟 Joan has a beautiful prose that worked very well with the story, it actually exceeded my expectations. For a debut, this was more than well done! I think the pacing was slow and some places even slower than slow. If this was faster and shorter, then it would definitely have been a bigger hit (it is a big hit so it would have been perfect).
🌟 The world building was OK, I wanted more to be honest and some questions were left unanswered. I am such a hypocrite when it comes to politics. I hate real life politics because it is all lies and games and shit. In fantasy, I love politics and court drama since I have all the information and can play judge and choose by myself! There was also the who done it part and the investigation of that which I enjoyed very very much. It was extremely smart and I would like to read more fantasy mystery books if there is such a thing!
🌟 Summary: Descendant of the Crane is such a great book and does not feel like a debut. It was smart, it was dark and brutal. I still have some questions and the pacing was slow which made me enjoy it a little bit less. I am still recommending this to anyone looking for an fantasy with an Asian setting.