Descendant of the Crane
Booklist Reviews 2019 April #1
When Princess Hesina's beloved father dies suddenly, it's clear to her that he was murdered. Rules of succession demand she assume the throne, but she is much more interested in finding out who killed him and why his murder is being covered up by the court. Debut author He started writing the story as a senior in high school, and her college studies in both Chinese history and psychology shape this fast-paced tale of political intrigue. Details of Chinese language, clothing, and customs abound, and there's a plot twist around every corner: shady characters, betrayal, red herrings, and the conflict found in the urge to use magic in a kingdom where magic is forbidden. Determined to avenge her father's death, Hesina breaks rules, fights duels, and engages the services of convicted young criminal Akira, who investigates her father's death. Romance between the headstrong princess and enigmatic, brilliant Akira seems inevitable—and forbidden. A fully realized history helps make this adventure, rooted in Chinese folklore, feel epic, while Hesina's fierce determination will appeal to contemporary readers. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.