cover image Descendant of the Crane

Descendant of the Crane

Joan He. Albert Whitman, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-8075-1551-8

Princess Hesina of Yan is determined to find her father’s murderer in this fast-moving debut, even if she must break with the traditions of her country. In an irregular act punishable by death, Hesina visits one of the hidden sooths, beings who appear to be human, can see the future, and, some say, perform magic. Silver Iris, a sooth, points Hesina to a prisoner, Akira, to be her advocate in court, where the two try to prove that her father, who died suddenly, was actually assassinated. Hesina ascends to the throne as suspicion is cast upon the sooths and the neighboring kingdom of Kendi’a. She desperately tries to avoid war, while her younger brother, General Sanjing, takes forces to the border. Hesina is never sure whom to trust, and He conceals and reveals the characters’ motives, continually surprising both Hesina and her readers. He combines a highly detailed Asian-inspired culture that incorporates Chinese names and traditions, aspects of top-notch thrillers, and complex characters to create a series opener that should appeal to teens and adults alike. Ages 13–up. [em](Apr.) [/em]