Published by Albert Whitman & Company on April 9, 2019
Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.
Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death... because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.
Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?
In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.
So I read this as an e-arc from netgalley so bear in mind that some things I say might not be in the finished copy. The formatting of this book was very strange and it honestly confused me a lot. As an example we would randomly jump from scene to scene without any kind of a cohesive structure. This lead to me thinking I had somehow missed a page. However I found that it was just how the book was structured. This might have been fixed in the final copy.
My next thing is more of the gripe, this book was very boring. I never really had a desire to pick it back up, I found the characters to be bland and unremarkable. The plot seemed to jump around a lot and it didn’t really make too much sense. We would randomly get a little interesting tidbit and then it never got resolved in a satisfying way so you are left questioning about it. I believe this will be a series by the ending of this book so this might be something that gets explored in future books.
Verdict: Suffice to say this just really wasn’t the book for me which is sad because I was really looking forward to it. 2/5 stars.