what others are saying
“Deep world-building & intricate palace politics kept me guessing until the end.”
—RACHEL HARTMAN, New York Times bestselling author of Seraphina
“Hesina is a heroine for the ages—brilliant, determined, and fierce.”
—LAURA SEBASTIAN, New York Times bestselling author of Ash Princess
“An intriguing tale of secrets, family, and betrayal.”
—TRACI CHEE, New York Times bestselling author of The Reader
“With complex world-building and character development, readers tired of cookie-cutter stories will find some surprise twists here.”
“A fully realized history helps make this adventure, rooted in Chinese folklore, feel epic, while Hesina will appeal to contemporary readers.”
Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.
Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, dreaming of an unremarkable life. But when her beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. What’s more, Hesina believes that her father was murdered—and that the killer is someone close to her.
Hesina’s court is packed full of dissemblers and deceivers eager to use the king’s death for political gain, each as plausibly guilty as the next. Her advisers would like her to blame the neighboring kingdom of Kendi’a, whose ruler has been mustering for war. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.
Using the information provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of Yan at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?
A BOOK OF THE MONTH™ SELECTION
SEVENTEEN MAGAZINE BEST YA OF 2019
EPIC READS MUST READ FANTASY
A PUBLISHER’S LUNCH BUZZ BOOK
B&N’S TOP 20 YA DEBUTS OF 2019
A MOST ANTICIPATED FANTASY OF 2019
SPRING’S MUST READ YA SCI-FI & FANTASY
A GOODREAD’S MOST EPIC YA BOOK
“A compelling, immersive book. Young adults will find a story and a world that is a joy to explore in this highly original mystery.”
✭ FOREWORD, starred review
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