When Hesina’s beloved father, the King of Yan is murdered, she’s thrust into power and is determined to launch an official investigation. While taking her place as the new queen, Hesina must face a number of issues such as the hated magic users, the soothsayers. It was an exceptional book that introduces the difficulties of court and law while also overlooking the duties of being a queen. I found it a bit complex but definitely a book to focus upon.
Characters such as Caiyan and Hesina have some of the most prettiest names that I’ve ever read before. The description of settings such as the courtroom is written remarkably as well as introducing characters such as Rou and Lillian or Akira. Speaking of Akira, I think him and Hesina’s relationship was odd because I read him as an older man so the progress between the two during the investigation was unusual. The last 80 pages were my favourite. All I’m saying is Sanjing’s dislike towards Caiyan and Xia Zong is right and I felt like I wanted that to develop more earlier along with Akira and Hesina’s relationship.
As Joan He continues to tell Hesina’s story, I felt bad for her. Not only is Hesina trying to find who killed her father and why, but she has to deal with Xia Zhong’s greedy intentions and hidden secrets that Hesina never wanted to discover or knew. What’s relatable after losing a parent myself is how much you want to return to a time when you were the one being protected and they were still there. Once you have to take charge more and look after others, life feels less carefree.
Looking forward to reading Strike the Zither by Joan He next!
The Spicy Dish?
Because of the world and Chinese culture embedded in this, the dish that is supposed to be associated with Descendant of the Crane is Yu Xiang Tofu (or Fish Fragrant Tofu-Tofu in Spicy Garlic Sauce), but a vegan version. For this recipe, I was given permission to use David from Vegan Nui Loa‘s recipe instead, YuXiang Qiezi (also known as Vegan Sichuan spicy garlic sauce eggplant).
- ½ anaheim chillies
- ½ cup of wine
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of broad bean chili paste
- 1-2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons of corn starch
- 1 eggplant (nasu dengaku recommended)
- 1 small eryngi mushroom
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3-4 slices of ginger
- 3-4 teaspoons of soy sauce
- Brown some diced eryngii & sliced baby bella mushrooms in oil with some garlic and ginger
- Add diced Anaheim chilli pepper and eggplant batons and stir fry. Be sure to saute the eggplant until it browns around the edges a little.
- Next, put in some of the broad bean chilli paste and stir fry well. Then deglaze with Shaoxing wine.
- Add some Chinese pickled mustard cabbage Stem (Zha Cai is optional).
- Add a cup of hot water then cover and simmer, stir it occasionally.
- Season with sesame oil, sugar, and black pepper.
- Optional, but you can add toasted sesame seeds.
- Thicken with a little corn-starch in cold water.
- Stir in some sliced green onion and serve it all in one plate.