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?
If I had to compare DotC to other books I’d find myself hardpressed. Joan created a world that while familiar feeling on the surface doesn’t sit back and let you assume. I made assumptions going through the book; assumptions about character motivations, assumptions about world lore, assumptions about relationships because like Hesina I thought I understood what drove people.
I’ll have a full review closer to the publish date – this is more of a ‘get ready for the cool!’ As a disclaimer I am part of Joan’s Street Team (Minister of Personnel reporting for duty), so I was given the chance to read the Advanced Reader’s Copy as well as have Joan answer questions and reveal tidbits before the public. This didn’t affect how I viewed the book or make me feel more inclined towards giving it a better rating then it deserved.