Hesina, a grieving daughter, is the newly-crowned princess of Yan, a kingdom in a precarious situation between peace and civil war. Before she can fully embrace her new imperial responsibilities, however, she is dead-set on avenging her father's murder. Of course, truth always comes at an extraordinarily high price--one that Hesina cannot afford, as the ruler of an already struggling kingdom. She must wrestle with many moral dilemmas, enlisting the help of an ex-convict and dark figures from her kingdom's bloody past along the way. In a civilization where magic has been outlawed long ago, magic may be the only way forward for Hesina, for her people, and for justice.
This fantasy novel, a reflection of Chinese tradition, was such a lovely read! The prose was elegant, the characters compelling, and the background rich with Chinese culture. As a standalone, I understand the reasoning behind the hefty length of the book, but I do wish that it was split into two separate novels. I'm not only saying that because the book ends ambiguously, and I need to know what happens next to my precious characters!!!!