A Crane Among Wolves Review

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A stand alone YA book may be rare these days, but it is one of the things I was very grateful for when I finished “A Crane Among Wolves” by Jane Hur. Not because I wanted the story to end, but because it made the story telling tighter with less filler.

Tight writing that doesn’t make me want to skim is always a plus. And this book was one of those. The use of historical material woven into the story was another aspect of this book that I liked. The fact that it was done seamlessly made the story flow. It made me want to learn more about the time period in Korea’s history that it’s referencing.


In A Crane Among Wolves, our main character is Iseul. She sets out from her village determined to reunite with her older sister who was taken by the King’s men. When taken, women are added to his very large collection of concubines. Iseul is resourceful, but headstrong with a passionate personality that sometimes gets her into trouble.

One such incident brings her into contact with the King’s favorite brother, Prince Daehyun, and they initially clash. It is only after they learn they have a common enemy that their animosity begins to lessen. They begin to work together to bring about a change that will help everyone they care about.

What I think

I liked the characters in this book. Sometimes I have to remind myself that as an adult, many of the annoying and dumb choices made by young characters are because of their age. While there is some of that in this book, it isn’t so often and so egregious that it’s distracting. And there aren’t so many characters that it’s hard to keep track of or confusing.

In addition to the main plot of getting her sister back, Iseul is involved in solving the mystery of who is killing supporters of the king. It keeps things interesting and encourages the reader to observe and pay attention to things along with Iseul. This keeps things moving, and while not entirely connected with their mission, it brings about character development in key ways.

I read through this book quickly because I was interested in the plot, it moved at a good pace, and it had enough mystery and twists to keep me guessing. The friendships that formed throughout the story were fun to read and made me like each character–even when there were surprises. The way the author incorporated true historical facts and made plausible reasons for them to have happened made me like it even more. It is an enjoyable YA book that is great for fans of light romance, Asian characters and political intrigue.

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