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Young Adult Fiction Royalty

A Crane Among Wolves

by (author) June Hur

Feiwel & Friends
Initial publish date
May 2024
Royalty, Historical, Mysteries & Detective Stories
Recommended Age
13 to 18
Recommended Grade
8 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2024
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


June Hur, bestselling author of The Red Palace, crafts a devastating and pulse-pounding tale that will feel all-too-relevant in today’s world, based on a true story from Korean history.
Hope is dangerous. Love is deadly.
1506, Joseon. The people suffer under the cruel reign of the tyrant King Yeonsan, powerless to stop him from commandeering their land for his recreational use, banning and burning books, and kidnapping and horrifically abusing women and girls as his personal playthings.
Seventeen-year-old Iseul has lived a sheltered, privileged life despite the kingdom’s turmoil. When her older sister, Suyeon, becomes the king’s latest prey, Iseul leaves the relative safety of her village, traveling through forbidden territory to reach the capital in hopes of stealing her sister back. But she soon discovers the king’s power is absolute, and to challenge his rule is to court certain death.
Prince Daehyun has lived his whole life in the terrifying shadow of his despicable half-brother, the king. Forced to watch King Yeonsan flaunt his predation through executions and rampant abuse of the common folk, Daehyun aches to find a way to dethrone his half-brother once and for all. When staging a coup, failure is fatal, and he’ll need help to pull it off—but there’s no way to know who he can trust.
When Iseul's and Daehyun's fates collide, their contempt for each other is transcended only by their mutual hate for the king. Armed with Iseul’s family connections and Daehyun’s royal access, they reluctantly join forces to launch the riskiest gamble the kingdom has ever seen:
Save her sister. Free the people. Destroy a tyrant.
Also by June Hur:
The Silence of Bones
The Forest of Stolen Girls
The Red Palace

About the author

Contributor Notes

June Hur is a bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author of YA historicals, including The Silence of Bones, The Forest of Stolen Girls, The Red Palace, and A Crane Among Wolves. Born in South Korea, June spent her formative years in the USA, Canada, and South Korea before studying History and Literature at the University of Toronto, and working at the city’s public library. Her work has been featured in Forbes, NPR, The New York Times, CBC, and KBS. June resides in Toronto with her family and can be spotted writing in coffee shops.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for A Crane Among Wolves:
A New York Times Bestseller
An ABA Indies Bestseller
A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
"Captivating mystery, political intrigue, and a perilously beautiful romance. A Crane Among Wolves excels at suspense even with true history’s outline. June Hur reigns supreme in making the past come alive." —Chloe Gong, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of These Violent Delights
"Gripping and devastating, June Hur’s lush writing brings history to life in this intricately plotted tale of love, betrayal, and political intrigue, where hope ultimately shines through the darkness. A Crane Among Wolves drew me in from the very first page, and will no doubt become a favorite for readers as it did for me." —Ann Liang, New York Times-bestselling author of I Hope This Doesn't Find You
"BRILLIANT! There were literally moments in this book where I forgot to breathe." —Ellen Oh, award-winning author and co-founder of We Need Diverse Books
"A highly detailed, culturally rich tale that combines elements of mystery, palace intrigue, found family and romance." —The Washington Post
"The romance and found family elements offer moments of hope to balance the darkness. ... An intense mystery and slow-burn romance that highlight a historical moment. Recommended for all YA ­collections." —School Library Journal
"Award-winner Hur’s latest historical intrigue is well researched and doesn’t shy away from depicting elements of this real king’s brutal history, and the resulting tale is immersive, intense, and engaging. A page-turner." —Kirkus Reviews
"Twists and secrets, political and personal, propel the intricate plot and keep readers on edge. Which details matter and which are mere coincidence? Hur masterfully allows readers to discover the truth right alongside her protagonists." —Booklist
"Searing." —Publishers Weekly
"A Crane Among Wolves brings attention to a dark time in Korean history while still highlighting June Hur’s trademark skill for devastatingly romantic relationships, told in such achingly lovely prose that will capture you from the very first page." —Reactor
"A richly detailed historical thriller about a young woman who sets out to find a dangerous killer in order to free her sister from the clutches of a tyrant, A Crane Among Wolves is unflinching in both its honesty and period-accurate realism. Set in 16th-century Korea and based on true events, Hur’s writing is both meticulously researched and emotionally compelling." —Paste
Praise for The Red Palace:
An ABA Indie Bestseller
An NPR Best Book of 2022
A 2023 Edgar Allan Poe Award Winner
A Junior Library Guild Selection
Forbes Most Anticipated Book of 2022 Selection
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2022
A School and Library Journal Best Book of 2022
A New York Public Library Best Book of 2022
A Globe and Mail Best Book of 2022 selection
A YALSA Best YA of 2022 Selection
A 2022 Freeman Book Award Honorable Mention
"Hur is known for her stunning female-centered historical YA novels, and this is arguably her darkest book yet. ... If slow-burn romances, well-paced plots and historical fiction set somewhere other than the West interest you, this book might just be your new favorite read." —Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, New York Times-bestselling author of Ace of Spades
"Compulsively readable and utterly unique, The Red Palace is a must-read murder mystery steeped in royal intrigue." —Jennifer Lynn Barnes, New York Times-bestselling author of The Inheritance Games
"Court politics and hierarchal society are the stunning backdrop of June Hur’s page-turning, atmospheric The Red Palace. Hur’s meticulous worldbuilding and immersive storytelling will have readers totally obsessed." —Adrienne Young, New York Times-bestselling author of Fable
"Hur’s Joseon mysteries are groundbreaking, and this retelling of Prince Sado is no exception. ... Hur set the bar high with her previous works and has cleared it with room to spare. A tense political thriller, a beautiful romance, and a coming of age all in one unique package." —School Library Journal, starred review
"This atmospheric historical mystery will transport and captivate readers ... Hur deftly incorporates the class system, patriarchal restrictions, and court politics, as well as Korean words, into the storyline, broadening the world and cultural richness of the story ... A beautifully written story full of historical and cultural details that will leave readers aching for a follow-up." —Booklist, starred review
"Gripping ... An expertly choreographed mystery with a touch of romance and an emotionally satisfying conclusion that beautifully binds fiction to fact. It's the perfect book to curl up with for a cozy winter afternoon of murder and intrigue." —NPR
"I’ve devoured every book June Hur has written, so no surprise here that her newest book is one of my favorite reads of the year so far. ... I might as well inject Hur’s writing straight into my veins for how quickly I gobble up everything she writes. Seriously, it’s that good." —BookRiot
"Steeped in rich historical details, Hur’s palace thriller offers a sharp critique of the monarchy’s abuse of power while maintaining a quick pace and crafting a captivating murder mystery." —Publishers Weekly
"Deftly celebrates subversive female ingenuity. With captivating cinematic flair, [Hur] transforms true royal drama into a closeup-ready mesmerizing mystery. ... Seamlessly combines court intrigue, multiple murders and forbidden love to create a riveting YA historical thriller." —Shelf Awareness
"Exciting and fast-paced, this unusual detective story transports readers to Korea’s Joseon Dynasty, providing (per the author’s note) one version of the tragic true story of Crown Prince Jangheon. ... A testament to Hur’s dedication in researching Korea’s complex history. Romance, adventure, and mystery keep pages turning, and readers will undoubtedly find themselves drawn to Hyeon’s smarts, ambition, and strong will." —The Horn Book
"If you are a fan of Korean historical dramas and murder mysteries, you cannot go wrong with June Hur's books. Her atmospheric prose brings Joseon-era Korea to life in all its richness and complexities while elegantly spinning a web of sinister intrigue and suspense. ... I’m excited to experience a mystery unfolding in the Changdeok Palace in its original language, without having to rely on subtitles and Wikipedia articles." —Reera Yoo, co-host of Books & Boba
"If you’re going to write a historical novel, I want you to drop me into the details, baby. Hur’s writing makes you feel like you’ve been transported to the streets of 18th century Korea. Her characters are always striving to do the right things with so little, driven to unravel mysteries, and she delicately exposes the corruption and seedy underbelly of the rich and powerful." —Forever Young Adult
Praise for The Forest of Stolen Girls:
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A 2022 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee
A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection
A 2022 White Pine Award Nominee
A 2022 ALA Rise Selection
A 2022 CCBC Choices Selection
"A breathtaking journey through 1400s Korea. ... The mystery complements the setting perfectly, and the conclusion is well-plotted and satisfying. ... A must for all collections." —School Library Journal, starred review
"Crafting a suspenseful, atmospheric historical mystery, Hur (The Silence of Bones) explores women’s lack of bodily agency during this time and the dangers of obsessive protection, adroitly interweaving the historical context of the real horrors that afflicted Korean women from the 13th-century Mongol rule until after 1435." —Publishers Weekly
"Set against the backdrop of fifteenth-century Korea—or Joseon, as it was known then—this tightly plotted historical mystery will please fans of both genres. ... Those who love well-researched historical fiction with darker themes such as Ruta Sepetys’ Out of the Easy or Elizabeth Wein’s Verity series, will appreciate Hur’s attention to detail. Give to fans of Sherri L. Smith’s The Blossom and the Firefly or Stacy Lee’s Downstairs Girl looking for other well developed Asian characters." —YALSA
"Rich, exquisite, and deeply atmospheric, The Forest of Stolen Girls draws the reader in from the very first page and doesn't let go. A dark and utterly engrossing mystery, beautifully drawn from start to finish." —Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times-bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
"The Forest of Stolen Girls is a haunting, breathtaking tale that will have readers on the edge of their seats. With its lush and atmospheric prose, complex character dynamics, and an immersive mystery I was ravenous to uncover, I could not turn the pages fast enough! Hur is an absolute master of mystery, and I will be reading her gorgeous books for years to come." —Adalyn Grace, New York Times-bestselling author of All the Stars and Teeth
"Haunting and lyrical. Beware, this tale will draw you deeper into the forest than you want to go." —Stacey Lee, award-winning author of The Downstairs Girl
"A brilliant historical fiction mystery that is suspenseful, gorgeous and absolutely riveting! Hur brings Jeju Island during the early Joseon period completely to life in a rich, evocative manner that reminds me of watching my favorite historical Kdrama. ... I adored this book from start to finish!” —Ellen Oh, author of the Prophecy series
"Knee-deep inside Hur's taut, suspenseful snare, I felt the cold touch of secrets poking at my shoulder and sometimes, neck. Disappearances, quests, and family tension? I'm all the way in." —Rita Williams-Garcia, National Book Award finalist New York Times-bestselling author of A Sitting in St. James
Praise for The Silence of Bones:
An ABA Indies Introduce Selection
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A 2021 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee
A 2021 ALA Rise Selection
A 2020 Freeman Award Honorable Mention
A 2021 CCBC Amy Mathers Teen Book Award Finalist
"At once haunting and evocative, June Hur's The Silence of Bones is a gorgeous, tightly-woven debut. Prepare to delve deep into the lush and dangerous world of Korea in the 1800's for a page-turner you won't soon forget." —Hafsah Faizal, New York Times-bestselling author of We Hunt the Flame
"An intriguing tale that touches on class, honor, the value of one's beliefs, and the lengths one is willing to go for loyalty and family. Hur presents such a vivid portrayal of the Joseon Era that it's like stepping back in time. With its breathtaking prose and complex characters, this mystery novel is sure to keep you guessing until the very end!" —Kat Cho, author of Wicked Fox
"This gripping drama is definitely one you're not going to want to miss." —Buzzfeed
"A total knockout." —Popsugar
"Gripping ... An exhilarating thriller, pitting the powerful against the power-hungry, endowing the powerless with affecting agency." —Shelf Awareness
"This book is beautifully written, and moves at a brisk pace. ... Engaging and dynamic. Hur’s first novel does an excellent job of exploring a topic that isn’t found widely in YA literature." —School Library Journal
"The Korean concept of han, as well as customs, language, and politics, are woven flawlessly into the narrative ... Seol’s determined pursuit of literacy and freedom, as well as the bittersweet ending, make for a memorable and worthwhile read." —Publishers Weekly
"In this striking debut, Hur has crafted an intriguing historical mystery set in a time period often overlooked in YA ... A compelling mystery for lovers of Victorian murder cases who are ready for an alternative to the London setting." —Booklist
"An excellent historical mystery that asks big questions about family, religion, morality, and what it means to belong." —Book Riot
"Read this book if you enjoy: supporting debut authors, Korean history, the 1800s, atmospheric reads, K-drama dramatics, books in which you start suspecting everyone." —Goodreads
"A fantastic debut from Hur, who writes a captivating story that keeps readers guessing and expertly explains the complex political climate ... The female characters’ courage, ingenuity and warrior hearts are inspiring, and the story that reveals them is entrancing." —The Canadian Children's Book Centre
"I was struck by the depth of this gripping story. ... The meditative quality of the narration of this historical mystery felt perfectly suited to the Korean setting and the backdrop of political and religious struggles. Seol’s courage, curiosity, and dedication make her a character I can’t get enough of." —Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company
"The Silence of Bones is a historic and richly atmospheric mystery that is utterly unique and difficult to put down! ... Mesmerizing." —Sarah True, Joseph-Beth Booksellers

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