After falling in love with Elizabeth Lim’s writing in Spin The Dawn and Unravel The Dusk, I knew that Six Crimson Cranes would swiftly become one of my favorite fantasy reads. And so, I requested it on Netgalley and crossed my fingers and waited with bated breath, hoping my request was accepted. And bless the Netgalley gods, because my request was granted and I was so excited to start reading it!
Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for providing me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review! This review is based on an advance copy of the book. Some things may differ from the final version.
A princess in exile, a shapeshifting dragon , six enchanted cranes, and an unspeakable curse… Drawing from “The Wild Swans” and East Asian folklore, this breathtakingly original fantasy from the author of Spin the Dawn is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Tomi Adeyemi.
Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.
Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.
Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.
TITLE: Six Crimson Cranes
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Lim
PUBLISHER: Knopf Books for Young Readers (US), Hodder & Stoughton (UK)
PUBLICATION DATE: July 6, 2021
RATING: 5 ⭐
Elizabeth Lim’s writing had me completely vowed when I first read her previous duology, so I went into Six Crimson Cranes with a lot of expectations. And oh boy, this book met them all. I finished this book quite quickly too (started at midnight, stopped to sleep around 2AM and then finished it by 5PM). The story feels truly wonderful and enchanting. It feels like you’re taking a step into the world of a beautiful fairy tale.
The world building in this book is so gorgeous and the way things are described make you feel like you’re seeing things in front of you as they happen. This certainly helped me in reading through it quickly. The story might seem somewhat predictable, but Lim’s writing makes reading it so enjoyable.
Shiori, at the start of the book, is quite a reckless girl, but over the course of the story, we see her go through a lot and become a different person. Her character development is honestly so great and I can’t wait to see what happens to her in the next week. As for the love interest, Takkan has now become my newest fictional boyfriend. Shiori, having not met him, had described him as being a lord from the dark and barbaric north, and I honestly thought, like her, he would be some sort of gruff figure. But turns out that wasn’t the case. Takkan turned out to be a really nice guy and treated Shiori kindly even when he didn’t know who she was. At this point, after reading the book, I really love this guy.
I did feel like a love triangle was being hinted at, especially with how Shiori interacted with Seryu (the dragon prince who first appears when Shiori jumps into a lake to look for her special paper crane), but the climax and the end of the book took that thought away.
I 1000% recommend this book and if you haven’t pre ordered it, do it already because you’re gonna love it!
I’m so happy to have chosen Six Crimson Cranes as the first book to review on my blog. It’s one of my most anticipated reads and I can’t wait for it to release and have my own physical copy of this!
I hope you enjoyed reading this review! Make sure to add Six Crimson Cranes to your Goodreads and preorder it as well; it really helps the author!
Lots of love,