The Dragon’s Promise is the follow-up to Elizabeth Lim’s fabulous YA-Fantasy novel, Six Crimson Cranes.
I have had this on my shelves since its release, but couldn’t read it, because I hadn’t gotten around to reading the 1st-book yet. Also, a long-time veteran of my shelves.
Earlier this month, I finally decided to pick up Six Crimson Cranes and I absolutely adored it. I fell in love with the world, as well as the characters. I had to have more.
After the heart-breaking conclusion to SCC, I needed to know immediately what was going to be next for our protagonist, Shiori. There were a lot of possibilities.
This story begins with Shiori now in possession of the powerful dragon’s pearl. Her goal is to return it to its original owner, but that is not to be an easy task.
At its heart this is a quest, which works well for me as that’s one of my favorite Fantasy tropes. It also features most of the characters that I grew to love in the first installment.
We travel to places such as the dragon realm and to Shiori’s step-mother’s homeland. The brothers are back supporting Shiori and offering her guidance when she needs it.
Her love interest, Takkan, also played a role here and I ended up loving him even more after this. They have the cutest relationship. The way it developed over the course of the two books just feels so natural. They’re easy to root for.
While I still loved the writing, the characters and the world, I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as the first book.
I know this doesn’t get said a lot, but I actually wish this had been longer. By that, what I really mean, is that I wish it had been broken into two books.
This feels, in a way, like two distinct stories. We have the first part, where Shiori gets to travel to the dragon realm. In the second part, she returns to the mortal realm and travels around there and does what she needs to do.
Personally, I loved the dragon realm and wish we could have spent more time there. There was a lot of political happenings and interesting new characters that I wanted to know more about.
Then in the same vein, the mortal realm section was just as interesting, but I also wanted to know more. It just felt rushed and like the two halves were smooshed together, when Lim’s fantastic writing could easily have carried this into two separate books.
With this being said, I still really enjoyed this story. It’s actually a compliment to say I wanted more.
I loved how quickly this kicked off. Having read the two books pretty much back-to-back made this a seamless experience for me. I love the lore behind the dragon pearl and learning more about that along with Shiori was so fun.
I can’t wait to the get to the prequel, Her Radiant Curse, which tells the story of Shiori’s step-mother, Raikama.
She is actually one of the most intriguing characters in this series for me, so I am so happy that prequel exists. She needs her time to shine!
I would recommend this series to anyone who loves YA Fantasy, particularly stories that incorporate fairy tale elements, or quests. Elizabeth Lim’s writing never disappoints. It’s always engaging and fast-paced.
Thank you to the publisher, Knopf Books for Young Readers, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’m sorry it took me so long to get to it. This is a fabulous series!!