Six Crimson Cranes, like many books before her, is one that I fell in love with upon first sight.
The cover, the synopsis, the author…
I promptly preordered it and she’s been sitting on my bookshelf, gathering dust, since July of 2021.
Recently, when a book friend mentioned she wanted to read it soon, I jumped on board. Yeah, it’s about time that I got to this and unsurprisingly, I had another 5-star read just waiting to be discovered right in my very own stacks.
Elizabeth Lim is such a phenomenal writer. I knew that going in, but I was still a bit intimidated by this one. I sort of always feel that way going into a new fantasy world. I’m always concerned it will go over my head, or that I won’t be able to track all that is happening.
I shouldn’t have been worried. This was so smooth and easy to get into. The characters were charming and fun. The world, robust and well-developed, and the plot was exciting and so addictive that I finished it in 2-days.
Shiori, our main character, is the princess of Kiata, and she’s hiding the fact that she has forbidden magical powers. Shiori is one of seven children, all of her other siblings being brothers. As the only girl, Shiori certainly holds a special place amongst her family.
On the morning of Shiori’s betrothal ceremony, something she is completely against, her emotions get the best of her and she loses control of herself. In her ceremonial garb, she plunges into a lake and almost dies. The bright-side being, she did avoid the ceremony.
Shiori’s powers though have caught the attention of her stepmother, Raikama, who has a dark magic of her own.
Raikama banishes Shiori and turns all six of her brothers into cranes. Raikama warns Shiori that she must not speak of the curse to anyone. For every word that she utters, one of her brothers will die.
On her own and without a voice, Shiori must find her brothers and do whatever she can to reverse the curse. In order to do so though, she ends up having to put her trust in the very same boy she fought so hard not to marry. She also must learn to embrace her inner magic and courage.
I became fully invested in this story very, very quickly. By 15% into the audiobook, I was already shouting my love for it from the proverbial rooftops.
There were so many intriguing characters and elements to this story. The magic and the lore behind the entire creation was just stunning. Lim truly created a magical tale within these pages.
I would definitely recommend the audiobook to people who enjoy that medium. The narration by Emily Woo Zeller succeeded in bringing this story to life. I could not stop once I started. It’s truly that compelling.
I also felt like the way that Lim continued to build the tension and up the stakes throughout was exceptional. It just had such an easy way about it. A classic build to a huge climax. The ending brought me to ugly tears.
I feel like I went full on journey with Shiori. I became so attached to her. Watching her grow and find her strength and courage was so satisfying, but it doesn’t end here. Shiori has big challenges ahead in the sequel, The Dragon’s Promise, which I plan to start on Monday.
If you’re like me and have had this book sitting on your shelf unread for years, stop the madness now. Pick this up. Give it a read. She deserves it!!!