Title: Six Crimson Cranes
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Publication date: 06 July, 2021
Cover art: Tran Nguyen
Age group: Young Adult
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.
Let me begin by saying that there isn’t one thing that I didn’t like about this book. It’s perfect! 👌🏻
Six Crimson Cranes is a wonderful East Asian reimagining of The Six Swans also known as The Wild Swans by the Grimm Brothers. It’s a high fantasy set in the kingdom of Kiata where Shiori lives with her six brothers, her emperor father and her step-mother.
The tale begins on the day which will most likely be the day of the dismal end of Shiori’s future. Shiori our MC is a rebellious and resilient princess who doesn’t want to get married and has recently learnt of her magical powers which she must keep a secret – magic is banned in Kiata.
From here on her life takes a turn for the worst, her stepmother turns her six brother into cranes and places a wooden bowl on her head which prevents her from performing any kind of magic. Moreover, she isn’t even allowed to utter any sound from her mouth as each sound will lead to the death of a brother.
This is a slow-burn enemies to lover romance kind of story with dragons, an awesome sidekick and a perfectly paced plot! I’ve read retellings and reimaginings before but they’ve always been disappointing. To put it simply, Six Crimson Cranes is anything but a disappointment.
I loved the entire story, I’d love to be a part of this world – which is set in the same world as in the Blood of Star duology, I’d love to eat all the cakes and soups and I loved the most that the ending was not rushed and that there is no major cliffhanger. The ending is always tricky for authors and very rarely do you find stories where you’ll be satisfied with them, but Elizabeth Lim does this perfectly. In fact, she even makes sure you look forward to the next book with just as much enthusiasm.
Six Crimson Cranes has definitely made it’s way to one of my favourite reads this year and I most highly recommend you to read it too!
My Favorite Quotes:
When is comes to magic, size matters little.
Find the light that makes your lantern shine. Hold on to it, even when the dark surrounds you. Not even the strongest wind will blow out the flame.
Fear is just a game. You win by playing.
Pain didn’t get easier. I just had to get stronger.
If fate is a bunch of strings, then I’ll carry scissors.This is my most favorite quote from the book!
“My parents think of marriage as a duty to one’s family and country,” Takkan said, by way of response. “I think of it as a duty to one’s heart. Food feeds the belly, thoughts feed the mind, but love is what feeds the heart.”
Surround yourself with those who’ll love you always, through your mistakes and your faults. Make a family that will find you more beautiful every day, even when your hair is white with age. Be the light that makes someone’s lantern shine.
About the author:
Elizabeth Lim is the author of the critically-acclaimed and bestselling The Blood of Stars duology (Spin the Dawn and Unravel the Dusk), the New York Times bestseller So This is Love, and the USA Today bestseller Reflection. Forthcoming books include the Six Crimson Cranes duology, expected summer 2021 and summer 2022, respectively.
Elizabeth grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English.
Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and she turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel—for kicks, at first, then things became serious—and she hasn’t looked back since.
Elizabeth graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in music and a secondary in East Asian Studies, and she completed her graduate degrees (MM, DMA) at The Juilliard School. She grew up in Northern California and Tokyo, Japan, and now resides in New York with her husband and two daughters.