six crimson cranes – elizabeth lim | blog tour + arc review

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim


Series: Six Crimson Cranes
Expected publication: July 6th 2021 by Knopf
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling
Representation: Asian (Japanese & Chinese) cast

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Synopsis:

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.

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Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tour for choosing me as one of the participants in #SixCrimsonCranes tour. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. If you’re interested in the other tour stops, check out the schedule!

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A reimagination of The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen, Six Crimson Cranes had similar elements to the original tale. Elizabeth Lim made the book entirely her own creation by adding in Chinese and Japanese legends such as Legend of the White Snake, the story of ChangE the Moon Goddess, and Girl with the Black Bowl.

Cursed by their stepmother after Shiori discovered a devastating secret, the six princes and their only sister were separated. The princes were turned into cranes with crimson crowns while Shiori is forced to . One word spoken, one brother’s life will be taken. Though separated, Shiori reminisced the good times with her brothers often. Each of the princes is unique in their own ways. The sibling relationship was really sweet.

“Find the light that makes your lantern shine.”

Shiori met Seryu, a dragon and the Prince of the Easterly Seas, as she drowned while trying to save her magical paper crane brought her new meaning towards the forbidden magic that she possessed. Nobody can know that Shiori has magic flowing in her. For readers who have read Spin the Dawn, you’ll absolutely love the connections since this is a prequel of that duology. The magic system is similar to that of Elizabeth Lim’s debut.

Her arranged marriage into the north where the cold lingers has caused Shiori to detest the pairing with the third lord of the barbarian north. During her journey while cursed, she encounters a kind and compassionate young man who turned out to be her betrothed. She realized that he wasn’t so bad after all. Takkan is the sweetest and softest love interest. Honestly, the things that he did for Shiori despite knowing how she felt about the betrothal were incredibly heartwarming.

I don’t know if this would become a love triangle, which isn’t a favorite trope of mine, but for now, Takkan is a more fleshed-out character as compared to Seryu who was gone for most of the book.

“You’re yourself, Shirori. The knot that holds us together, whether we like it or not.”

As the only princess of Kiata, Shiori has been pampered and spoiled by the people around her. However, her naivety changes into resilience and determination as she experienced hardships and injustices as a “mute” and as a bowl-wearer. Without being able to defend herself or communicate verbally, there were several instances whereby Shiori had to keep her anger in check. Propelled by her love for her six brothers, Shiori keeps her mouth shut while overcoming the obstacles thrown her way.

Elizabeth Lim kept me guessing until the very last word, and I truly mean the last word. That twist at the end got me all riled up. I never expected the author to do that and I’m excited for what might come in book two. Elizabeth Lim’s beautiful, lyrical prose added another layer of magic to an already magical setting. I loved the incorporation of Asian mythologies and legends.

If you’re looking for lovely sibling relationships, a sweet love interest, mysterious dragons, dangerous curses, and a princess who would do anything to undo the spell, you’ll need to read Six Crimson Cranes.

“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.”

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author information

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14 thoughts on “six crimson cranes – elizabeth lim | blog tour + arc review”

  1. First off, both your review and moodboard are lovely. Sometimes words just don’t come to me when I’m writing a review, and it’s just sounds obviously very forced but yours are so great!!
    Also, I didn’t know about the myths/stories this is based on, I’m so curious to know more about those!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you, rafaela! ❤️ i don’t always find the right words or any words whenever it comes to relaying my thoughts about certain books, so i totally understand where you’re coming from.

      some of the legends included, i’ve known for my whole life while others i’m only exposed to through the book. i hope you’ll enjoy them!

      Liked by 1 person

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