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Six Crimson Cranes

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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 o 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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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 o 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.

30 review for Six Crimson Cranes

  1. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    EL is just one of those reliable authors who never disappoints with their storytelling. i knew this story would deliver in terms of immaculate world-building with lush mythology, easy-going writing that expertly tells intriguing legends, and strong characters who are worth rooting for. as anticipated, this is a really well-rounded story that lives up to expectations on every front. the only downside is i thought seryu the dragon was the most interesting character in the entire thing and he got s EL is just one of those reliable authors who never disappoints with their storytelling. i knew this story would deliver in terms of immaculate world-building with lush mythology, easy-going writing that expertly tells intriguing legends, and strong characters who are worth rooting for. as anticipated, this is a really well-rounded story that lives up to expectations on every front. the only downside is i thought seryu the dragon was the most interesting character in the entire thing and he got so little page time. such a bummer. BUT the next book is set up to take place in the land of dragons, so i have high hopes that seryu will play a larger part in the story and that has me very excited! overall, another great addition to ELs bibliography and an excellent story for those in the mood for an east-asian inspired fantasy. ↠ 4.5 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sofia

    When I was first getting into reading, I was semi-obsessed with fairy tales. Okay, maybe I was fully obsessed. I had this book called The Wild Swans. It made me so stressed. I'm not sure why. But I fell in love with the story. As far as I know, there aren't very many novels inspired by this tale, one of my favorite folk stories. So when I found Six Crimson Cranes, I fainted and died, and then resurrected when I received an ARC (I LOVE YOU NETGALLEY). This book definitely lived up to my expectati When I was first getting into reading, I was semi-obsessed with fairy tales. Okay, maybe I was fully obsessed. I had this book called The Wild Swans. It made me so stressed. I'm not sure why. But I fell in love with the story. As far as I know, there aren't very many novels inspired by this tale, one of my favorite folk stories. So when I found Six Crimson Cranes, I fainted and died, and then resurrected when I received an ARC (I LOVE YOU NETGALLEY). This book definitely lived up to my expectations. I binged the second half of it, completely pulled into the story. It follows Princess Shiori and her brothers. All six of them were turned into cranes by Shiori's stepmother, Raikama. Shiori was cursed as well. For every word she speaks, one of her brothers will die. Six Crimson Cranes frustrated me. It made me sad. It made me want to scream. Why? Because I cared. I wanted Shiori to defeat the curse. Every time she was set back, I felt her anxiety and stress and pain. I was shocked at how deeply I cared. I don't usually get very invested in books. Most of the time, I feel like I'm looking at characters from behind a glass wall. If a book isn't as excellent as this, I will be able to cackle as they suffer. I swear I'm not a psycho, just jaded. I adore the way this book kicked stereotypes in the face and decided that it would follow a different path. I won't spoil the ending, but it really shocked me and made me rethink the way I perceived certain characters. It defied everything I thought would happen. Shiori is such a strong and brave character, determined to save her brothers even if she knows she'll get hurt along the way. She's so easy to root for. She has a vibrant personality, believable goals, and an adorable origami friend. Each of her brothers has a unique, individual personality. It was easy to tell them apart. The only part of this book I didn't like was right after Shiori had been cast out of the castle. She was roaming the streets searching for work. This lasted maybe three pages, and then a random person approached her and offered a job, even after everyone had been calling her a demon. This person didn't have motivation to hire her. It happened way too quickly and left me with whiplash, but honestly, this moment was so insignificant in comparison to the other events, so I'm not taking off part of a star for that. The rest of the book's pacing was pretty consistent. Six Crimson Cranes was a delightful and heart-wrenching twist on an amazing fairy tale and I enjoyed every second of it, from the fleshed-out characters to the adorable romance to the awesome plot twists. 5 stars ARC provided by NetGalley. ✰ Asian readathon ✰ Book 1: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress : ★☆☆☆☆ Book 2: Jade City : ★☆☆☆☆ Book 3: The Paper Menagerie : ★★★★★ Book 4: Six Crimson Cranes: ★★★★★ ______ Excuse me, I need to scream. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA' review to come...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cait (Caitsbooks)

    I am in love with this world and this book. If you want: - fairytale vibes - arranged marriage trope - family and siblings who would do anything for each other - dragons, curses, quests, and talking paper cranes then you need to read Six Crimson Cranes Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Absolutely promising, fairy-tallish, dreamy, magical start to brand new fantasy series! A well-executed, creative, original, Eastern mythology meets action packed adventure with dark fairytale vibes definitely put this remarkable book on your radar. If you already enjoyed Blood and Stars duology and became fan of seamstress Maia, it will be easier for you to adore Princess Shiori and her dark magical adventure! Shiori is the princess of Kiata, the seventh and only girl child, 16 years old, spoil Absolutely promising, fairy-tallish, dreamy, magical start to brand new fantasy series! A well-executed, creative, original, Eastern mythology meets action packed adventure with dark fairytale vibes definitely put this remarkable book on your radar. If you already enjoyed Blood and Stars duology and became fan of seamstress Maia, it will be easier for you to adore Princess Shiori and her dark magical adventure! Shiori is the princess of Kiata, the seventh and only girl child, 16 years old, spoiled by brothers, having hot and cold relationship with her stepmother Raikama : the nameless queen, engaged to be married with third lord of barbarian North named Takkan. But she neither wants to get marry nor wants to know more about her future husband. And she has a big secret to keep: she can do magic by giving lives to paper birds. This is small scale but it’s still threatening when you’re the princess of an empire who forbids the magic. Her destiny changes the day her groom to be visits her alongside his father. During her own betrothal ceremony, she finds herself chase after Kiki( paper crane she’s created) and she jumps into palace lake fully clothed to catch the Crane and the last thing she sees before getting drowned is a sea dragon who saves her life. But her only problem is not getting house arrest to sharpen her sewing skins with her stepmother. Takkan and his father perceived her attitude as an insult and they left the palace urgently. But Shiori barely stays out of trouble. When she attends Summer Festival, she meets the human form of sea dragon. His name is Seryu and he offers her to teach magic. And later she finds out she’s not the only magical entity at the palace. Her stepmother is also a snake-human who can perform dark magic and as soon as she catches Shiori who learned her secret: she curses her by putting a bowl magically glued to her head, even her eyes are covered by bowl so nobody can recognize her. Shiori finds herself exiled to farther village and the bowl is not the only curse she has to deal. Raikama also forbids her to talk or write anything about her situation: if she opens her mouth to form a word her brothers will start to die one by one. She also turns her brother into six cranes and cursed their own father not to remember his own children. As her six brothers fly around the empire to find her, poor Shiori is caught by merciless woman to work at the kitchen of a dilapidated inn. Now she’s a poor maid, humiliated by the kitchen crew, trying so hard to her way back to her home! As soon as one kind and charming soldier arrives to the inn to borrow her money and his dagger, her fate will change and she will get a chance to find her brothers and break the curse her stepmother put on them. But this is the only beginning of her compelling adventure and nothing as it seems. As she learns more about herself, the curse, she slowly finds out how naive she is from the beginning and she is the only one to change things radically at the empire! Overall: interesting, intriguing, riveting start of epic series! I loved Shiori and her complicated love-hate relationship with her stepmother. Takkan was one of the sweetest heroes I’ve ever read. He can sing, draw and read poems. Yes, he’s adorable cinnamon bun! I’m looking forward to read the second book! This is one of the most amazing fantasy reads of 2021! Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s / Knopf Books for young readers for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  5. 4 out of 5

    may ➹

    another beautiful Asian girl on a beautiful cover who I am in love with!!!!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Gong

    A stunning remake of a fairytale. Six Crimson Cranes is the perfect blend of whimsy and ferociousness, with twists and turns that will tug at your heartstrings.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Lanz

    This cover singlehandedly coerced me into reading the synopsis, adding it to my TBR, scouring Netgalley in hopes of requesting a copy, and then looking into the author and her other books. Damn you, gorgeous cover.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    4.5 Stars ⭐️ I loved this book inside and out. I wish the next book was already available 😕 Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 4.5 Stars ⭐️ I loved this book inside and out. I wish the next book was already available 😕 Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  9. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    This cover is freaking gorgeous 🔥 I NEED THIS ON MY SHELVES!!! Anxiously awaiting preorder's arrival!!! This cover is freaking gorgeous 🔥 I NEED THIS ON MY SHELVES!!! Anxiously awaiting preorder's arrival!!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    lily ☁️

    when the author personally asks you if you want an arc of her new novel & asks her publicist to send you one ……… i simply cannot wait to fall in love with elizabeth’s gorgeous writing all over again :’) Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Bloglovin’ when the author personally asks you if you want an arc of her new novel & asks her publicist to send you one ……… i simply cannot wait to fall in love with elizabeth’s gorgeous writing all over again :’) Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Bloglovin’

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    this was excellent. seems ambitious to add this to my huge review pile, but i’m doing it anyway. full RTC

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fanna

    ➵ this story is perfect. from cursed beings to familial relationships, my heart was entranced by the consistent plot peaks and enchanted by the magic of love; the fantastical aspects were excellent and the revelations were surprising —every point was emotionally propelling for me. lastly, it made me cry. rtc. 15.06.2020 the publicist has blessed me with an earc! i hope the story will be as beautiful as this stunning cover. 22.05.2020 this new duology has just been announced and i absolutely can't ➵ this story is perfect. from cursed beings to familial relationships, my heart was entranced by the consistent plot peaks and enchanted by the magic of love; the fantastical aspects were excellent and the revelations were surprising —every point was emotionally propelling for me. lastly, it made me cry. rtc. 15.06.2020 the publicist has blessed me with an earc! i hope the story will be as beautiful as this stunning cover. 22.05.2020 this new duology has just been announced and i absolutely can't wait, especially when we're being promised a princess and a cursed brother along with a dragon and a paper bird brought to life. also, yes to asian rep!

  13. 5 out of 5

    cossette

    very unfair that the sequel isn't out till 2022 ANYWAYS liz lim never misses !!! wow ! rtc to come at some point !!!! very unfair that the sequel isn't out till 2022 ANYWAYS liz lim never misses !!! wow ! rtc to come at some point !!!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    nessma

    4.5★ six crimson cranes is an enchanting tale that marries the grimm brothers’ 'the six swans' with east asian folklore and it is whimsical and magical as well as so, so much fun! elizabeth lim is one of the most talented spinner of tales, scc is my first book of hers and i was pleasantly surprised with how much i loved the first book in this magical ya fantasy duology. i found everything from the characters, story and plot to the world, magic and writing was well done. the writing is positively on 4.5★ six crimson cranes is an enchanting tale that marries the grimm brothers’ 'the six swans' with east asian folklore and it is whimsical and magical as well as so, so much fun! elizabeth lim is one of the most talented spinner of tales, scc is my first book of hers and i was pleasantly surprised with how much i loved the first book in this magical ya fantasy duology. i found everything from the characters, story and plot to the world, magic and writing was well done. the writing is positively one of my favorites and helps carry the atmosphere in this world, the scenery is vivid and—yes, i'll say it—very pretty! i don't think i can compare the cozy, warm feeling i got from this book (even though the characters were most definitely cold and freezing in the north) to anything but the way studio ghibli's animated movies make me feel. lim's writing is like a dream and it's just wonderful to go on this adventure with such beautiful imagery. speaking of the adventure, i loved following shiori in her journey to save her brothers, herself, and the things and loved ones close to her. jumping hurdle over hurdle, i sympathized with shiori and found her so easy to love and root for. her relationships stuck with me and each represented a different aspect that i quite enjoyed getting into. (i am excited to tackle more of those in the sequel, too.) some of the plot elements were a teeny bit predictable, in my opinion the author revealed hints a little too early or too clearly—which is why the rating is not a full 5 stars. but i've rounded it up the 4.5 to 5 because i can forgive the predictability aspect (and what i hope to be not-plot-holes and not-loose-ends) to be tied up and resolved in the sequel, and moreover it really didn’t affect my personal enjoyment of the book all that much. however, i am certain elizabeth lim laced this book with dark magic and now i'm in a trance and need to read whatever else this author has written or will write in the future. six crimson cranes reads like a lush fairytale infused with magic and characters to adore and it’s most definitely a new favorite; highly recommend! — digital arc provided via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    solanne

    Elizabeth Lim’s cover artist is really out here doing the most for us, huh. thank you Tran Nguyen 😌

  16. 5 out of 5

    Era ➶

    Thank you to Netgalley for providing me an ARC! (I did actually finish this about two months ago, it just took me forever to write the review) Why are Asian mythology books so addictive - My dumbass didn’t realize that this book is an Asian retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Wild Swans.” I definitely should have known from the synopsis, or even from the fact that Elizabeth Lim’s entire repertoire consists of Asian fairytale retellings. But no. My brain cell doesn’t operate on logic. Any Thank you to Netgalley for providing me an ARC! (I did actually finish this about two months ago, it just took me forever to write the review) Why are Asian mythology books so addictive - My dumbass didn’t realize that this book is an Asian retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Wild Swans.” I definitely should have known from the synopsis, or even from the fact that Elizabeth Lim’s entire repertoire consists of Asian fairytale retellings. But no. My brain cell doesn’t operate on logic. Anyway, as I’m pretty sure everyone knows by now, I LOVE Asian retellings. This did not disappoint. The plot is, again, an Asian retake of “The Wild Swans.” Shiori, the princess of Kiata, has forbidden magic. She’s only ever used it by accident, but it escapes once more right before her betrothal ceremony. This could be considered lucky, since she didn’t want to marry that guy, and had been hoping to cancel the ceremony anyway. But she meets a dragon. Now, dragons aren’t supposed to interact with humans, and most people have just dismissed them as old creatures of legend. But Seryu, the dragon Shiori meets, is about her age - and worse, he knows about her magic. From there, a lot of shit goes down, involving Seryu’s dragon pearl, Shiori’s magic, and her very beautiful, slightly suspicious stepmother who definitely has secrets of her own. Shiori ends up cursed, her magic contained, all six of her brothers turned into cranes, and dispelled from the palace. If she speaks, one brother will die for each word past her lips. I have no complaints with the storyline. I liked “The Wild Swans” as a fairytale (although I believe “The Girl Who Trod On The Loaf” is superior), but Elizabeth Lim’s Asian mythology elements just brought it to another level. I love fairytale retellings, especially Asian ones. You could say that the world-building of this book was similar to “Spin The Dawn” (walnut shells enclosing magic, enchanted remnants of the gods, enchanters becoming demons, etc.), but considering that she was drawing from the same mythology, that’s not really a sound argument. The world-building of Kiata was so intricate and it was pretty well-done. There was some info-dumping, which made it hard for me to follow - I think it should have been integrated more smoothly into the storyline somehow. But I loved the whole aesthetic of the world. I love the whole feel that Asian-inspired books have. Maybe it’s because I’m Asian, so I can connect to it more (although anyone who knows me can confirm that I have an unhealthy obsession with Greek mythology). “Fear is just a game, Shiori,” I reminded myself. “You win by playing.” The characters were written well, even if they weren’t developed and fleshed out as much as I think they could have been. Shiori was a strong protagonist, and being in her head was a good experience. She was stubborn, a bit spoiled, and very entertaining. She could be impulsive and in over her head at times, but she was flawed in a good way. Her character grew pretty gradually, but I think the development was good over the course of the book. Raikama was a very compelling, powerful antagonist and I was really interested in her backstory. But I feel like she could have been developed a bit more, and the transition of her character throughout the plot felt really choppy and abrupt. Shiori’s brothers - there isn’t much to say about them, because they weren’t very major to me and I lowkey don’t remember their names. But they were good characters and I liked reading their relationship with Shiori. Kiki was a mood, as much as an animated paper crane can be. She was so much fun to read and I really liked having her as a character. Megari was hilarious and even though she was minor, I really liked her. She was such a fierce, bright character for a little girl. Seryu was a bit annoying and I wasn’t sure how to feel about him. I liked his beginning appearance, but I think he’s being built up to be something of an antagonist, or at least an antihero, in the next book. I found him too possessive and brash for me to really like him. Takkan was a bit of a standard prince-with-a-heart-of-gold, but that’s not anything to complain about. His character wasn’t super memorable to me, but his romance with Shiori was sweet. I didn’t ship them, but I don’t really do shipping that much. *cue laughter from all of my friends in the background* Yes, that’s a bit of a lie. But I only really ship the couples that I’m intensely in love with, and Shiori x Takkan didn’t do that all the way for me. I think my favorite thing about this book was just how well-built it was, from the way the fairy-tale was structured to how smoothly the Asian culture was integrated. My least favorite thing was that Shiori’s perspective felt choppy. Her opinions about Raikama and her magic felt like they were switching from one thing to another so suddenly, and it took away from her development. I also didn’t like the ending very much, because it felt a bit cliché and it didn’t really shock me the way I think it was supposed to. Overall, I really liked “Six Crimson Cranes” and I’m really excited for the sequel. But looking back on it, I didn’t really love it the way I thought I did when I was reading it two months ago. “Find the light that makes your lantern shine,” she used to say. “Hold on to it, even when the dark surrounds you. Not even the strongest wind will blow out the flame.”

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    "Being the emperor's only daughter, I'd never been allowed to go anywhere, let alone journey outside of Gindara, the capital. In a year, I'd be too old for such an escapade. And too married. The indignity of it all made me sigh aloud." Six Crimson Cranes brings a torrent of fresh air to a sometimes stale genre; equal parts familiar fairytale and a unique take on ancient folklore, it was an absolute delight to read this book. I've been told that this book takes place in the same world as the autho "Being the emperor's only daughter, I'd never been allowed to go anywhere, let alone journey outside of Gindara, the capital. In a year, I'd be too old for such an escapade. And too married. The indignity of it all made me sigh aloud." Six Crimson Cranes brings a torrent of fresh air to a sometimes stale genre; equal parts familiar fairytale and a unique take on ancient folklore, it was an absolute delight to read this book. I've been told that this book takes place in the same world as the author's previous duet, Spin the Dawn, but I have not read those yet to detail any connections personally. However, I'm itching to jump into that series as well after enjoying this book so thoroughly! The cover is stunning, the map is a true work of art, and the story inside shows a young royal facing unexpected hardships and learning to overcome them. The magic system is so unique, and I can't wait to continue learning about the form of paper magic in the conclusion. Slow burn romance, family bonds, dragons with wisdom: it's all here, friends. There's another thing I really loved about the end of this book, but I can't really say for spoilers, so I'll just leave it and say that satisfaction is guaranteed. Highly recommended for readers looking for unique YA fantasy! *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nadhira Satria

    5 STARS!! talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before, unafraid to reference or not reference, put it in a blender, shit on it, vomit on it, eat it, give birth to it. Holy shit, this was one amazing book!! The second I picked it up to read, my eyes are glued to the pages. I even had to fight myself to go to bed and not read more of this amazing book. Before I bought this book and read it I was afraid I 5 STARS!! talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, completely not ever been done before, unafraid to reference or not reference, put it in a blender, shit on it, vomit on it, eat it, give birth to it. Holy shit, this was one amazing book!! The second I picked it up to read, my eyes are glued to the pages. I even had to fight myself to go to bed and not read more of this amazing book. Before I bought this book and read it I was afraid I wasn't going to like it since I didn't like Spin the Dawn. But oh wow I loved EVERY SINGLE WORD. The book is absolutely breathtaking and beautiful. I haven't been this amazed by a book in a very long time so I'm happy that this book incredibly wowed me. It punched me in the face with how beautiful and well written this book is. ✨ What I Like ✨ 1. The main character Shiori'anma is our main character. And even though I don't always love young adult main characters, I truly fell in love with Shiori. She is feisty, mischievous, smart, and completely human. She has her faults and she isn't completely flawless like most YA MCs. She could be spoiled and want things to be her way but the character development is absolutely amazing. I read how Shiori'anma grew from a spoiled princess to a wonderful person. I enjoyed her voice so much and I loved that it was from her POV even though I don't normally like first person pov. 2. The Worldbulding WOW OH WOW. WOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW. The lore and the worldbuilding are beautifully written. There are stories about the world and the lore and it's sooooo good. Everything felt so magical and beautiful. The east asian inspired setting was breathtaking and captivating. Absolutely wonderful. 3. The Writing Beautiful, enchanting, and MAGICAL. The writing was absolutely gorgeous. I felt like I was completely transported into the book. It is so beautiful and I felt like the writing completely complemented the worldbuilding. Lush and beautiful, the writing kept me glued to the book for hours without complaining whether it was boring or not. 4. Takkan MY SWEET ANGEL. An absolute sweetheart who deserves the world. He is the sweetest love interest ever oh my god just talking about him makes me want to CRY. He's EVERYTHING I LOVE HIM SO MUCHHHHHHH. 5. The plot twist HOLY SHITTTTTTTTTT I DID NOT EXPECT THAT AT ALL. WHAT???? I MEAN??????? BYEEEEEEE. ✨ What I didn't like ✨ 1.That I had to wait for a year for the sequel. I WANT IT NOW. Oh my word. You guys, do yourself a favor and get this absolutely amazing book. (Don't blame me if you don't like it tho) It's absolutely amazing and I cant wait for the second book. PHEW I need to breathe now because this book left me breathless. But basically: Buy this. Thank you for coming to my ted talk and also: where were these Asian reps when I was growing up??? thank you thank you thank you to all Asian authors who write own voices books. I needed this when i was younger.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

    "Six Crimson Cranes centers an exiled princess who must unweave the curse that turned her brothers into cranes, assisted by her spurned betrothed, a mercurial dragon, and a paper bird brought to life by her own magic." [x] the fact is this: I adored Spin the Dawn, and I absolutely think Elizabeth Lim might end up on my list of favourite authors very soon ALSO ELIZABETH LIM CONTINUING TO GET THE BEST COVERS ILLUSTRATED BY TRAN NGUYEN I LOVE THIS edit: not me initially marking this is as 'read' instea "Six Crimson Cranes centers an exiled princess who must unweave the curse that turned her brothers into cranes, assisted by her spurned betrothed, a mercurial dragon, and a paper bird brought to life by her own magic." [x] the fact is this: I adored Spin the Dawn, and I absolutely think Elizabeth Lim might end up on my list of favourite authors very soon ALSO ELIZABETH LIM CONTINUING TO GET THE BEST COVERS ILLUSTRATED BY TRAN NGUYEN I LOVE THIS edit: not me initially marking this is as 'read' instead of 'to read' ;-; i wish

  20. 5 out of 5

    elisa

    whenever i start a new young adult book, i feel like there's an extended adjustment period, just because so much of the pleasure i derive from books comes from complex, stylistic prose, and you rarely ever see that in a genre primarily marketed to teenagers. with six crimson cranes, that adjustment period took around 80 pages—give or take—and then i was locked in. the prose here is about as scaled back as it comes. it's plain, unadorned, and rarely ever transcends the lower end of the age thresh whenever i start a new young adult book, i feel like there's an extended adjustment period, just because so much of the pleasure i derive from books comes from complex, stylistic prose, and you rarely ever see that in a genre primarily marketed to teenagers. with six crimson cranes, that adjustment period took around 80 pages—give or take—and then i was locked in. the prose here is about as scaled back as it comes. it's plain, unadorned, and rarely ever transcends the lower end of the age threshold this book was very clearly written for (13-18 year olds, in my opinion). because the adjustment period took so long to wan, i was convinced that i would not enjoy this book for quite a while. in the end, though, i couldn't resist the pull of a fantastical family adventure. the world here—in spite of its relative simplicity—is really beautiful. i found the pace and progression of the narrative satisfying, the building suspense effective, and i really did love shiori as a main character. that, and the nature of her curse, which, while outlandish in places—characters referencing her emotions/eyes/expressions always made me raise my eyebrows, because you can only see her mouth! according to the curse—felt really refreshing. and, okay, yes, i am a sucker for the idea of second chance romance + identity porn between two people who have met in childhood. it helped that takkan was such a well-written male love interest. i feel like that's often rare to see in ya, especially ya entrenched in love triangle scenarios, which this series is obviously setting up for. what usually happens is...i read a young adult book and i take issue with the fact that it's trying to sell me a romantic dilemma that features two boys who are equally terribly written. in six crimson cranes, at least one boy held up his end of the deal. takkan is a shy sweetheart with a strong moral compass and an artistic bent, so he was a delight to watch unfold across the pages. having said that, i continue to have to contend with the young adult love triangle formula, which is so disproportionate that it is almost always apparent who the real endgame is within a few protag/love interest interactions. i've made a game out of trying to sniff out the romantic red herring. even though seryu was introduced first, and has the allure of magic and cross-species conflict on his side, i could tell he was never going to hold a candle to the actual Main Guy. i wish love triangles like this one were written with more balance, because the screentime (and development) disparity here undercuts any idea of an actual dilemma. and i know book two is likely preparing to thrust seryu/shiori center-stage, but it often feels too little too late after establishing a strong main romance in book one—like the protagonist is just biding her time until she can return to the real endgame during the inevitable I've Made My Choice conclusion. also, seryu's switch-up from i saved you because you're a pretty human to i'm gonna give you the cold shoulder now because i feel threatened by the presence of a new guy in your life was so abrupt i wanted to cringe. i hate this kind of side-guy arc in a love triangle, especially when it kicks in way too early—these two barely know each other!—and here, it just felt out of place, particularly because i felt the motives behind seryu/shiori's first interaction were already flimsy as is. in that same vein, i think what i craved most from this book—and why i'll be mourning the idea of it as an adult fantasy for the rest of the week—was nuanced character writing. aside from shiori and takkan, and maybe possibly perhaps a certain character buoyed by circmustance/plot twists, the vast majority of the people filling up this world felt like caricatures. it was hard to distinguish most of the six brothers from one another because they had so little screentime, and did very little memorable work with what they did have. i wanted more women to have a focal point, and the women who did i craved greater complexity for. too often it felt like they filled one-dimensionally wrought villainous voids so elizabeth lim could raise the stakes. zairena's entire character, for example, remains confounding to me. like, okay, i know this is young adult, but i wish amoral characters—especially amoral female characters with unconvincing set-ups—were written with more care, particularly when they're introduced so early. here, they really do start to feel like cartoon characters; while their motives may not be immediately obvious, they are always coded as blatantly malicious from the get-go, and with the women, especially zairena, it started to just seem needlessly catty? i was actually genuinely shocked zairena wasn't a former scorned lover of takkan's, because that was how unsubtly her dislike for shiori was written. granted, i was glad for megari, but i wished shiori had more girls her age to interact with, and i wish the general cast of characters felt more fleshed out than one or two defining traits. this book is more of a 3.75 or 3.8 out of 5 stars for me, and that little rating leap is largely because of the pay-off, and the adrenaline high of the magical adventure. and, yes, also because of the romance. shiori/takkan really defied my ya expectations, okay!!!! regardless, though, i think this is a super strong start to a fantasy series, and i will be tuning in for the sequel. if you want uncomplicated romance-infused curse-breaking, definitely check this out!

  21. 4 out of 5

    sahar

    i promise no one is sadder about this rating than me. after reading and dnf'ing spin the dawn earlier this year, i decided i'd give elizabeth lim one more shot. and while this was a much better reading experience, it still fell short for me. i wanted to love it so bad but i never got there. the beginning was great but somewhere around the middle everything got boring. i found myself skimming a lot of the details simply because it felt more info dumpy than anything. i think elizabeth tried to inc i promise no one is sadder about this rating than me. after reading and dnf'ing spin the dawn earlier this year, i decided i'd give elizabeth lim one more shot. and while this was a much better reading experience, it still fell short for me. i wanted to love it so bad but i never got there. the beginning was great but somewhere around the middle everything got boring. i found myself skimming a lot of the details simply because it felt more info dumpy than anything. i think elizabeth tried to incorporate so many things into the plot without developing them at all. on a positive note, i absolutely loved the characters and none of them felt one dimensional. i didn't care much for the romance but i liked shiori and takkan separately. i also really enjoyed shiori's relationship with her brothers and kiki! seryu was my favorite character by far and he was so much fun to encounter. unfortunately, i won't be continuing on with this series but i'm sure it will be well received anyway. ➳ 3 stars.

  22. 4 out of 5

    ~ a foray in fantasy ~

    Look, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Elizabeth Lim’s first series. But this book— this book was absolutely incredible. Everything I want in a YA fantasy

  23. 4 out of 5

    luce

    | | blog | tumblr | ko-fi | | First things first: that cover. I mean....words cannot describe how beautiful it is. “My stepmother had broken me. She'd cast me away from my brothers, my family, my home. Even from myself.” Ever since watching early 2000s Barbie movies reading Juliet Marillier's spellbinding books I've had a soft spot for retellings and I'm happy to say that Six Crimson Cranes makes for a truly wonderful take on “The Brothers Who Were Turned into Birds” type of tales (which includ | | blog | tumblr | ko-fi | | First things first: that cover. I mean....words cannot describe how beautiful it is. “My stepmother had broken me. She'd cast me away from my brothers, my family, my home. Even from myself.” Ever since watching early 2000s Barbie movies reading Juliet Marillier's spellbinding books I've had a soft spot for retellings and I'm happy to say that Six Crimson Cranes makes for a truly wonderful take on “The Brothers Who Were Turned into Birds” type of tales (which include the six swans, the wild swans, and even marillier's daughter of the forest). Fans of Ghibli and even Disney should definitely consider picking this up as Six Crimson Cranes is a truly magical novel. “We were seven, and seven was a number of strength. An uneven number that could not fold unto itself, large enough to withstand many threats, yet small enough to stay devoted.” In Six Crimson Cranes Limm transports her readers to the Chinese and Japanese inspired kingdom of Kiata. Here Princess Shiori, the only daughter of Emperor Hanariho, is not looking forward to getting married to the son of Lord Bushian, someone Shiori considers to be a barbarian. In spite of her sheltered upbringing, Shiori's adventurous streak (read: foolhardiness) often lands her in trouble. Thankfully for her, she has six brothers who dote on her (even if they do enjoy teasing her now and again) and are more than happy to watch out for her. On the day of her betrothal ceremony, she uses magic—which is, you guessed it, forbidden in this kingdom—to cheer herself up. And then her magical friend lands her into the palace's Sacred Lake. Luckily, Shiori is saved by Seryuu, a dragon prince (okay, this whole dynamic gave me some strong spirited away vibes) who offers to help her with her magic. Shiori's lake mishap raises her stepmother's suspicions. And it turns out that mysterious & aloof Raikama also dabbles with magic. When Shiori witnesses Raikama getting up to no good she runs to her brothers to warn them about their stepmother's true identity. Alas, the siblings don't stand a chance against Raikama who uses her dark magic to curse them. Shiori's six brothers are transformed into cranes. Shiori too is cursed: no one will be able to recognise her and if she were to utter a single word one of her brothers will die. Voiceless and alone, Shiori travels the lands hoping to find her brothers and a way to break the curse. “Ironic, wasn't it, that I—a girl who always wanted to make her own choice—now for nothing more than to surrender to fate?” What follows is a compelling tale of resilience. Lim has spun a truly enchanting fairy tale one that feels at once familiar and unique. While her story implements quite a lot of archetypes (the protagonist on a quest, a curse, a magical companion who offers wise words of advice, hidden identities, evil stepmothers) she also subverts quite a few of them. Lim's storytelling is so engaging that even if I predicted most, if not all, of the twists and revelations that occur along the way, well, it didn't lessen my enjoyment of her story. In fact, I actually found myself looking forward to Shiori figuring things out for herself. Shiori is a truly lovable heroine. To start she's a bit of a hothead and until her curse, she was leading a rather cushy lifestyle (okay, the arranged marriage wasn't great but it was also very much the norm in this kingdom). After the curse, Shiori endures quite a lot of hardships. Her love for her brothers and her desire to set them free sees her overcoming the many trials that come her way, and by the end of the narrative, Shiori has undergone quite the character development. I loved the setting, the magic, Shiori's voice, her bond with her brothers, the folktales and myths Lim incorporated within her story. “I would not have you be alone, […], not in your joys or your sorrows. I would wish your strand knotted to mine, always.” Six Crimson Cranes is a truly delightful and dazzling novel. Not only is Lim a fantastic storyteller but I felt really invested in Shiori and her brothers. There is a hint of romance which added a sweet note to the overall narrative (i am just praying it won't turn into a love triangle...) but the story's focus remains very much on Shiori's quest. Marillier herself described this novel as a “gorgeous” take on an old fairy tale, and “a must-read for lovers of folkloric fantasy”...and well, she's spot on. ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    4 entrancing stars Starts off simple and slow, but once you fall into this story it is fantastic. Writing: ★★★★ Plot/Pacing: ★★★ and ★★★★, depending on how far you are in the book Enjoyment: ★★★★ 1/2 So first off, for those who miss clear clues like me, this is the first book in a duology! It is not a standalone novel. Six Crimson Cranes is a beautiful, mesmerizing, and classic YA retelling tale that involves all the best elements of the genre and a few unique twists. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Shiori 4 entrancing stars Starts off simple and slow, but once you fall into this story it is fantastic. Writing: ★★★★ Plot/Pacing: ★★★ and ★★★★, depending on how far you are in the book Enjoyment: ★★★★ 1/2 So first off, for those who miss clear clues like me, this is the first book in a duology! It is not a standalone novel. Six Crimson Cranes is a beautiful, mesmerizing, and classic YA retelling tale that involves all the best elements of the genre and a few unique twists. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. When her stepmother, also possessing magic, discovers Shiori's secret, she curses Shiori and her six brothers. Shiori's brothers turn into cranes, and Shiori herself is cursed with silence and her identity is hidden by a covering on her head. They are then magically flung from the palace and separated. Once a princess, now a mute and unidentifiable girl in the rural countryside, Shiori is stuck and in need of a plan. She has to defeat her evil stepmother, break the curses on herself and her brothers, and save her kingdom from the outside forces who want to overthrow the land. It's a tall to-do list, that's for sure. But Shiori's endurance and sense of self are strong, and she knows she can do this. Armed with her sentient paper crane, Kiki, and a will to live, Shiori sets off on the adventure of a lifetime. (Shhh, I won't talk about it anymore. Go read it!) My thoughts: What? Amy loved a retelling? No way. Yes, way. I did. I thought this was a beautiful novel with quite a lot going for it. Six Crimson Cranes starts off extremely simple. In fact, for the first section of the plot I thought to myself, "oh boy, I don't think this will be a favorite. It's too classic." But I was wrong. Once you get into the plot itself, Lim's talent for detail, emotion, and simplistic—yet elegant—plot shines through. I was entranced by Shiori's struggle and coming of age moments. This reminded me of the best kinds of retellings, the old-school classic movies, the works. I also loved several things that are serious spoilers. Not going to touch on those in this review, but I'll say that this isn't as basic as you might assume, and just because the template is reminiscent of other fairytales does NOT mean that Lim takes us through the motions. There are some very cool and unique flips here. Blog | Instagram Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

    “Find the light that makes your lantern shine,” she used to say. “Hold on to it, even when the dark surrounds you. Not even the strongest wind will blow out the flame.” TW: (minor) body horror, confinement, death of a parent. Wow. I've just been sitting here in stunned silence for the past few minutes trying to collect my thoughts enough to review this book and yet I'm still speechless. Everything I'm thinking to say feels like an inadequate way to describe how much I adored this, but I'm going to “Find the light that makes your lantern shine,” she used to say. “Hold on to it, even when the dark surrounds you. Not even the strongest wind will blow out the flame.” TW: (minor) body horror, confinement, death of a parent. Wow. I've just been sitting here in stunned silence for the past few minutes trying to collect my thoughts enough to review this book and yet I'm still speechless. Everything I'm thinking to say feels like an inadequate way to describe how much I adored this, but I'm going to try nonetheless. This book was a breathtaking, flawless masterpiece. It was the kind of story that immerses you in a beautiful world with vivid characters and keeps you turning the page, while also wishing it never had to end. It reads so very much like a fairytale, with the same comforting, magical quality that feeds your imagination while feeling like a cozy blanket at once. Let me be clear: I have adored everything Elizabeth Lim has ever written. In fact, I would even go as far as to call her my favorite YA author. The Blood of Stars duology is one of my favorite series of all time, and definitely my favorite duology. With my expectations as high as they were, it shouldn't have been possible for this book to shock me with how much I loved it and yet it did. Her writing has improved incredibly so since her last book; which I find rather astounding as I never thought she needed any improvement. Just the same, it is impossible to read this book and not see her growth as a writer, how much stronger and more vibrant her writing feels. I'm quite literally in awe. Like The Blood of Stars duology, this book has far more of a fairytale atmosphere than you might expect going into it, but unlike its predecessor, Six Crimson Cranes is not a magical quest story (though it does have some traveling!). It is more a journey of Shiori learning the world around her and fully becoming her own person. It was a story of the bond between families, blood or otherwise, and of whether the misjudgments of one's past define the person they will become. Shiori's growth as a character was so authentic and gradual that it's almost startling to compare who she is at the end of the book to who she was a the beginning. By the final chapters, her hardships have obviously changed her and it's something that was beautiful to see. As for the rest of the characters, let me say it again, Elizabeth Lim can do no wrong. Familial relationships are definitely one of her strongpoints and she delivered with this story. Every single one of Shiori's brothers - though their role in the story was understandably small - were extremely unique and her relationship with them felt realistic, which for some reason is a rarity in sibling relationships in YA. I can't say anything about the rest of the characters without getting too close to spoiler territory but just know that she surprised me multiple times and made me feel all the emotions when it came to this aspect of the story. Another thing, don't go into this book hungry because you will leave starving. I wanted literally every food mentioned in this book and now I'm hoping Elizabeth Lim releases a cookbook of recipes for this world. I would buy it and I would make them all. Especially Shiori's soup. Overall Usually, this would be the part of the review where I'd give my complaints or - at the very least - criticisms, but I seriously don't have any. Everything from the pacing to the characters to the world-building was perfect for this story. I couldn't come up with a single, solitary complaint if I tried. Elizabeth Lim has not only maintained but has completely secured her spot as my favorite YA author. I will forever read everything this woman puts out. Now excuse me while I go sit on my front porch and wait for Six Crimson Cranes #2 to be released and arrive.

  26. 5 out of 5

    hiba

    magical, refreshing, nostalgic - i had a great time reading this one! six crimson cranes is an east asian retelling of the grimm brothers' the six swans and it's just as whimsical and charming as promised by its concept. we've got curses, quests, demons, dragons, secrets, forbidden magic - the whole package really. plus, the strong studio ghibli and fairytale vibes of this story truly won me over. shiori's a really fun protagonist to follow - i loved how curious, headstrong and impulsive she was magical, refreshing, nostalgic - i had a great time reading this one! six crimson cranes is an east asian retelling of the grimm brothers' the six swans and it's just as whimsical and charming as promised by its concept. we've got curses, quests, demons, dragons, secrets, forbidden magic - the whole package really. plus, the strong studio ghibli and fairytale vibes of this story truly won me over. shiori's a really fun protagonist to follow - i loved how curious, headstrong and impulsive she was and so determined to save everyone she loved. i also adored shiori's relationships with her brothers, her fiery snappy little magical animal companion, and of course her love interest takkan who happens to be THE best boy. their arranged marriage with a twist romance gave me everything i've ever wanted. other things i loved: vivid atmospheric writing, an adventure across different settings, fast pacing, themes of family and motherhood, an exciting plot and one intriguing quirky dragon prince. i did have a couple of (small) issues: 1) i wish we got a bit more focus on shiori's brothers. the first half of the novel made me think this would be a family adventure with all of them together but the story takes off in a different direction - which is still enjoyable but i personally wanted more sibling dynamics. 2) the climax was a bit too predictable and convenient, plus some of the mysteries didn't have satisfactory enough answers for me. also, i wasn't fully convinced by certain decisions the characters made. overall though, this was a pretty entertaining read with a memorable main character, a heartwarming romance, and a wonderful fairytale-esque adventurous story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anissa

    I love this book so so much and cannot wait to reread it!

  28. 4 out of 5

    cherelle (aboltoutofthebook)

    Wow! Six Crimson Cranes is by far my favourite Elizabeth Lim book yet! 。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆ "Find the light that lets your lantern shine. 🏮 - An enchanting YA fantasy filled with magic, family and hope 🥰 - A beautiful retelling of The Wild Swans 🦢 - Shiori's character arc and the sibling dynamics are making me EMO 🥺 - Lyrical, lilting prose I want to gobble the words up 🎶 - Dragons! 🐉 Curses! 🌹 Quests! 🔪 Overall: a beautiful retelling of curses, quests, family and hope! Would recommend :) 。・:*:・゚★,。・: Wow! Six Crimson Cranes is by far my favourite Elizabeth Lim book yet! 。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆ "Find the light that lets your lantern shine. 🏮 - An enchanting YA fantasy filled with magic, family and hope 🥰 - A beautiful retelling of The Wild Swans 🦢 - Shiori's character arc and the sibling dynamics are making me EMO 🥺 - Lyrical, lilting prose I want to gobble the words up 🎶 - Dragons! 🐉 Curses! 🌹 Quests! 🔪 Overall: a beautiful retelling of curses, quests, family and hope! Would recommend :) 。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆ Read my full review of SIX CRIMSON CRANES on my blog My many thanks to the publisher: Hodder & Stoughton as well as Netgalley for providing me an ARC of Six Crimson Cranes for a sincere review. Blog | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist 📚

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Waworga

    This is such a fun and light and full of adventure YA Fantasy but it reminds me a lot of Elizabeth Lin’s previous book “Spin The Dawn” it got the same feeling with the main character and some of the story is similiar, you will know if you read both books I love how Lin always tried to represented Asian culture in her story, the plot twist felt abit force but okay i guess i can accept it, the magic system and curse is unique and i love it so much, i love Shiori (the main character) even tho has m This is such a fun and light and full of adventure YA Fantasy but it reminds me a lot of Elizabeth Lin’s previous book “Spin The Dawn” it got the same feeling with the main character and some of the story is similiar, you will know if you read both books I love how Lin always tried to represented Asian culture in her story, the plot twist felt abit force but okay i guess i can accept it, the magic system and curse is unique and i love it so much, i love Shiori (the main character) even tho has magical power but still need to face alot of hardship and not only depend on her magic, there is also siblling story which is something i always look forward in a story and the romance built really well PLUS there is dragon woohoooo Overall i think this is such a solid story if you love YA Fantasy, i just wish the sequel will be just as good with this one since i have pretty “bad” experience with Lin’s previous duology (i love Spin The dawn but not a fan of the sequel Unravel The Dusk)

  30. 5 out of 5

    chaity

    SIX crimson CRANES My brain really said: status: on-hold for now. SIX crimson CRANES My brain really said: status: on-hold for now.

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