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.
Six Crimson Cranes is a book that once you start you simply cannot put down. It’s a gripping fairytale retelling spun around themes of magic, bravery, family, friendship and love. This is a book I absolutely flew through and it’s definitely a new favourite. Here are some reasons why I’m asking you to pick up Six Crimson Cranes:
- Shiori is such a powerful and brave character. We see her start off as a determined and rebellious girl intent on getting what she wants but throughout the story she goes through so many hardships and transforms beautifully. It’s honestly heartwarming to watch.
- The magic and worldbuilding? Absolute chef’s kiss. Lim establishes Shiori’s kingdom for us and lets us into the world of magic before expanding it bit by bit so that we don’t get overwhelmed. There is inter-kingdom politics, politics between magical worlds and the kingdoms and it can all be a lot to take in but the author sets it up beautifully.
- Literally all the characters were so well written. You cannot say that even one of them wasn’t well-developed. All of them had more than met their eye and it was such an absolute delight to read about them.
- I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t think there would be a romance aspect to this book but I thoroughly enjoyed the slow-burn and the twists that came into Shiori’s love life. I mean my lips are sealed but let’s just say I loved every minute of it.
- WELL BUILT VILLAINS! Praise god, that’s the best part of this book. Well built and developed antagonists and villains who aren’t just evil for the sake of it.
- Seriously though, the plot twists had me reeling and gasping like will you give me a break?
- Just the writing and pacing was so brilliant. I admit it starts off slightly slow but you don’t feel that way because you’re still adjusting to the characters and the world and it only aids the process before diving into the more action and adventure sections of the novel.
- I absolutely adore Kiki, someone get me fiercely loyal pet like her, oof.
Honestly, do you all need more reasons? I loved everything about this book, there was literally no single thing that I would change and I absolutely cannot wait to see what adventures Shiori embarks upon in the second book 🙂
Have you read Six Crimson Cranes or any other book by Elizabeth Lim?
What are some of your favourite retellings?
How do you wait for an anticipated sequel? Do you always re-read the first book before diving into the sequel when its releasing?