Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

Author: Elizabeth Lim

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pages: 454

Source: Penguin Teen Canada / E-ARC

Released: July 6, 2021

Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo Canada | Book Depository

Rating: 5/5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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. –Goodreads

Thanks to Penguin Random House Canada and NetGalley for giving me the chance to read and review this E-ARC.

Six Crimson Cranes is hands down my favourite read, so far, of 2021. I could not put this novel down. Lim spins a retelling that is addicting, fast pace and gorgeously fleshed out.

The characters, and their relationships/interactions with one another, really solidify this story. I loved Shiori’s, the MC, relationship with her brothers, a certain dragon and various members of the Bushian family. The main character grows a lot in this book. I loved how determined Shiori is as a character.

I’m super excited to see how the romance develops in future books. I have a feeling that this series will involve a love triangle. If so, then I’m totally on board. I liked both possible love interests. However, I was fangirling over Shiori’s relationship with Takkan (heart eyes). Takkan is 100% book-boyfriend material.

The plot was fast-paced, and I always wanted to know what happened next in the story. I did not find the various story threads hard to follow in this book. This story will take readers on an adventure. Readers get to see different parts of the world Lim has created in Six Crimson Cranes. I loved the inclusion of foods and festivals.

Overall, this is by far my favourite read of 2021. I could not put down this novel. It was fast-paced, and I loved the characters. The world-building is well fleshed out. I hope this book is one day adapted for film or television. This retelling is one I would highly recommend for fans of fantasy retellings.

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