Six Crimson Cranes – Elizabeth Lim

Look at this pretty shiny cover! Isn’t it stunning? I love Hodder’s editions of Elizabeth Lim’s books so much, their pastel glory manages to even capture my goth-y black heart. And it fits the story inside so well – a comforting fairy tale, adapted for modern sensibilities. Both sweet and sad, intense and fluffy.

Thanks to Hodder and Netgalley for sending me an eARC for review. All opinions are my own.

RELEASE DATE: 08/07/2021

STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶

SUMMARY: Shiori’anma, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs in her veins. And 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.

A sorceress in her own right, Raikama 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 uncovers a dark conspiracy to seize the throne. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in a paper bird, a mercurial dragon, and 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. (from Hodder)

OPINIONS: I really enjoyed reading Six Crimson Cranes – I would say, probably more so than Lim’s debut. Based on the Grimm fairy tale of the Goose Girl, she takes this source material and weaves it into a new story inspired by Lim’s Asian heritage. This is a beautifully written, compelling fantasy. For me, the fairy tale atmosphere has something insanely comforting, so I had a great time reading this (I kept sneaking chapters on my phone).

Shiori works really well as a main character – she undergoes such a growth arc over the course of the story that the girl at the end is almost unrecognisable from the girl at the start of the events. She starts out as a spirited, rebellious princess, spoiled and concerned mainly for herself and her future. But the events of the story change that. She grows up, and realises the impact her behaviour and actions have on the people around her. Nevertheless, she doesn’t lose any of her spunk and wit, which means it’s a joy to follow her.

TL:DR super addictive fairy tale retelling that I’d recommend. Also look at how pretty it is… Add Six Crimson Cranes to your Goodreads here, or order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).

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