Six Crimson Cranes: The Asian Fairy Tale I’ve Been Waiting For!

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. These are my personal, honest opinions. Thank you.*

5/5 Stars

Author: Elizabeth Lim

Publisher/Imprint: Knopf

Edition: Hardcover, 456 Pages

Publication Date: July 06, 2021

A Spine that Shines? Brilliantly!


Book 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.

Book Review

‘Be the light that makes someone’s lantern shine.’

-Elizabeth Lim, Six Crimson Cranes

Initial Thoughts

Hello, everyone! I hope those of you in the U.S. had a lovely Fourth of July! Have you been reading anything good lately? What was your last 5-star read? I’m happy to say Six Crimson Cranes was my last 5-star read! I absolutely loved it, and I’m excited for it to hit shelves today! This was the Asian fairy tale I’ve been waiting for, and I definitely believe it was worth the buzz! Let’s jump into some of the reasons I adored this book!

  • In this book, you’ll find enchantment, magical curses, seemingly impossible magical tasks, and tons of Asian folklore!
  • This tale is intricately plotted and written so beautifully! Elizabeth definitely has a gift for storytelling.
  • The descriptions of food made my mouth water! I also loved how cooking played a pretty large role in this story in several different ways.
  • A sassy paper crane makes for a fun sidekick character, and I loved her so much!
  • An arranged-marriage trope takes an interesting turn in this story. I liked what the author did with it.
  • You’ll also find a dragon character in this book if you like dragons.
  • There is some great character growth and development!
  • Shiori’s relationship with her brothers was heartwarming and very believable. So if you like books about sibling and family relationships, you’ll probably want to check this one out!
  • There are also some great twists and surprises!

‘Food feeds the belly, thoughts feed the mind, but love is what feeds the heart.’

-Elizabeth Lim, Six Crimson Cranes

Characters & Romance

Flatlay showing Spin the Dawn, Six Crimson Cranes, and Unravel the Dusk arranged above a large vintage-looking clock.

Here is a brief overview of some of the characters and the romance:

  • Shiori is a princess who is cursed into silence and must figure out a way to save her six brothers, who have been turned into cranes. Shiori’s character grows so much throughout the book, and believable character development is a must for an 5-star read for me! At the beginning of the story, she is a rich princess living a luxurious, pampered royal life. But once she is cast out into the harsh world with no way to communicate with people, she must learn how to fend for herself. I admired her spirit and love for her brothers!
  • I do wish to learn more about Shiori’s magic and what more she may be capable of since her magic was suppressed for quite a while in this story, but I think we may get more about that in the sequel perhaps.
  • Lord Bushian Takkan is Shiori’s betrothed, whom she initially wants nothing to do with. She actually misses their betrothal ceremony in the beginning of the book! Yet, when Shiori disappears, Takkan risks his life to search for her. As the story progresses, she realizes what a good and kind person Takkan is, and it warmed my heart. The romance in this book is pretty tame, but it is very sweet and tender. It is done beautifully in my opinion!
  • Kiki is Shiori’s plucky paper crane who keeps her company throughout her journey. I thought it was very cool that they could communicate through their thoughts.
  • In this story, we don’t really get to know Shiori’s six brothers too well individually since there are so many of them, but each brother still seems to have his own distinctive personality and characteristics. Their love for their sister is very touching.
  • Raikama is Shiori’s beautiful stepmother who curses her and her brothers. I actually think it would be really interesting if the author wrote a prequel about the stepmother sometime.
  • Megari is Takkan’s little sister. She is adorable and chatty! I loved her attempts to play matchmaker too!
  • Zairena is a long-time friend of the Bushian family, but she makes Shiori’s life miserable while the princess still looks like a lowly peasant.
  • The Wolf is an enchanter with hidden sinister motives. I won’t say too much about him due to spoilers, but I’ll just say he is a pretty important character in this fantasy world.
  • Even the “villains” are complex in this story! I appreciated the morally gray aspects of some of the characters and how things were not always as they initially appeared.

‘To this day, cranes carry the strands of our fate. They say that each time two people’s paths cross, so do their strands. When they become important to one another or make a promise to one another, a knot is tied, connecting them.’

-Elizabeth Lim, Six Crimson Cranes

Final Thoughts

Finally, I loved reading about the different legends and folklores of Shiori’s world, and it was so nice to read about new locations from the same world as Spin the Dawn! I enjoyed seeing how that world could be expanded, and I look forward to seeing where Shiori will travel in the sequel to Six Crimson Cranes.

If you haven’t read Spin the Dawn and Unravel the Dusk yet, it’s okay. It’s not necessary in order to understand the story in Six Crimson Cranes. However, there will be some goodies sprinkled throughout the book for those who have read the Spin the Dawn duology first. Either way, I highly recommend Six Crimson Cranes! It is available today to order from your local library or bookstore! Happy reading 🙂

*Content Warnings: Some fantasy violence throughout.*

Copyright © 2021 by Spines that Shine (Caitlin Shaffer)

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Up Next on My TBR: Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche (ARC)

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4 thoughts on “Six Crimson Cranes: The Asian Fairy Tale I’ve Been Waiting For!”

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