Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim | a review

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.


*this review is spoiler free

I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since I saw and fell in love with that gorgeous cover. Both the US and UK covers are simply exquisite (cover artists are Tran Nguyen and Kelly Chong respectively).

When I started reading this, I had one wish: that the story was pretty as the book covers. And I was right, for I really loved reading this book.

Six Crimson Cranes follows sixteen-year-old Shiori after she is cursed and cast out of her home by her stepmother Raikama. She wakes up in the middle of nowhere with no money and unable so speak, for every word she says means one of her brothers will die. Anyone else would’ve given up but Shiori makes the best out of almost nothing and quickly adapts. She has a lot of character development; you can really see how she grows from a spoilt, naive princess to the clever, brave, resourceful person she is at the end of the story.

I was not familiar with The Wild Swans, the fairytale this book was based on, so I had no idea where the fast-paced plot would take me. The story was effortlessly magical. There are talking dragons who sometimes take a human shape (I have a a soft spot for slightly flirty, mischievous people and Seryu was such a perfect character), demons, a lovely slowburn romance and a delightful origami bird sidekick that is alive.

A few things I wished were done better: all of the brothers seemed interchangeable with each other, and I kept forgetting their names (perhaps that’s on me). The book throws in several plot twists in the last quarter but I can’t stop feeling that the last few chapters were rushed. However it neatly ties up all the plot points and sets the story up for a sequel that I am very excited to read!

My rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)

I have an announcement! My second blogiversary is coming up next month and I decided to do a special Q & A post! Drop any and all questions you have for me in the comments. If you wish to remain anonymous, drop your questions on this Google form!

Have you read Six Crimson Cranes? What are your thoughts on it? (also, send me your questions for the Q&A!!)


19 thoughts on “Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim | a review”

  1. I want to read Six Crimson Cranes so badly! And yes, the cover is so beautiful….
    My questions:
    – Why did you start blogging?
    – What’s one of your favorite books?
    – Do you like Gale or Peeta better (doesn’t mean you have to actually like either one, but…)?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed this! I understand what you mean about all the plot twists thrown in at the end – I was listening to the audiobook and could not do anything else in the last chapters because I was so wrapped up in all the goings on in the story. I hope you enjoy the sequel when it’s released! Lovely review 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    but also magical EVERYTHING and dragons and origami birds??? CAN A BOOK ACTUALLY SOUND THIS PERFECT??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This book was as if someone asked just how more magical can this get and SCC answered YES.
      Hope you enjoy this when you come to it!!!


  4. also omg ALL THE CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 2ND BLOGIVERSARY!!! here’s the questions:

    – if you could go back to the beginning of your bloggerly life and tell younger you to do only ONE thing differently, what would it be??
    – one book you basically owe your entire life to??
    – if you could blog about something other than books, what would it be? (this is basically just a smol trick to get to know all your other hobbies DON’T MIND)
    – one book you hate with your entire being and wish to get back the hours you spent reading it??
    – if you got the choice to spend the rest of your life on earth and be a normal magic-less human or enter a fantasy world (BUT A VERY VERY DEADLY ONE) what would your choice be??
    – your beloved weapon of choice?
    – book/movie characters you most relate with??

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahhh Jan I LOVED this review so so much!! Also, I unintentionally ended up picking this up at the bookstore today, and now I’m even more excited to read it hahahah. AND OMG YES THE COVERS!!!! They’re so so stunning- LIKE THE COLOR SCHEME?!?!? So glad you loved this, absolutely adored your review!! ❤ ❤

    Here are my questions!!
    – pineapples on pizza, yes or no??
    – If you could time travel to any period in the past where would you go???
    – If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    – Who is your favorite author?
    – What is your dream vacation spot?
    – What’s one fictional creature you wish would exist in real life?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh hope you enjoy six crimson cranes!! The book has one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen.
      Thanks for the questions, I’m looking forward to answering them👀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I started reading it twice and never got into it but I really want to try again because I feel like it just was the wrong book for me at the time. I’m pretty sure I’m familiar with a version of the original fairytale somewhere from my childhood haha. And I totally agree, I also couldn’t really keep her brothers apart!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This book was in my currently reading shelf for more than a month (I must’ve read the first chapter at least four times) until one day I sat down and thought to finish all of it…and I was absorbed. I loved shiori’s dynamic with her brothers but I really couldn’t tell them apart lolll


  7. ahh lovely review jan!! i’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this one. this book has been on my tbr for way too long and i really need to get to it soon 😭

    questions for the q&a: do you have any siblings? what’s your favorite subject in school? favorite color and/or aesthetic? one book that you think is way too overrated and another you think is way too underrated?

    can’t wait to read your answers!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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