I read and loved Elizabeth Lim’s Spin the Dawn duology a couple years ago (and met her at her book launch a few years ago!) so I knew I had to read her latest duology.
Shiori and the story of the Six Crimson Cranes was mentioned in Unravel the Dusk and was a story from long before the time of the Spin the Dawn duology. Six Crimson Cranes follows Princess Shiori. She is the princess of Kiata – and the only daughter of the Emperor with six older brothers. Magic is forbidden in Kiata and Shiori has just realized she has magic when a paper crane she folded comes to life.
On the day of her betrothal ceremony, she runs out before meeting her betrothed to get her magic paper bird (Kiki) who escaped. She ends up jumping into the lake and being saved by a dragon. Shiori befriends the dragon, Seyru, who can take on a human form at times. Seyru saved Shiori by putting a tiny part of a dragon pearl in her.
Naturally curious, Shiori snoops on her stepmother during the Summer Festival and learns that her stepmother, Raikama, is a sorceress. When she is caught, she runs to her older brothers to warn them, but it is too late. Raikama curses the seven of them. Shiori has a bowl on her head that covers her eyes, though she can see, and it will not come off so no one will recognize her. Her brothers are turned into cranes. Shiori cannot tell anyone who she is or what has happened because if she speaks a word, her brothers will die. Each word equals a brother dying. Shiori wakes up far from home and has to find a way to survive, find her brothers, and break the curse. Now she must rely on Kiki, Seyru, and surprisingly her betrothed, Takkan, to help her.
I loved this story so much more than I thought I would. I knew I would like it, but it was so much more magical and fantastic than I anticipated. I love Shiori and the love her and her brothers have for each other. I had my guesses about the storyline, but I couldn’t guess everything and there were still twists I wasn’t anticipating. My favorite part (aside from Kiki!) was the relationship between her and Takkan. It was so sweet!
I definitely teared up towards the end, but I won’t give any spoilers to tell you what made me emotional!
I’m looking forward to reading the conclusion in The Dragon’s Promise!
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