Cover Image: Six Crimson Cranes

Six Crimson Cranes

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I really enjoyed the Spin the Dawn duology, so I was exited to start another book by this author. Unfortunately I found it to drag a bit and the ending also didn’t blow me away.
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<i> Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the eARC in exchange of an honest review : This had been archived before I downloaded it, and just realised I can leave a review so I'm back for that reason.</i>

My original review last year said: "Bhrgnutgju .... Aahhhh!!!!"

I enjoyed this so much that I did not want to stop reading it. I feel bad, as I have read three incredible arcs in a row, which means that this will not get my top spot for August or September (Iron Widow and Midnight in Everwood) but it is high up there within my top books of 2021 and I cannot wait for book number 2 (which I now know is called The Dragon's Promise). I also need to buy Spin the Dawn and Unravel the Dusk as I need to read more books set in this world. I'm so intrigued! 

I love how Elizabeth Lim has remixed The Six Swans with Asian mythology and culture. I adored the magic, the family loyalty, Shiori and her interactions with those that she met outside of the Castle. I did *not* see some of the twists coming and I can't wait to see where they lead in book two. 

If I had written this properly, straight after reading it I would have said there was nothing wrong with this book at all - however this was one of my book club books over the last year, and a few people had issue with the fact that the bowl was down over her eyes yet Shiori could see... It was never an issue for me, as I assumed that magically she could see out but that they couldn't see her... now I'm not so sure but it wasn't something that stopped me for even a minute when I was reading this last year. <3
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A sweeping Asian infused ya fantasy, I loved the rich descriptions of this world and culture. It's a foodies dream with a plethora of culinary delights scattered throughout. The way the author weaves in various myths and legends is really good too however I just found the plot really lacking in depth and originality for me. It's very YA, which I know is the intended audience, but while reading you could really tell that it was written with a younger audience in mind, with a lot of information crammed in. 

The characters aren't bad, especially Shiori, and I liked her character arc and the overall journey she goes on to discover herself as well as save her brothers. However I found myself just a bit worn out with the predictable storyline and strange pacing. I'd really like to see Elizabeth Lim try something a bit darker and grittier, as there's so much potential in her storytelling.
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I think this was a case of right book, wrong time. Six Crimson Cranes is an imaginative fantasy retelling and I absolutely loved the atmosphere the author created. Unfortunately, I found it really hard to get into and had to DNF it at around 50% because I simply didn't care enough to continue. However, I am not abandoning this book entirely (especially because so many of my friends loved it) so I'll probably try reading it again at a different time. I think it has a lot of potential and I can't wait to give it a second chance someday!
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For reasons I can’t explain, this had got rather lost on my TBR pile and having just finished I feel I should apologise for not reading it earlier.
While elements of the story felt very familiar, there were some unexpected twists that made this a highly entertaining read. We had dragons, magic, a blossoming love and a real sense of an adventure getting underway.
When our story begins we see Shiori desperate to escape her betrothal party so she can go and play with Kiki, her creation. Unfortunately, when she falls in the lake she is rescued by a dragon and her mentioning this causes concern amongst her family. Her stepmother Raikama seems suspicious of her since magic is regarded as dangerous, and her own dark magic comes to the fore.
When Raikama turns Shiori’s brothers into cranes, she is forced to endure silence. Shiori is told that for every word she speaks, one of her brothers will be killed. 
On her journey to find her brothers Shiori learns of a plot to overthrow the throne. She has to learn to trust the one young man she vowed never to love and she has to come to terms with her skills. Along the way she forges new alliances and learns to develop her skills.
This has been marketed as YA but it did feel rather younger in its execution, though that may have been the magical element and the rather childlike behaviour of our main character. However, I loved the main characters and their growing relationship. Kiki was (for a paper bird) remarkably engaging and there were more than enough hints that we could be getting something very interesting to come. Having just been approved for the second in the series on NetGalley I can safely say part two will not be waiting long to be read!
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I blazed through Six Crimson Cranes - It's a retelling of The Six Swans Grimm fairytale and it is a very easy and lighthearted read. While I didn't enjoy this as much as Spin the Dawn at first, it didn't take me long to love Shiori and her tale although I did feel like I was cheating on Daughter of the Forest 🙊🙈.

As the MC and narrator, Shiori is impulsive and quite rude but her heart is in the right place. I loved the different settings, from the palace to the Takkan fortress and I enjoyed the dragon, Seryu who I imagined like Haku in Spirited Away.

Kiki has to be the show stealer though - a paper bird that Shiori enchants to life; Kiki is wonderful to read becoming a friend and conscience all in one. Her frailty of being made from paper kept me anxious all the way through and I hope to read more of her in book two!

Overall I do think Lim is a wonderful author who brings these beautiful places to life through her books - she's definitely on auto buy for me now.
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This reads very magical, just like a fairytale.
Fans of Studio Ghibli will sure enjoy this one!
I especially liked that the protagonist was unable to speak for most of the bopk. It made for very interesting communications.
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I am so grateful to have been able to read and review Six Crimson Cranes. I absolutely adored Spin the Dawn and Unravel the Dusk so I was so excited to pick this book up. Princess Shiori has six brothers, her horrible stepmother curses all of her brothers when she finds out that Princess Shiori can do hidden magic which is banned. All of the brothers are turned into crane birds. The punishment gets worse however when Shiori is put under a curse that every time she speaks it will cause the death of the brothers. What a cruel twist! This book follows a quest to get rid of the step mother and the curse that will tear the family apart. I adored this book because of the magic system, I have never crossed anything so unique as I have done with this!
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A beautiful, emersive fantasy that takes inspiration from fairy tales, and feels like a whimsical tale in itself.
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I heard about this book A LOT during 2021, but due to work, Uni and life commitments I could never get around to reading it… then I got covid. 

Whilst I wasn’t too bad, I wasn’t well enough to work and so I made the most of it - I finally read this adaptation of one of Hans Christian Andersen’s tales. 

It probably doesn’t help that I grew up on those fairy tales and so know them quite well, but whilst at times I felt as though I was just rereading HCA’s story, there was enough difference, engagement and excellent writing to stop me from putting the book down. 

I did in fact read this in one sitting and finished about 2am - whilst there are enough loose ends to link to the sequel (which I will be reading) it does beautifully as a stand-alone. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this and I’m glad it lived up to the hype!

My thanks to NetGalley, Elizabeth Lim and Hodder & Stoughton for my copy of this fantastic book (sorry it took me so long to get round to it!)
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It's a story with dragons, so it should be of no surprise that I really enjoyed this! 
I love that it's a twist on real folklore and how takes place in the same world as Spin the Dawn. The magic system was great and I liked how the story was a true testament to the power of sibling love and standing strong in the face of hardships. Of course, I was obsessed with the dragons but my only complaint is that I wish that Shori's stepmother was more integrated into the story. She's a pivotal plot point, so it would have been nice to actually see more of her. 

 A fantastic start to a new series and I'm very excited to see what happens in the next book (but please don't let there be a love triangle, I'm begging you). 

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
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i absolutely loved this book so so much the characters and the potential love triangle?? like what? and a villain turned out to be a compassionate person like how ckjdfnsnvskdfv ijust genuinely loved this book so much the writing was beautiful and fast paced! i loved seryu i need more dragon but also takkan? shiori is such a unique main character not being able to talk really showed how good elizabeth lim is at writing, showing not tell and i loved this book so so much!!1
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This book was an absolute gem. I do love a good fairytale retelling and with it's mix of Asian folklore and mythology, this one delivers.

It did feel a wee bit juvenile, but it was still very sweet with some unexpected twists on the usual fairytale tropes. There were a few plot holes and unresolved threads that made me think "waaaait a minute" but I'm hoping these were because I read an early draft or will be picked up in the sequel. I certainly didn't find them rage-inducing like some other YA books, which was a nice change. Some YA authors have perfected the art of emotional manipulation and reading their work can be an emotional rollercoaster, whereas this one just felt like you were going for a leisurely stroll while being told a story. Needed more wee sulky dragon.

But that ending... whoah... well played Elizabeth Lim. Well played indeed.

It took me a while to realise that it was by the same author as Spin the Dawn, which I enjoyed immensely, but with that comes the double-edged sword of knowing that I didn't enjoy the sequel, Unravel the Dusk. Have all my fingers and toes crossed that the editing process for this sequel is more focused on getting the story right than rushing to deliver to a deadline.

Recommended for fans of Intisar Khanani, Shadow of the Fox , Spin the Dawn, Daughter of the Forest, Girl, Serpent, Thorn

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the copy.
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This ARC, was given to me for free through Netgalley for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
It did end up taking me so long to read this ARC that I ended up getting my own physical copy after its release.
3,5 stars from me, subjected to change in the future. 

My first thoughts was that I just finished the Blood of Stars duology, and thought that it would be nice to continue with reading Lims work.
I was excited to read Six Crimson Cranes since I really like the tale of the wild swans 

I'm going to be completely honest, I wasn't a fan of the book at first. I didn't like Shiori at all, she annoyed me too much, and I found the book boring. I actually ended up not touching the book for months! Occasionally I would pick this book up again and read a couple of pages or maybe even a chapter or two. But the book still didn't really pull me in. Now with The Dragon's Promise, being published this year I decided to finish reading the book. 
And I'm definitely not disappointed. I have to admit it took me until about halfway through the book before I started liking it. But wow the suspense I felt and how I actually started to like Shiori and care for her! As I was nearing the end, I regretted now reading this book faster, but I also regretted not waiting to read this book. Because now I have to wait months for the sequel! 

I don't have particularly much to say, but I did like this book, it wasn't my favourite. I liked The Blood of Stars duology better. Though Six Crimson Cranes is definitely really good, and the book looks absolutely gorgeous, no matter the edition!
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3.5 stars
This was a nice book for in-between reads. I enjoyed the story, but unfortunately wasn’t wowed by it. Nonetheless I am looking forward to the second book in this duology.

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.

Cover
Can we talk about how gorgeous this cover is?!? I must admit, the moment I saw it I fell in love! The pastels together with the cranes and the female (probably depicting Shiori) are beautiful to look at. 

Writing style
Elizabeth Lim has a very pleasant way of writing. It is very easy to get into the book. Her words make me dive right into the world. 

Characters
From time to time, I felt like Shiori was a bit naïve, nonetheless I think she is a very strong character. What she has to go through in the book is not easy and she mastered it quite well. 
I liked to get to know Shiori’s brothers: Andahai, Benkai, Reiji, Wandei, Yotan and Hasho. From all of them I liked Hasho the most, especially because of his bond with Shiori.
Takkan was a very interesting character. You could feel that something special was beginning to flourish between him and Shiori. 
My favourite characters were Seryu, the dragon and Kiki the paper crane. Kiki was a great friend and companion to Shiori. I wish Seryu had gotten more appearances in the book and I am hoping we will have more of those in book two. 

Plot
Let me be honest with you: The first like 80 pages most of the time my thoughts were “What the heck is happening here?”. There was A LOT happening in the beginning of the book and I really couldn’t say where all of it was going. In the middle of the book, I was getting more into it and was really hooked. I wanted to know what would happen next. The ending was quite okay, some scenes were a bit confusing for me again, but I am looking forward to where it all leads in book two. 

Conclusion
I was very excited to read Six Crimson Cranes, but maybe my expectations were simply too high. I still enjoyed it, no doubt. But most of the time I was either confused about what was happening or simply not that into it. In the middle of the book I had a part in which I was hooked and couldn’t put it down, but unfortunately that didn’t last until the end. The writing style was very enjoyable and easy to read. 
I haven’t read The Blood of Stars duology yet, but I do think that if you enjoyed those two books you will very probably love Six Crimson Cranes. 
Not every book can be for everyone. Nonetheless I liked Six Crimson Cranes and I will probably read book 2 because I want to know which adventures await Shiori.  

Thank you to NetGalley UK and Hodder & Stoughton for the eARC. This did not affect my opinion in any way.
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I really enjoyed this book. Great plot, writing and engaging characters. 
I'd highly recommend it.

Thanks a lot to NG and the publisher for this copy.
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Five million stars for Elizabeth Lim, Her work is always engaging and beautiful, it just hooks me in and won’t let me go. The world building is absolutely fantastic, the plot takes twists and turns  most you won’t see coming and  would never expect. The characters are so well developed, I love the range of warmth and empathy shown, the full range of emotions is definitely covered with this cast. This read is both heartbreaking and heartwarming and I can’t recommend highly enough 

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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I fell head over heels in LOVE with this world and this story.

I originally wanted to read this book for a few reasons.
First of all, a magical world with royalty and kingdoms and all that jazz sounded like just everything I needed.
Secondly, the arranged marriage trope. Need I say more?
And Thirdly, it was based on the story of The Six Swans, which I remembered loving as a child.

And I really wasn't disappointed.
The characters were all so unique and loveable in their own ways, the setting was described amazingly with just the right about so as not to bore you, and the story itself was definitely inspired by The Six Swans, but so different and individual in the best of ways.

When I tell you I NEED book 2, I really mean it.
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Six Crimson Cranes was a beautiful fantasy that had me engrossed throughout. The writing was gripping and the adventure was paced well. Shiori's character was likeable and her character arch was amazing. The plot and the plot twist were great but the ending was a bit muddled and felt rushed. Seryu was a great character but it was a shame we saw very little of him. The cliffhanger was making me really want to read the next book!

Overall this was a great book that I really enjoyed with beautiful cover art!

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the e-arc.
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nice read for my first book of 2022.. but the beginning was too slow, i had to read for days because the first 20% of the book made me constantly sleepy whenever I read at night. The ending was also.. idk I wasn't satisfied with it. I know it's because it's supposed to have a second book, but the ending for book 1 could've been better.
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