Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim is a fun and whimsical Asian fairytale-inspired fantasy book that is perfect for both adult and YA fantasy readers to enjoy. So if you think you want to check this one out, check out this Six Crimson Cranes review in a spoiler-free fashion.
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Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim is a beautiful and whimsical YA fantasy story. This story is inspired by Asian folklore and fairytales. It is beautiful, whimsical and just a fun quick read.
So if you are looking for something entertaining that you can read in one or two sittings, pick this one up and dive right in.
Six Crimson Cranes Spoiler-Free Book Review
While I do absolutely love this book, I plan to list out all of my pros and cons. No book is perfect. Not every book is for every person. Even books I love have pros and cons to them. So I want to share those with you so you can make the decision as to whether this sounds like a book you want to read or one you want to pass on.
Six Crimson Cranes Synopsis
A quick synopsis before we get into the Six Crimson Cranes review for you guys. We follow, Shiori, a seventeen-year-old princess. She has 6 older brothers and is being raised with them by her father and stepmother. She possesses forbidden magic that she is able to keep hidden until one day when discussing her betrothal to a prince from a different kingdom.
When her magic is exposed, her stepmother takes it upon herself to curse her. The six brothers are turned into cranes, and Shiori has a wooden bowl placed on her head that she can’t remove, successfully muting her magic. A large part of this curse is also that the princess can no longer speak. For every word she utters, one of her brothers will die. So she must now figure out how to break this curse without speaking a single word.
Pros of Six Crimson Cranes
Let’s start with the good parts, shall we?
First off, this book is whimsical and magical without feeling too over the top. It truly does feel like a fairytale or a Disney princess movie. If you love these types of books, then this one will likely pique your interest.
The relationships in the book are truly the shining star, specifically the relationships between Shiori and her brothers. While they don’t always agree, they do always love each other. This made it feel like a real sibling relationship to me. I mean, I always love my siblings, but we don’t always agree or even get along all the time.
Shiori also creates this magical paper crane, and she is just a cute little gem! This is the only character to whom our protagonist can speak to through the book as well since they can read each other’s thoughts and don’t need spoken word in order to speak.
There were some really cool twists in this book that caught me by surprise. I like when a fantasy book surprises me, and while I had some ideas about certain characters, other things really did surprise me.
Finally, this book was set up very well for the sequel. While it will leave a reader wanting more, it does not end in a cliffhanger.
Cons of Six Crimson Cranes
As with all books, there are bound to be a few things that we don’t love. While I loved this book, there are a few cons that I would like to talk about.
To start with, since this book is a whimsical and very fairytale, it does have a very soft magic system. For me, this wasn’t a huge problem but I know a lot of people will want more explanation. We really don’t get any hard rules or explanations as to why the magic works. We are just expected to accept it for what it is.
Another little con, but not a large one, is that this book is set in the same world as Elizabeth Lim’s Spin the Dawn duology. Since I have not read that one yet, I can’t say how much of a connection there is. But I do not think that there are any spoilers involved. I don’t feel as if I missed anything. If anything, I am personally more excited to read her duology now after finishing this book.
The only other thing that really stood out to me in a less than positive light was the romance. While it isn’t a massive part of the story, I did feel it was a little rushed and predictable. I love a good fantasy romance as a side plot, and this did give me that. But it also just didn’t feel fully fleshed out and believable. Though, I did quite enjoy the actual love interest.
All in all, this was a wonderful and fast-paced YA fantasy book. I really think it will appeal to a wide variety of fantasy readers, and has some pretty fun fantasy tropes used in the story.