- Author: Elizabeth Lim
- Series: Six Crimson Cranes #1
- Genre: Fantasy
- No. of pages: 464
- Dates read: 08.08.2022 – 12.08.2022
- Star Rating: 4 stars
Plot: 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. Peniless, 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.
So, this was just a really fun time. Growing up I used to read Brothers Grimm fairytales all the time. I practically lived off them. So when I heard that Elizabeth Lim was doing a re-telling of The Seven Swans story I just knew I needed to read it.
The writing in this book was super whimiscal and I felt like I had been whisked off into the world of this story. Lim did an amazing job in setting the scene and giving a solid sense of place whereever we went within the story. The writing really threw me back to the times when I was young sitting in my grandparents living room reading fairytale after fairytale.
The same can be said with the plot. The structure of the story was very reminiscent of the story beats from olden day fairytales. I enjoyed watching Shiori tackle every obstacle that comes her way, defending herself against villains both big and small. This story was a such a fun adventure and I sped through it very quickly.
I loved Shiori as a main character. Very determined, resilient and intelligent. Despite the fact that in the book she is cursed not to utter a single word, I found that the story flowed really well and it wasn’t a hinderance at all.
One thing I will say was that the romance didn’t grab me the way I wanted it too. Due to the curse, I felt that it slightly stunted the development of the romance. I wasn’t completely sold on it. I loved the love interest himself. He was amazing and kind. But the actual romance needed more development.
Overall, this was a whimiscal and magical adventure with a great main character.