Book Review: Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

Elizabeth Lim’s “Six Crimson Cranes” is a novel steeped in Asian folklore and filled with the promise of magic, curses, and adventure, I couldn’t resist diving in. And let me tell you, it was a spellbinding journey from start to finish.

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

TitleSix Crimson Cranes
AuthorElizabeth Lim
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Romance
Publication DateJuly 6, 2021
Length464 pages

Where to Purchase

A Protagonist to Root For: Shiori’s Enchanting Magic

The story is a reimagining of the classic fairy tale “The Six Swans,” set in a richly crafted world inspired by Asian cultures. At its core, “Six Crimson Cranes” is a tale of family, love, courage, and the enduring strength of the human spirit.

A Life Altered: Shiori’s Banishment and Forbidden Magic

The novel opens with the introduction of our protagonist, Princess Shiori’anma. From the very beginning, Shiori’s character is one you can’t help but root for. She possesses a forbidden magic, the ability to bring paper to life as birds. Her magic is enchanting and beautifully described, adding a unique and captivating layer to the story.

Resilience in Adversity: Shiori’s Determination

As the plot unfolds, Shiori’s life takes a drastic turn. She’s on the brink of an arranged marriage when her secret is revealed, leading to her banishment from the palace. It’s here that we begin to see the depth of her character. Despite the hardships she faces, Shiori’s determination and resilience shine through. Her journey to rescue her cursed brothers and break the Empress’s spell is a rollercoaster of emotions, filled with danger and uncertainty at every turn.

Impeccable World-Building: Asian Culture and Folklore

One of the aspects I loved most about “Six Crimson Cranes” is how the author seamlessly weaves together elements of fantasy and folklore. The world-building is impeccable, and you can feel the influence of Asian culture in every aspect of the story, from the clothing to the food to the customs. It’s evident that Elizabeth Lim did her research, and it pays off in the rich and immersive setting she creates.

Memorable Characters: Shiori and the Supporting Cast

But what truly makes this book a standout for me is the characters. Shiori is a fantastic protagonist. She’s not a damsel in distress waiting for someone to rescue her; she’s the one doing the rescuing. Her strength, intelligence, and resourcefulness make her a role model for readers of all ages. I found myself cheering for her and sharing in her triumphs and setbacks.

Enchanting Supporting Characters

The supporting cast is equally well-developed. From a shape-shifting dragon to a mysterious and charming thief, each character brings their own unique flavor to the story. They add depth and complexity to the narrative, and you can’t help but become emotionally invested in their fates.

Themes of Family and Sacrifice: The Heart of the Story

The themes of family and sacrifice run deep in “Six Crimson Cranes.” Shiori’s unwavering determination to save her brothers is at the heart of the story. It’s a reminder of the lengths we’re willing to go to protect the ones we love. The relationship dynamics, particularly between Shiori and her brothers, are beautifully portrayed and tug at the heartstrings.

The Significance of Cranes: Symbolism and Magic

As the title suggests, cranes play a significant role in the story, both symbolically and literally. The curse that transforms Shiori’s brothers into cranes is a central plot point, and it’s intricately tied to the narrative. This element adds a layer of magic and mystery that keeps you turning the pages.

Elegant Prose and Engaging Pacing

Another standout aspect of the book is the writing itself. Elizabeth Lim’s prose is elegant and evocative. Her descriptions paint vivid pictures in your mind, whether it’s a lush forest, a bustling marketplace, or a dragon’s lair. The pacing is well-balanced, with moments of tension and action interspersed with quieter, introspective moments. It all adds up to a reading experience that’s both captivating and emotionally resonant.

Intrigue and Danger: A Fantasy Lover’s Delight

Of course, no fantasy novel would be complete without a healthy dose of intrigue and danger. “Six Crimson Cranes” delivers on this front as well. From encounters with mythical creatures to high-stakes heists, there’s no shortage of excitement. The plot is intricately woven, with twists and turns that keep you guessing until the very end. And let me tell you, that ending is both satisfying and bittersweet in all the right ways.

A Hopeful Conclusion: Love and Family Triumph

Now, I won’t give away any spoilers, but I will say that the resolution of Shiori’s journey is both heartwarming and thought-provoking. It left me with a sense of hope and a reminder that even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, there’s always a way forward.

Final thoughts

“Six Crimson Cranes” by Elizabeth Lim is a mesmerizing fantasy novel that takes you on a magical journey filled with adventure, courage, and the power of love and family. It’s a story that captivates from the first page and doesn’t let go until the final word. If you’re a fan of fantasy or fairy tales with a fresh twist, I wholeheartedly recommend picking up this book. It’s a gem that deserves a special place on your bookshelf, and I, for one, am eagerly anticipating whatever Elizabeth Lim writes next.


  • Paula Davis

    Paula Davis is a dedicated and seasoned content writer for Dreaming and Reading, where she brings her extensive knowledge and passion for literature to a wide audience of fellow book enthusiasts. With the heart of a true bookworm, Paula has immersed herself in the literary world, devouring approximately 50 books annually for the last 15 years. This impressive reading habit has not only provided her with immense joy but has also significantly honed her expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in the realm of book reviews. Her insightful and well-crafted reviews reflect her deep understanding and appreciation of various genres, offering valuable guidance to readers in search of their next great read. With a finger always on the pulse of the latest literary releases, Paula Davis is a trusted voice and a go-to source for book recommendations and reviews.

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