Friday, September 17, 2021

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lin

The publisher's blurb for this book advertises it as "perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone," so I went into it expecting a dark, Bardugo-esque fantasy. Initially I was disappointed because that is not at all what Six Crimson Cranes is.  Once I reframed the story in my mind, though, I came to eagerly anticipate the twists and turns of this fairy tale fantasy.  It actually reminded me a bit of Grace Lin's beautiful Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky, albeit darker and for a more mature audience.

Shiori, the princess of Kiata, has Forbidden magic which she manages to keep hidden until the morning of her dreaded betrothal. Her magic reveal leads to tragic consequences, as her (evil?) stepmother banishes her and turns her brothers into cranes, promising to kill one brother for every word that Shiori speaks. 

Shiori sets off to reverse the curse and save not just her brothers, but her kingdom as well.  Along the way she befriends a dragon, turns a paper crane into her best friend and discovers that all is not as it seems. 

Readers who appreciate fairy tales, magic, curses and magic cranes will love this one.

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