Six Crimson Cranes

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
Elizabeth Lim
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Jan 19, 2023

Six Crimson Cranes features Shiori’anma, who is about to enter an arranged marriage.
But she harbors a secret, that she possesses forbidden magic. When trying to hide a creation she
has made, Shiori eventually falls into a lake, and meets a dragon who helps her survive. Upon
waking, Shiori is punished to create a tapestry for her soon-to-be husband as an apology, and is
accompanied by her cold and distant stepmother. Shior soon meets Seryu, the dragon she had
encountered in the lake who agrees to help teach her magic. While taking magic classes, her
stepmother, given the name of Raikama by the villagefolk, gives her a stern warning not to stray
near dragons. As Shiori finishes her tapestry, Shiori follows her stepmother to her garden,
wondering what secrets that she hid as well. Upon following her, Shiori gets caught and
discovers something terrible. She makes a run for it, warning her brothers about what their
stepmother truly is- a demon. However, her stepmother turns her brothers into six cranes, and
curses Shiori, telling her that if she spoke or made any noise, her brothers would die. Shiori is
banished from her palace, unrecognizable by the villagefolk and unable to convey her thoughts.
Shiori soon meets her the husband she was supposed to marry. Shiori realises that the only way
to break the curse is to weave a dragon net and speak her stepmother’s true name, meaning that
one of her brothers would have to die. Ready to be rid of this curse without murdering any of her
family, Shiori must ally with people that she can’t fully trust and battle with the love that she has
for her stepmother, along with discovering the true schemes of those that she meets along the
way in her quest to return back to her palace.

I really enjoyed this novel. It had an air of originality surrounding it (I’ve never read a
book where boys get turned into birds, but I’m here for it) along with a main character with
realistic qualities. While the book may seem long, the author keeps the book in a good manner,
not letting the reader get bored for too long. Six Crimson Cranes experiments with different
types of love- brotherly love, romantic love, and love for her stepmother, which may seem weak,
but is still there. Yes, this book does have sad parts, and parts that aggravated me, as the main
character was voiceless for about 85% of the book. However, it was a good read, as the plot was
developed very well. I love books that barely recognize romance and only have it for about 2
pages. If I wanted to read romance, I would just choose a romance novel. But this book executes
it perfectly, not letting the main character focus on her love life for too long and instead figure
out a way to break the curse instead. Probably the most realistic character that I have read in a
while. The book does well with characterization as well, (along with the plot twist, hehe) as most
of the characters were likeable, while others made me want to scream. This was a good read, and
I would recommend it for people who like strong woman characters and watching the male
characters get turned into birds and be helpless the entire time.


Written by
Iqra N.

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