Review: Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

TitleSix Crimson Cranes #1
AuthorElizabeth Lim
Publisher Hodder & Stoughton
Page Count: 464
Published: 8th July 2021
GenreFiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

TL;DR Recommendation:

Favourite. This book has worked its way up onto one of my favourites of the year. A mind-blowing fairytale that will swoop you into its magical world on origami wings.


I’ve sat here for about an hour trying to figure out how to put my love for this book into words and I think that smashes it tbh. It’s rare that I devour such a long book in a few days and if you chose to dip your toes into this magical world, this is what you’re in for:

✨ A re-telling of a Grimms fairy tale
✨ One princess hell-bent on avoiding being married off to some brute in the north
✨ One corrupt stepmother (obvs) that banishes her and her six brothers away from their home
✨ One exquisite story about them finding each other again

Shiori is 16 and much like any 16-year-olds who happen to be the youngest of 7 siblings, she’s a fan of breaking the rules and causing chaos – princess or not. We’d absolutely be pals.

Shiori also happens to be the only daughter of the Emperor of Kiata and is very much used as a bargaining chip to build alliances with other cities. We swoop into her world on the day of her betrothal ceremony and between the option of her entire kingdom finding out she can wield magic via a fluttering origami bird (heeeyy Kiki, you cutie) or running, Shiori chooses to jump into the lake. Perfectly natural reaction if you ask me.

After being rescued from drowning by a dragon called Seryu, she’s in the dog house with her dad. Relationships are ruined, alliances are in tatters and reputations have been shat on. The punishment? Embroider a giant-ass tapestry by hand under the watchful eye of her stepmother who catches every little mishap.

Not content with learning her lesson, Shiori’s curiosity gets her in trouble again except this time it’s a little more serious and in the form of a corrupt, dark magic-wielding stepmother. Scrambling to tell her brothers, Evil Stepmother quickly throws two pretty mean curses across all seven of them. For her beloved brothers, they’re turned in cranes. For Shiori, she cast away from her home, with a warning to never utter a word to anyone – every time she speaks, one of her much loved brothers will die.

Exiled from her home, without a coin to her name and an origami bird as her only pal, Shiori needs to find her way home and break the curse that looms over them.

This is a fast book. Everything comes at you within the first 100 pages and it can absolutely be overwhelming BUT holy shit am I here for that. Throw everything you can at me, keep me wanting more and I’ll absolutely be your biggest advocate.

The world-building is captivating, the characters will warm you to the core (even the shite ones) and I’m so unbelievably excited to see what happens to this magical little nugget. Honestly do yourself a favour and read it. My ramblings do not do it justice.


Whilst I know the dragon lad (otherwise known as Seryu) only popped up every now and then, that ending means he’s going to have a lot to say in the next book. We’re off to the motherfucking dragon kingdom armed with only our pearls and magical birds.

Will there be a cheeky wee romance/cheating situation underwater? Will there be dragon/human hybrid babies? Will the pearl be reunited with its true owner? And most importantly, can Kiki still fly down there?! All very important questions that my impatient ass cannot wait to have answered.

Six Crimson Cranes is out on 8th July and you should absolutely check it out.

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