Book Review & Aesthetic: Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

Good morning! Nothing much has happened here since my last review, besides reading, so there isn’t much to say here. I hope you all are having an incredible weekend so far, and please enjoy my review for Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim!

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Title: Six Crimson Cranes
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Publisher: Knopf
Publication date: July 6, 2021
Genre: YA fantasy, retelling, Asian literature

At a glance: After losing control and using forbidden magic, Princess Shiori and her brothers have been banished and cursed by her stepmother. Together they must try to end the curse and save their kingdom from their stepmother.

  • ๐ŸŒณ Family Focused
  • ๐ŸŒ East Asian Rep
  • ๐Ÿ‘‘ Non-European Royalty
  • ๐Ÿ”ฎ Magic

Read this if… you love fairy tale magic, stories incorporating Chinese folklore and folktales, strong sibling relationships / sibling bond, cute companions, forbidden magic, stories of a royal family not from Europe, dragons and paper cranes!

Diversity Representation: Chinese-American author, Chinese inspired setting and characters

Content Warnings: Banishment, burns, near death experiences, abuse, kidnapping, confinement

book review
Book Review
Dreamy, action-packed, magical, fast paced, exciting, beautiful

Six Crimson Cranes has been on my radar for quite a long time. I read Spin the Dawn a long time ago, and fell in love with Elizabeth Lim’s writing. She has this way of writing that makes an entire novel feel like you’re floating through a fairytale. Even though the story is more detailed than a fairytale, it moves along so quickly, easily and naturally that it maintains that dreamy magical mood the entire time. It’s such a delight to read any of her books and Six Crimson Cranes was no exception.

Quick Summary: Shiori is the youngest sister of six brothers, the only princess of Kiata, and has forbidden magic running through her veins. One day she accidentally loses control of her magic and her stepmother, who harbors a dark magic of her own, curses and banishes her and her brothers. With a curse that prevents her from speaking, she must try to save her brothers and her kingdom from her stepmother.

The absolute best thing about this book for me was the writing. I adore how Elizabeth Lim writes. She weaves together stories, magic, and fairytales so well that it feels like you have fallen into a fairytale yourself. It adds a spark of magic to the prose to go along with her beautiful stories of about magic. She uses magical elements that always have an epic and mysterious connotation, so the magic always feels so much larger than life. It’s just so fun! I mean how beautiful is it to weave a net out of starstroke, a plant forged by the gods with strands of fate and the blood of stars?

I also really loved the focus on family in this book. It was really sweet the bond that Shiori and her brothers had. Despite any problems or sibling rivalries they may have had in the past, they adore each other and do whatever they can to protect each other. They trust each other, even when they are apart. It’s just such a sweet bond, I’m so glad to read it! I even enjoyed the relationship between Shiori, her brothers and their step-mother. The complex family dynamics that we got to see in this were just wonderful!

Last but not least, I absolutely adored Kiki. She was hands down my favorite character. I loved the sweet magic that brought her to life not only to Shiori, but to the reader. Kiki is a magical paper crane companion to Shiori throughout the whole book. She is her number one confidant and best friend. Where Shiori goes, Kiki goes. I adore stories where the main character has an adorable companion like this. It made me so happy! Although now I’m wishing I had a companion like Kiki!

Summing it all up
Summing it all up

Six Crimson Cranes is another delight from Elizabeth Lim. Her writing is so beautiful that she makes you feel like you’re inside a fairytale. They are easy to read and fast paced, told like a folktale would be. Her stories are a delight to read and this is no exception, Six Crimson Cranes is lovely.

aesthetics photo
Book Aesthetic

Six Crimson Cranes has this mood that is all at once old timey, whimsical, dramatic, and magical. It’s such a stunning combination of moods that I hope this mood board does it some kind of justice! Please enjoy!

About the author

Elizabeth Lim is the author of the critically-acclaimed and bestselling The Blood of Stars duology (Spin the Dawn and Unravel the Dusk), the New York Times bestseller So This is Loveand the USA Today bestseller Reflection. Forthcoming books include the Six Crimson Cranes duology, expected summer 2021 and summer 2022, respectively. 

Elizabeth grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English. 

Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and she turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novelโ€”for kicks, at first, then things became seriousโ€”and she hasn’t looked back since.

Elizabeth graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in music and a secondary in East Asian Studies, and she completed her graduate degrees (MM, DMA) at The Juilliard School. She grew up in Northern California and Tokyo, Japan, and now resides in New York with her husband and two daughters.


Let’s chat!

โœจ Have you read any of Elizabeth Lim’s books?
โœจ Do you love books that give off a fairytale vibe as much as I do?
โœจ What is your favorite book that feels like a fairytale?

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Looking for more diverse reads?

Check out the rest of my blog! I’m dedicated to sharing books with you that include diversity, so feel comfortable that any books on Bookish Brews will include some diversity.

If you liked this review, or thought you might like this book, check out some of my other reviews for books with similar light and easy moods with the perfect dash of magic:


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Omg a book that feels like a fairytale? How cute! I need to read this!