Review of ‘Six Crimson Cranes’

Elizabeth Lim astounds readers with Six Crimson Cranes, a compelling novel derived from East Asian folklore that will enchant the reader from beginning to end.

Breathtaking Story

Six Crimson Cranes
Six Crimson Cranes
Elizabeth Lim
Knopf Books for Young Readers

Elizabeth Lim is a fantastic writer. One of the things that make her stand out as a writer is her talent for storytelling. Is it any wonder she is a New York Times bestselling author? No, because her storytelling is breathtaking.

Lim draws her inspiration from fairy tales and folklore, folklore derived from her East Asian background. It is refreshing to see her bring to life these unique stories that also resonate with the reader.

Shiori has a wicked stepmother; she loses the power of her voice, is stripped of her identity, and her brothers have been turned into cranes during the day. The illusions to classic fairy tales give the reader something to connect to, and the way Lim brings them to life makes the story unique. There is magic, wonder, dragons, and fantasy that make the story stand out.

What is more, is the momentum of the story. It has such a steady flow to it that perfectly balances the rising tension. Shiori is on a mission to find her brothers; she is on a mission to save her country from war and demons. Furthermore, while she is on this mission, Lim includes folklore throughout the story, giving it those strong fairy tale vibes that keep the reader entertained and grounded from beginning to end.

Great Characterization

I was entranced from the very beginning; I wanted to follow this reckless princess into the sacred lake where she faced a dragon. It is an incredible moment and opening to the story giving the reader an introduction into who Shiori is, how she fits in, and how she thinks.

Shiori is a good character, and I mean inherently good. However, she is not without her flaws, and her less-than-perfect attitude gives her room to grow.

Her trials, losing her voice and face, make her relatable to the reader because they allow her to be grounded. Yes, this is a fairy tale, and yes, Shiori is a princess, but that does not make her infallible. That is what makes her so refreshing to read. Shiori is determined, she makes mistakes, but she learns and grows. Losing her voice and identity taught her something about herself and allowed her to see beyond herself thoughtfully.

Final Thoughts

Six Crimson Cranes is amazing. I loved this novel as much as Lim’s Blood of the Stars Duology and cannot wait to see what Lim does next.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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Product Details:

Pub Date: July 6, 2021Page Count: 464ppAge Range: 12 & Over
ISBN: 978-0-5933-0091-6Publisher: Knopf Books for Young ReadersList Price: $18.99

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Six Crimson Cranes


Writing Quality


Character Development


"Couldn't Put It Down"-ness


Intellectual Depth





  • Unique.
  • Fast-paced.
  • Magical; wonderful fairy tale and fantasy elements.
  • Excellent character development.

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