cover image Six Crimson Cranes (Six Crimson Cranes #1)

Six Crimson Cranes (Six Crimson Cranes #1)

Elizabeth Lim. Knopf, $18.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-593-30091-6

As the emperor of Kiata’s only daughter and the youngest of six, Princess Shiori’anma, 16, is promised to wed warlord’s son Bushi’an Takkan to strengthen alliances with the North. But on the day of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori follows her escaped paper bird Kiki—crafted from her own forbidden magic—into the Sacred Lake. A breath from drowning, she comes face-to-face with a small dragon whose species has remained unobserved for centuries. The shape-shifting entity soon reveals himself to be arrogant 17-year-old dragon prince Seryu, who offers her magic lessons before leaving for his grandfather’s palace. Shiori’s luck takes a turn for the worse when she witnesses her cold, opalescent-eyed stepmother Raikama’s true demonic form. Cursed to be voiceless, magicless, and unrecognizable by Raikama, strong-willed Shiori faces impossible odds: she must defeat her stepmother, restore her brothers from their own cursed crimson-crowned crane form, and save her country from impending war due to Kiata’s now ostensibly heirless throne. Accessible dialogue and compassionately rendered family dynamics cohere in a nuanced, compelling cast. Seamlessly intertwining western and East Asian folklore, Lim (the Blood of Stars duology) embroiders a richly imagined landscape in this vibrant, fast-paced duology starter. Ages 12–up. Agent: Gina Maccoby, Gina Maccoby Literary. [em](July) [/em]