Friday Friyay: 'Six Crimson Cranes' by Elizabeth Lim

This has been an odd week in which real life very much took priority over my fun-time reading. While I got a few minutes in here and there, it was mostly serious preparation for the next academic year, work and a very intense BHV course. BHV stands for 'bedrijfshulverlening' (yes, German isn't the only language that likes loooong words), which is Dutch for Emergency Response. As part of my university society role as President I need to have these ER skills, so I spent all Wednesday learning how to to CPR, put on bandages, and how to put out small fires. It was really interesting but also A LOT so I was absolutely exhausted on Thursday. But fingers crossed I can get some down-time and reading-time in this weekend! One of the books I'm hoping to get into this weekend is Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim, a recommendation I picked up from Marie at Pages to Explore last week!

Shiori'anma, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted. But it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

A sorceress in her own right, Raikama banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes. She warns Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and uncovers a dark conspiracy to seize the throne. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in a paper bird, a mercurial dragon, and the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she's been taught all her life to forswear--no matter what the cost.
Weaving together elements of The Wild Swans, Cinderella, the legend of Chang E, and the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, Elizabeth Lim has crafted a fantasy like no other, and one that will stay with readers long after they've turned the last page.

Book Beginnings is at home on Rose City Reader, hosted by Gilion Dumas, and Friday 56 at Freda's Voice, hosted by Freda. I'll also be joining the Book Blog Hop, hosted by Billy over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. 


'The bottom of the lake tasted like mud, salt, and regret. The water was so thick it was agony to keep my eyes open, but thank the great gods I did. Otherwise, I would have missed the dragon.' p.1

I mean, give me everything right in the first line! Gods, DRAGONS, someone somehow at the bottom of  a lake. I'm so excited to read this book, it just hits all the spots straightaway. 


'Nervously, I placed the scraps of paper on my lap, four in total. All my enchantments since Kiki had been short-lived.' p.56

Yesssss, magic and enchantments! Also, I love that Lim combines her magic with, what strikes me as, origami. Bringing together different cultural influences is always a bonus, since this is a Japanese adaptation of 'The Six Swans' fairytale from Germany, collected by the Brothers Grimm.


This week's question was suggested by the lovely Julie at Jade Sky/Stepping Stones Book Reviews:

Have you ever gotten a book signed by the author?

Yes, but only ever in person, as in, I've never ordered a signed copy online. Usually I like to get it signed in the moment because I have had a conversation with the author or attended a talk where they spoke. I might order signed copies online at some point, but usually I have already bought a copy and am happy with that! Time for my favourite signing story!

When I lived in Shanghai I was lucky enough to attend the LitFest in 2019, the glorious pre-pandemic days. I attended Sema Kaygusuz' talk on her short story collection The Well of Trapped Words, translated from Turkish by Maureen Freely, and about fairy tales and writing in general. I was fascinated by her comments on philosophy and what had inspired her, so when I got a chance to talk to her after the talk, I asked her if she could give me some recommendations on what to read. If you skip to the second photo in the Insta carousel below, you can see the list she kindly wrote out to me! It was a beautiful moment and those writers are definitely on my reading list. (If the image doesn't load, apologies!)

So that's me for this week! Feel free to drop by my Insta and say Hi, I'm always looking for more bookbloggers to follow there! 


  1. I've been lucky enough to attend a couple of author signing events but never a talk given by an author. Six Crimson Cranes sounds fascinating.

  2. I haven't made it to an author signing in years, but I hope to go to some post-pandemic

  3. Fascinating excerpts! I hope you are loving the book...and that you have more time to read this weekend.

  4. Crimson Cranes is a book we have been discussing having a buddy read with...

  5. What a gorgeous cover! Six Crimson Cranes sounds so unique and like something I'd love. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! :)

  6. I think entering an alternate universe via your selected reading choice is the perfect antidote to the busy week you've had! Enjoy the weekend!

  7. So happy to see that you've picked this book up! I hope you're enjoying it.

  8. Happy reading!! I hope you enjoy it when you have time to read it.

  9. What an intriguing first line. "I would have missed the dragon." Love it. My Friday quotes are from PROJECT HAIL MARY

  10. I'd really like to read this one! Happy weekend!

  11. Great excerpts and a great cover too. I hope you enjoy this one. Have a great weekend!

  12. I'm really excited to read this one! Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.


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