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A princess in exile, a shapeshifting dragon , six enchanted cranes, and an unspeakable curse... Drawing from "The Wild Swans" and East Asian folklore, this breathtakingly original fantasy from the author of Spin the Dawn is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Tomi Adeyemi.

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, and warning 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, as well as the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she's been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.

Out now from Knopf Books for Young Readers

Illustration by Tran Nguyen | Cover Design by Alison Impey

Lettering by Alix Northrup


An Instant New York Times Bestseller 

National Indie Bestseller

Waterstones 2022 Paperback of the Year

10 YA Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List -- The New York Times 

A July/August 2021 Indie Next selection


2023 Oklahoma Library Association’s High School Sequoyah Book Award 

"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. "

*Starred Review from Publishers Weekly


A must-read for fans of folklore– and fairy tale–inspired fantasy.

*Starred Review from School Library Journal


"Vibrant and enchanting, SIX CRIMSON CRANES is a fresh spin on familiar tales that will wholly transport you and never let you go. From its resilient heroine you can't help but root for the moment she bursts through a window (not a metaphor!) to the masterful world-building and the various relationships that will tug at your heart, this is fantasy at its best. No one writes fairytales the way Elizabeth Lim is writing fairytales and I cannot wait to see what she spins for us next."

~Kalie Barnes-Young, Barnes & Noble at the Grove (Los Angeles, CA)

"Six Crimson Cranes is a beautiful, immersive fairy tale of a novel. Shiori is everything I love in a heroine- strong, resilient, resourceful, and devoted to her family. The bond she shares with her brothers-turned-cranes rests at the core of this story, and, along with Shiori's determination to save them, this show of love propels the plot into a gorgeous dance- much like the dances of the cranes themselves. The romance is a delicious, slow burn, the danger feels real and urgent, and Elizabeth Lim masterfully sets up the characters and their journeys for what is sure to be an epic conclusion to this duology. A truly magical novel."

~Emily Hall-Schroen, Main Street Books


"This book is magic. The writing will transport you, and you will love Shiori. I myself loved her from the moment she jumped out the window to escape her betrothal ceremony—which was the very first scene."

~Kristin Cashore, NYTimes bestselling author of The Graceling Realm series

A gorgeous version of an old fairy tale, told with flair and originality. Six Crimson Cranes is set in a beautifully realised world which brings to mind Chinese and Japanese folklore, and is brimful with unusual magic. Readers will be captivated by Shiori’s journey as she struggles to save her brothers from a sorceress’s curse, with the aid of helpers who may or may not be worthy of her trust. A must-read for lovers of folkloric fantasy.

~Juliet Marillier, award-winning author of Daughter of the Forest

"A princess with a secret, forbidden magic, betrothals gone awry—Six Crimson Cranes is an unputdownable, sweeping fairytale that thrills as much as it delights. Lim is a master storyteller which is apparent with every magical turn of the page."

~Kerri Maniscalco, #1 NYTimes bestselling author of The Kingdom of the Wicked

"Elizabeth Lim weaves a charmer of a fairytale with her imaginative storytelling. A resilient heroine, a cast of imaginative characters, and creative plot turns make this gem of a novel sparkle."

~Stacey Lee, award-winning author of The Downstairs Girl

"Six Crimson Cranes is a fairytale that feels at once both epic and intimate. Shiori’s quest to save her brothers, her kingdom, and herself is heartfelt, riveting, and as magical as the talents the princess tries so hard to hide."

~Sarah Henning, bestselling author of Sea Witch and The Princess Will Save You

A dazzling fairytale full of breathtaking storytelling. Six Crimson Cranes elegantly weaves between whimsical and heart pounding as it takes readers on a magical adventure full of entwined fates, surprising curses, and beautiful mythology. It also has a very sexy dragon.”

~Stephanie Garber, #1 NYTimes bestselling author of Caraval

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