by Elizabeth Lim
Publication: August 30, 2022
Series: Six Crimson Cranes #2
From the New York Times Bestselling author of Six Crimson Cranes comes a thrilling new adventure! A journey to the kingdom of dragons, a star-crossed love, and a cursed pearl with the power to mend the world or break it… Fans of Shadow and Bone will devour this soaring fantasy.
Princess Shiori made a deathbed promise to return the dragon’s pearl to its rightful owner, but keeping that promise is more dangerous than she ever imagined.
She must journey to the kingdom of dragons, navigate political intrigue among humans and dragons alike, fend off thieves who covet the pearl for themselves and will go to any lengths to get it, all while cultivating the appearance of a perfect princess to dissuade those who would see her burned at the stake for the magic that runs in her blood.
The pearl itself is no ordinary cargo; it thrums with malevolent power, jumping to Shiori’s aid one minute, and betraying her the next—threatening to shatter her family and sever the thread of fate that binds her to her true love, Takkan. It will take every ounce of strength Shiori can muster to defend the life and the love she’s fought so hard to win.
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 Love, and 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 novel—for kicks, at first, then things became serious—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.
The Dragon’s Promise picks up immediately after Six Crimson Cranes. Shiori is set on keeping her promise to return the dragon’s pearl to its owner. As she tries to fulfill the promise, she is faced with new and old opponents as her journey takes her to the realm of the dragons and places beyond it.
The world-building remains one of my favorite aspects of the duology. While much of the story takes place in Kiata and within the palace walls, it expands with the new places Shiori visits. If I could, I would have liked to stay in some of them just a bit longer. The writing also remains captivating, but the focus on tying up loose ends distracted me from enjoying it.
The book encompassed the falling action of a story with the climax having occurred in the first book. The book had three distinct parts I jumped in and out of as opposed to feeling like a single story. After the first third, the plot languished for a while, and I struggled to keep pressing forward. When it picked up in the last third, it wasn’t nearly long enough. I wish the focus had been on this last part.
Shiori’s growth occurs in the first book, and as such, there doesn’t seem to be much character development here. Her actions are inspired by some of this growth as she tries to keep Kiata and the people she loves safe. I write some because, at other times, the Shiori from the beginning of the book would appear. This meant some of her decisions, especially those in the dragon realm, frustrated me.
While The Dragon’s Promise is filled with magic and adventure, it doesn’t exude the same fairytale-like quality of its predecessor. The world-building and beautiful descriptions are the novel’s strengths but are overshadowed by the plot and inconsistent pacing. I would still recommend it, especially for fans of the first book and those who enjoy adventures.
**Thank you to TBR and Beyond tours for allowing me to be part of the tour. Remember to check out the schedule and visit more posts. Also, thank you to the publisher and author for providing an eARC.**