Goodreads: The Dragon’s Promise
Series: Six Crimson Cranes #2
Age Category: Young Adult
Publication Date: August 30, 2022
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.
I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Lim’s work since I read Spin the Dawn, and as a sequel to Six Crimson Cranes, The Dragon’s Promise did not disappoint. It has action, adventure, vivid world building, and the strong family ties readers first saw in book one when Shiori committed herself to saving her brothers from a life as cranes.
I admit my memory of Six Crimson Cranes is a bit hazy, and it took me a while to remember all the events that had occurred previously that were relevant to this story. The Dragon’s Promise is not one of those books that effortlessly reminds readers of the plot of the books that came before, so do be aware of that. However, once I got my bearings, I was once again swept into the world Lim has created and eager to see how protagonist Shiori would fulfill her last promise to her stepmother, all while keeping herself and her entire world safe.
The pacing is a bit wild, which is something I’ve noticed about Lim’s work in general. The first third of the book probably could have been expanded into its own book, and event after evert keeps coming at Shiori and the reader. It’s certainly a roller coaster. Perhaps this is even something a lot of readers will love — unending action and twists and something always happening with hardly a break in between. I personally would have liked the pacing to be a bit more even, but it’s not a deal breaker for me, and it certainly keeps things interesting if nothing else.
I most loved the relationships Shiori has with her friends and family, and all the characters readers could have fallen in love with in Six Crimson Cranes get plenty of page time in The Dragon’s Promise. We get to see all six brothers, of course, as well as the love interest, and even Shiori’s father, who is clearly struggling with his duties as a emperor seeming to conflict with his priorities as a parent. We even learn more about Shiori’s stepmother’s past and get some insight into the decisions she made in book one. Character development is more than fulfilled, and I don’t know if Lim could have done a better job with any of the fairly large cast she has created.
Lim’s books are always a delight to read, and The Dragon’s Promise is no exception. Definitely pick it up if you enjoyed any of her other books.
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