This is an engaging fairy tale revision, which our daughter, who is a fantasy reader and a fairytale fan, recommended to me. I enjoyed it. It was a fun book to listen to on audio while I did other things. I liked the narrator, and it was helpful to have all the unusual names read aloud, instead of struggling with them in print.
Shiori is a wonderful, strong character, who loves her six older brothers. She has a secret, though; she breathed life into an origami bird that she named Kiki, who became her best friend. In her culture, such things are frowned upon.
However, the plot shifts suddenly, when their stepmother curses them all, turning the brothers into cranes and banishing Shiori, who’s identity is not only hidden, but she must remain silent, for with any single word she speaks, one of her brothers will die.
Throw into this mix an arranged marriage that she wants to avoid– to a lowly lord of the third rank of all things– as well as some dragons, and an enchanted wolf, and you start to get the idea of where this adventure might be taking you. This story will keep you guessing: how will Shiori free herself and her brothers from the curse? With intelligence, perseverance, and love. That’s how.
The book jacket says this book is appropriate for ages 12 and up, and I would agree. It is a coming of age story, with plenty of action, but no steamy bits, so is appropriate for younger audiences, if you are ok with the magical themes. This novel might be a good gift for a young someone you know, or maybe, like me, you ‘d like a wholesome, fantastical romp yourself.
I give this well paced, well crafted story 4 stars. I liked Six Crimson Cranes enough that I promptly added its sequel to my list of audio books to listen to in the near future.