• Six Crimson Cranes

  • Six Crimson Cranes, Book 1
  • By: Elizabeth Lim
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 12 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (584 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller

A princess in exile, a shapeshifting dragon, six enchanted cranes, and an unspeakable curse....

Drawing from fairy tales and East Asian folklore, this original fantasy from the author of Spin the Dawn is perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone.

"A dazzling fairytale full of breathtaking storytelling." (Stephanie Garber, New York Times best-selling author of Caraval)

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 listeners long after they've turned listened to the last minute.

"A stunning remake of a fairytale. Six Crimson Cranes is the perfect blend of whimsy and ferociousness, with twists and turns that will tug at your heartstrings." (Chloe Gong, New York Times best-selling author of These Violent Delights)

"Fast-paced excitement is balanced with a satisfyingly intricate plot that weaves in elements from Western fairy tales and East Asian folklore." (SLJ, starred review)

"A richly imagined landscape...vibrant, fast-paced." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

©2021 Elizabeth Lim (P)2021 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"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, New York Times best-selling author of Caraval)

"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, New York Times best-selling author of Graceling

"A stunning remake of a fairytale. Six Crimson Cranes is the perfect blend of whimsy and ferociousness, with twists and turns that will tug at your heartstrings." (Chloe Gong, New York Times best-selling author of These Violent Delights)

Featured Article: The Best Fairy Tale Retelling Audiobooks


Fairy tales, mythology, and folklore have provided an endless fount of inspiration and imagination for writers for centuries. So, it’s no surprise that as sensibilities shift and these tales are revisited with a modern lens, creators feel the pull to reinvent, reimagine, and refocus. Here, we’ve gathered the best fairy and folk tale retellings of all time, from both new and best-selling writers alike. What magic will you discover within?

What listeners say about Six Crimson Cranes

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

If you loved Daughter of the Forest/Fairytales

Then this is a complete re-telling of the same base story (both works use the Six Swans take as a base) but feels completely fresh.

What can you expect? PG Fairytale with minor romance, wonderful world building and all the fantastical elements that make fantasy fun.

What you won’t get: Steam or any sort of violence that would fall outside a “family” movie.

13 people found this helpful

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Wonderful YA title that skips past common tropes~

This was my first introduction to the writing of Elizabeth Lim and what an introduction it was. I can't say we're well acquainted yet but I look forward to our future meetings~ A fun YA series with magic, romance, and wonderful story telling. A great recommendation for those collecting stories with flavor from around the world~~

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent story, with hardship and feels

I will admit, it took me a bit to get through this. The main character would infuriate me and make me set it down for a bit and go back to it later. But, I'm reminded the impetuousness of youth, and her boldness helped sometimes as well.
Excellent characters, and while I had a suspicion there was some underlying things afoot, there were some nice surprises.
It has a nice, if somewhat sad end, with room left open for a continuation. Unlike some other authors though it's an end of this part of the tale, not a random break in s story like some do I've found of late.

Only one other thing... caused slight confusion. it's slightly spoilery though... So don't read on it you're worried about that.


There's a large portion where the MC can't speak. It takes a bit to get into the mindset that when she "speaks" she's using pantomime, or just internal monolog, and figuring out exactly which means just being extra astute. Maybe there's a font change in the written work to signify, maybe not, but listening to just have to default in your head she's silent.

2 people found this helpful

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Pleasantly Surprised!

I've never read a book fresh the day of release without prior plans to do so. This was a gamble on my part and it was SO worth it! I loved the story and the narrator did a fantastic job. Really brought the characters to life and admittedly surprised me with the range of depth in her voice to do different gendered characters! Would definitely recommend if the synopsis intrigues you and the cover captivates you like it did me.

2 people found this helpful

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Fabulous, willing to wait for sequel

This book was better than I had hoped. I loved the entire adventure and hot it’s emotional chords perfectly. Only wish I hadn’t thought it was a stand alone book. Annoyed that ending was so obviously not the end and a sequel will be coming.

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Delicious

I devoured this book. The pages flew by, and when I wasn’t reading it, I listened to it all 2 times speed. It reads like a brief fairy tell despite being a full length book. The only thing keeping me from giving it 5 stars is a lack of depth.

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a disappointment

struggled to finish a story which had such promise in the beginning and died in the telling

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Story Telling at its best!!

One powerful female lead and one powerful adventure!! Loved this book, the story rose to fever pitch and never came down!! This is my favorite book of all time. I fell in love with this world and these characters.

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really nice story

the story does evoke good relations to the characters and you want to hear more. sometimes it can feel a little bit unlinked from one event to the next. but very enjoyable in the end, will listen to the next book.

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A real true fairy tale

I loved it n will recommend to all who believes in fate courage love sacrifice should venture in this enchanting tale n fall in love all over again