Today’s review is for Elizabeth Lim’s latest book, The Dragon’s Promise, which is the epic conclusion to the story of her character Princess Shiori.
I actually really struggled when it came to writing this review, purely because it meant the end. The end of what we have of this world that I’m just head over heels in love with. But Shiori’s ending was a beautiful one and the story was full of highs and lows, it’s a treat to read.
Read on for my full review 💜
About the Book
Title: The Dragon’s Promise
Series: Six Crimson Cranes #2
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: August 30th 2022
Source: Physical ARC provided by the publisher (this in no way affects my review which is honest and unbiased) and I also have bought the US and UK editions, again.
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…
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 guess I’ll have to begin this with a little disclaimer, I’m definitely biased because I’m 100% in love with this world that Lim has created, I fell in love with it before Spin the Dawn was released in the US in 2019 and I’ve just fallen more and more in love with the world since.
The Dragon’s Promise picks up pretty much right at the end of Six Crimson Cranes, with Shiori headed to the Dragon’s Realm (Ai’long) alongside Kiki and Seryu. The whole story is fairly fast-paced and a lot happens. There aren’t many quiet moments for reflection throughout which is kind of illustrated in how we’re only actually in Ai’long for the first third of the book. Within that time, if you’ve read Spin the Dawn prior to this duology then you’ll come across a certain old friend… (It’s teased in Unravel the Dusk!)
One thing I’d like to note is that if you haven’t read any of this world’s stories yet… start with this duology. Read the Blood of Stars after because otherwise you have a pretty good idea of what needs to happen in The Dragon’s Promise.
It’s clear that Shiori won’t rest until she’s fulfilled the promise she made to her stepmother, Raikama, at the end of the first book – to return her dragon pearl to its original owner. Within Ai’long, she learns that won’t be quite so simple to do…
With the quick departure from Ai’long, we also have a quick departure from the awesome character of Seryu. Honestly, I miss him. He was witty and charming and absolutely would have been a great match for Shiori… but Takkan is still definitely one of the sweetest love interests to be created, so I’m not too heartbroken over her choice!
When she goes home, the reunion with her brothers, Takkan and her father is very sweet and it was great getting to see more of her brothers’ characters show. But then of course she still had to return the pearl and try her best to help with the little demon problem from the end of the first book… so we get another adventure, of course. The adventure also takes Shiori to Raikama’s childhood home, so we have a little insight into her life and some emotional moments.
Lim manages to introduce some new characters too without taking away the majority of the spotlight from the others (though, I have to admit I was still very attached to that particular The Blood of Stars character, even in his very different form he was a joy whenever on the page).
Although I am most definitely extremely sad that this story is over… the ending was just so perfect. I cried a lot throughout the latter end of the book and a lot of that crying involved happy tears. In a sense, it was of a similar nature to the ending of Unravel the Dusk, and even that parallel alone had made me emotional.
All-in-all, this was yet another beautiful story from Lim. I can’t wait to read whatever she writes next, but these two duologies will always be recommended and they’ll always stay on my favourites shelf (even though I definitely can’t fit every different edition of the books I own on it!)
“All legends have a spark of truth.”
If you enjoy my content please consider supporting me through any of the following: