The Dragon’s Promise is immersive, fast paced, action packed and adventurous YA fantasy with spectacular world, theme and layers.
The Dragon’s Promise (Six Crimson Cranes #2) by Elizabeth Lim
Publication Date : August 30, 2022
Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton
Read Date : August 3, 2022
Genre : YA / Fantasy
Pages : 400
Tea for this book : Saffron Tea
Disclaimer – Many thanks to publisher for eARC via NetGalley.
This post contains affiliate links.
Previous book in the series & Other books I read by the same author –
Six Crimson Cranes (Six Crimson Cranes Book 1)
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.
The Dragon’s Promise is immersive YA Fantasy that revolves around Shiori’s adventure to fulfill the promise she made to her stepmother. The story is about promises, secrets, loyalty, trust, friendship, family, love, loss and grief, finding the purpose and magic with layers of cruelty of zealots, demon’s deception, hypocrisy of dragons, and court politics.
Writing is engrossing, vivid, and fast paced with first person narrative from Shiori’s perspective. Plot is interesting and filled with lots of adventure and twist and turns.
It starts from where the first book ended with Shiori entering Taijin Sea and Ai’long, home of dragons with Seryu to bring her stepmother Raikama’s pearl to Seryu’s grandfather, God of Dragons. Shiori promised Raikama to return the pearl to its owner which wasn’t Seryu’s grandfather and he wanted pearl for himself and all that ends up with Shiori being imprisoned. All Seryu could do to save her is make her his companion that includes drinking elixir that will make her forget who she is.
It wouldn’t be spoiler if I mention all these was wrapped up in first 30% of the book which was a surprise. I get now why all readers wished there was more of dragon world. It was interesting to meet new characters under the sea that I would have liked to know more but that was short lived. As soon as Seryu leaves Shiori on land we say goodbyes to dragons which was sad and at the same time I was curious to see what will happen next, how Shiori is going to fulfill her promise and how she is going to save her home from demons… it takes us on series of action and adventure.
Shiori has come a long way from the first book. She still is reckless, brazen, mischievous, never good with listening what other tells her to do, has penchant for getting into trouble and her never dying love for food is still intact. What changed is she has developed more awareness, more aware of where her heart belongs and of her duties. She is perceptive and smart and could figure out solution to all trouble she gets into. Her emotions are well portrayed. We see her grief of losing Raikama, guilt of keeping secrets, fear of losing Takkan, and dilemma of what to do about her being bloodsake. It was great to see how her view towards demons changed by the end and what she did to bring back the balance in Kiata.
Relationships in this book is my most favorite part. I loved Shiori’s connection with Raikama. Raikama’s past, her homeland, and her connection with the owner of pearl was interesting subplot. I adored her relationship with her six brothers. I have to say I missed them and their sibling bickering. They too have developed a lot and I loved how they supported Shiori and stood by her till the end. We get to know Shiori’s father more in this and I loved his and Shiori’s conversations.
Kiki is still my most favorite character who kept the mood of the book light whenever she opened her beak. I totally understand why Shiori preferred a paper bird as best friend over humans and I so want my own live paper bird now.
Seryu in those first 30% was great. He truly is different from all the dragons. At first I wasn’t sure what to think of his betrayal but I knew he wasn’t bad person too as no dragon would willingly give even a small piece of heart to a human. He made those first 30% come alive and I loved him even more for what he did in the end. I wish I could have his story.
Oh and we meet Edan as a boy, Gen. I can’t believe how chatty, charming, lively, smart, and reckless he was as a boy. It’s hard to imagine how this boy grew to be a wise and formidable Lord Enchanter in Blood of Stars duology.
I loved Takkan in first book and that stays same with this book too. He is brave, courageous, patient, honest, and compassionate. I could see why even Raikama liked him. His unwavering support, honesty, and understanding is admirable. His hurt and heartbreak made me emotional. I have to say Shiori didn’t have the same effect on me.
Romance between Takkan and Shiori is cute and charming. There is love triangle in the beginning but author nicely avoided it by limiting it to first 30%. The conversations and all the moments between Shiro and Takkan is lovely and heartmelting.
I loved more of legends, folklores and exploring not just Taijin Sea but also other parts of the world that takes us to Tambu Islands and Forgotten Isles of Lapzur with its own legend. Taijin Sea and Ai’long is my most favorite. I loved the undersea world with jellyfish petrol, attacking kelp, deadly octopus, ruthless speedy turtles, court of Dragon king, rules and ritual of dragons. It was most interesting to read legend of Emuri’en and every other stories related to it.
All twists and turns are interesting. Some I could see coming at certain points at the same time there are plenty of small surprises. Climax is interesting with the deception of Bandur. That tour of Kiata and dragon’s part in making Shiori see where she is wrong about demons is a bit dramatic. The cult and what Shiori decide to do about demons was most interesting part. End was sad, emotional, magical and surprising.
Why 4 stars-
I agree with all readers who said there was lots of potential with new characters (especially those half-dragons), layers (cult) and setting (Ai’long) and it could have made an amazing story if those areas were explored more, making it a series than ending it with duology. Shiori wasn’t as impressive as she was in first book. Let’s just say I loved first book more.
Overall, The Dragon’s Promise is immersive, fast paced, action packed and adventurous YA fantasy with spectacular world, theme and layers but first book was much better than this sequel.
I recommend this if you like,
Lots of action and adventure
Magic and Dragons
Curse and Promise
More exploration of world
Many twist and turns
New interesting characters
Cheeky paper bird
Little bit of love triangle
Lovely sibling relationship
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