Sample
  • 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 (854 ratings)

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Six Crimson Cranes

By: Elizabeth Lim
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
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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?