Six Crimson Cranes is by far one of the best fairy tale adaptations I have encountered in quite some time. That is perhaps because it is more of a “inspired by” and “mashed together with” incarnation than a simple reimaging. It builds on the basic story of The Wild Swans–which can be an extremely challenging story because how do you build relationships and characters when the main character is not able to speak? The author cleverly does this through thoughts and a magical paper crane. The addition of several other fairy tale stories elements makes this story unique and slightly unpredictable.
So much here to love! The protagonist is strong, but not abrasive and she has room for needed character growth. Her spurned betrothed becomes an unlikely ally with the perfect amount of strength, support, and kindness. With an impressive amount of action and a few twists along this way, the story becomes irresistible.
Although it concludes, the story is not really ended. There is not a cliff-hanger to cope with, but it is clear that Shiori’s story is not yet complete. Add this to your reading list!
Digital Advance Reading Copy provided by the Publisher
Note: References to “Gods” not tallied (fantasy world setting)
Violence/Gore: Peril of drowning; persons destroys a treasured item that belongs to another; recollection of memory in which young child felt threatened/frightened; character grabs another; character pursues another; scene in which magic is used to subdue others, render unconscious, and transform/curse individuals; birds attack a person; report of people throwing stones at someone; character hits another with a stick knocking them unconscious; frightening dream; soldier hits a young woman on the head with sword; order that birds are to be shot; character experiences great pain and bites down on her tongue to keep from crying, mention of blood; gathering of nettles until hands are bloody and character vomits from pain; attack by magical creature with intent to kill; character comes upon dead bodies after a skirmish/battle; character pursued, captured, man-handled, head-butted and arrow used to cut face, knocked unconscious; extended scene where assassins are trying to kills someone and someone is severely injured and bleeding with great loss of blood, some description of stitching up the wound; fight with an assassin-hitting, choking, etc. burning with fire, resulting in a death; scene in which characters fight off animals resulting in deaths of some animals; character dies by poison; character repeatedly stabs another as torture to get them to speak; verbal threats to kill; attempt to burn character at the stake; battle to free someone, resulting in injuries; character killed by arrow; confrontation resulting in capture, struggle, sword to abdomen (resulting in death), magic killing soldiers; character taken in extended scene where demons pursue a character, grab ankle with claw (blood mentioned), struggle, escape via magic; death of a character.
Sex/Nudity: Kiss on cheek; drunk grabs a character’s skirts and pulls them near; recollections of flirting; holding hands; character wants someone to kiss her; hooking arms; character attracted to another; embrace; touching of cheek; kiss on forehead; character holds another.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death, treason, war.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Character at a tavern/inn is drunk; poison; poisoned needles.