Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim; narrated by Emily Woo Zeller
Release date: July 6, 2021
Princess Shiori, the impulsive and headstrong daughter of the Emperor, is almost seventeen, and she has a secret. She has magical abilities–in a kingdom where magic is forbidden. Then Shiori discovers that her stepmother is a powerful sorceress. Before she can warn her family, her stepmother casts a spell that transforms each of Shiori’s six brothers into cranes and sends Shiori to the farthest corner of the kingdom, unable to speak and disguised unrecognizably. Shiori must break the curse to save her brothers and the kingdom, but doing so will make her rethink everything she knew to be true.
In this first book of a series, Lim deftly weaves together some old stories such as the Swan Brothers, The Bamboo Cutter, and other folkloric elements to create a new engaging fantasy. Emily Woo Zeller brings Shiori and her world to life, perfectly capturing the tone through a range of voices, good pacing, and just a little drama.
Readers or listeners who enjoyed Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust or Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore will enjoy this book.
Other Nominated Titles
- Sugar Town Queens by Malla Nunn; narrated by Bahni Turpin (August 3, 2021)
- The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky; narrated by Carla Corvo (April 13, 2021)
- The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag; narrated by Shannon Tyo, Kristen Sieh, M.J. Kang, Raymond Lee, Grant Beck, and a full cast (July 6, 2021)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.