From the New York Times Bestselling author of Six Crimson Cranes comes the thrilling next adventure! 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… Fans of Shadow and Bone will devour this soaring fantasy.
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. It will take every ounce of strength Shiori can muster to defend the life and the love she’s fought so hard to win.
What’s it about (in a nutshell):
The Dragon’s Promise by Elizabeth Lim concludes the fantastic duology that began last year with Six Crimson Cranes.
Initial Expectations (before beginning the book):
The first book ends with the main character, Shiori, headed to the dragon world under the sea. I expect to visit the dragon’s world and complete Shiori’s task in this book. I’m looking forward to a Dragon world rich in color and magic (I hope). Also, I’m hoping for a fast-paced and compelling conclusion to this story.
Actual Reading Experience:
I loved the writing style most of all. It is beautiful and descriptive with a flow that wraps the reader in its magical web and pulls you into the story. I can’t get enough of Elizabeth Lim’s storytelling style, which is absolutely exquisite.
I absolutely loved getting to go to a dragon world. I love dragons and find exploring their world endlessly fascinating. I loved the uniqueness of it and would have loved to have an even more in-depth exploration of it and the everyday lives of dragons.
The romance between Shiori and Takkan begins in book 1 and continues in this story. It’s such a sweet and boundless love that took my breath away. Takkan is the epitome of what you would expect from a prince charming type character, even when Shiori is at her most exasperating. He is a very swoon-worthy romantic lead.
Shiori is the main character, and she grew immensely from the start of Six Crimson Cranes to the end of The Dragon’s Promise. She started out shallow and spoiled and became a mature young woman who realizes there is much more to life than vanities. She’s loved, lost, and experienced a lifetimes-worth of struggle and tragedy by the time the story closes, so I would have expected her to grow as she does.
The support characters take a back seat in this second book, which surprised me as they are all so unique and developed lovingly. A few new ones are added, and I was surprised to find they also exited before the end of the story. I expected everyone to play a part in the conclusion. However, even though the closing didn’t go as expected, I still found it satisfactory.
Narration & Pacing:
The narration is in the third person and focuses on Shiori. I found the pacing fast for most of the story though some small parts did slow and drag. Plenty of action from start to finish worked to keep the story flowing and tensions high from start to finish.
The book is set in a few different places. It starts in the dragon’s underwater world, which is somewhat Atlantis-like. I expected to see more of that world than I did, and I also expected it to be richer in color and build. However, I still found it enchanting and mesmerizing. We also return to Shiori’s home and venture to a demon island. The demon island is a bit fire and brimstone, i.e., predictable, but that was okay with me. Overall, the world-building is exquisitely detailed and a visual and imaginative wonder.
What It Reminds Me Of:
Six Crimson Cranes and The Dragon’s Promise have fairy tale vibes through and through.
To Read or Not to Read:
If you read Six Crimson Cranes, you will want to read this conclusion to the story. Though it’s a bit darker and a bit less detailed, it still is a compelling conclusion to the story, and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.
Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫
- Originality: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Writing Quality: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Pace: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Character Development: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- ‘Couldn’t Put It Down’-ness: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- World-Building: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐