"A promise is a promise. Not a kiss in the wind, to be thrown about without care. It is a piece of yourself that is given away and will not return until your pledge is fulfilled."
Princess Shiori promised her stepmother that she would return a cursed dragon pearl to its owner. That promise takes her first to Ai'long, the underwater court of the sea dragons. But they want the pearl for themselves. As do the demons threatening Kiata, Shiori's homeland. So Shiori, her six brothers, and her betrothed, Takkan, must journey even farther from home to return the pearl and to find a way to defeat the demons. It's a journey that will take all of Shiori's forbidden magic, and might even cost her her life.
I read the first book in this young adult fantasy duology, Six Crimson Cranes
, back in March with Melody (@ Melody's Reading Corner
). And we've both been looking forward to reading this sequel ever since. Shiori's such a fun character: stubborn and determined, fiesty and fearless. And she never gives up on her quest.
In The Dragon's Promise
, Shiori has to conquer many different enemies, including the scary demon king Bandur, and survive many dangers, including attempts by people in her own homeland to kill her. Which means that this novel has a LOT of action in it. At times it felt like the author was trying to combine too many different threads in one book. All those different threats and dangers got a little convoluted, especially at the end. Poor Shiori never had time to even catch her breath. But I was rooting for her and Takkan all the way. I really love the two of them together; they're my favorite part of this novel. There's a fairy tale quality to this book that I also liked. All the magic, and the curious legends from the sea dragons and their promises, to the magical red thread that connects Shiori to Takkan, to Shiori being a bloodsake whose magic can loose the trapped demons, to the Lady of the Moon herself, added to the fun. Despite its flaws, this turned out to be a magical and entertaining adventure. And I'm very glad that I got to read it with Melody. Be sure to check out her review.
Melody's questions to me...and my answers:
Q. Among all the characters, who do you wish the author should explore more and why?
A. I'd love to get to know more about Shiori's brothers, especially her youngest brother who ends this story with one of his arms still a crane's wing; and I hope Lim writes a abook about Elang because I'd love to see him be able to resolve his half-dragon/half-human dilemma and get a happy ending.
Q. What do you think is the strength and weakness of this story?
A. For me, the strength is in Shiori's relationships...with her friend, Seryu; with her six brothers; and with Takkan, the man she loves. Those are my favorite moments in this book. The weakness in this story is that the author tried to do too much...between the conflict with the dragons, and then the demons, and everything else going on around Shiori it's just too much for one book.