Review: The Dragon’s Promise
Shiori’s continuing story from SIX CRIMSON CRANES, begins in book 2, THE DRAGON’S PROMISE, as she travels with Seryu, her dragon friend, to the bottom of the sea, to meet the king of the dragons.
If you haven’t read SIX CRIMSON CRANES, then this book will not make much sense to you; it doesn’t make very a good standalone because you get a lot of important backstory, setting explanation, and magic development that will only make sense if you’ve read book 1. Otherwise what follows will be horrible spoilers. (You’ve been warned.)
After receiving the dragon pearl from her stepmother, Shiori promises to return it to its rightful owner. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know where the rightful owner lives and the only way she can learn that is by going to the dragon king at the bottom of the ocean. But this quest is fraught with peril because the dragon king is not very happy with her because of some of her antics in book 1, including her friendship with his grandson Seryu, and wants the dragon pearl for himself.
In THE DRAGON’S PROMISE, Shiori leads us on a wild chase throughout the seas, lands, and islands of her world as she tracks down the true owner of the magical pearl heart. If she does not return it before it breaks, then it will never be able to be returned. So Shiori races against time to fulfill her promise.
In Elizabeth Lim's sequel, THE DRAGON'S PROMISE, Shiori's amazing story continues as she struggles to fulfill a promise to her stepmother.
After I finished reading this book, I couldn’t help but think that Lim packed two books worth of material into one book and condensed it in order to make it all fit. A lot happens in this book. There is so much action and movement as they travel and interact between the world’s inhabitants. It is interesting and creative, but I did feel a little whiplash at times as mere sentences are devoted to moving halfway across a continent. However, ultimately the target audience are middle school readers who will like that it moves quickly, that we see interesting things all over this fascinating world of dragons and sorcerers, and it will pull them in from beginning to end.
We get some evolution of the magic as Shiori learns more about it and her role as the bloodsake in Kiata. And as is characteristic for her, she will not accept the traditional understandings of magic and her role in it. And thank goodness she doesn’t because that is the only way she will survive. He character arc across the books is satisfying, because she’s still herself, but she learns important lessons about how her spontaneous nature affects others. I enjoyed the interactions between her and love-interest Takkan as their relationship blossoms. One of the more interesting characters is Seryu, her dragon friend, who fights for her even against his own family.
After reading the first book, I wasn’t entirely sure where Lim would take the story. THE DRAGON’S PROMISE is not necessarily what I was expecting, which made the discovery fun, and will make it fun for your kids as well.
- Recommended Age: 11+
- Language: None
- Violence: More than book 1, some death, fighting with demons
- Sex: A few kisses