Knopf | 30 August 2022 | 496 pgs
The Dragon's Promise is the final book of a duology and it picks up right after the end from Six Crimson Cranes. Shiori, our heroine, has gone off to Ai'long (the kingdom of the dragons) so that she could save her country and also to return the pearl to its rightful owner, the Wraith. The pearl played an important part in this story since in the previous book she's made a promise to her late stepmother, Raikama, that she'd find the owner and return it to him.
Without telling too much about the plot, all I can say is this duology is about magic, family bonds and a star-crossed love. Princess Shiori was a courageous character who'd never adhere to political rules and would fight her way which she thinks is right. Perhaps with this characteristics, she often finds herself stucked in dangerous situations but fortunately she has a great assistant in the form of a paper bird called Kiki. Her relationship with her brothers was close and that was revealed in the previous book where Shiori tried every means to save them after they'd turned to cranes through a curse.
Shiori's journey to Ai'long might not be smooth but she has the help from Seryu, the heir of the Dragon's King and Takkan, her childhood friend and her betrothed. Seryu was such an intriguing character but alas, his appearance only covered one-third in this story and that left me perplexed over the choice of this title. And if Takkan didn't leave me a deep impression in the previous book, he's definitely grown on me in this installment. His courage, his understanding and his love towards Shiori could melt any girl's heart and he's quickly become one of my favourite characters in this book, aside from Kiki that is.
The battles towards the end with the demons were all too much and convoluted along the way and I wished it was better executed. All in all, it was a fun book but Six Crimson Cranes remains my favourite. If the author read this review, perhaps she could consider writing a spin-off about Seryu in the near future?
Finally, I want to thank my long-time book buddy, Lark, for reading this duology with me (please check out her blog here for her review). This book marked the end of our buddy read for this year but we'll have more coming up in 2023!
Here are the questions from Lark after our read:
1. Out of all the magical elements and different legends in this story, which were your favorite?
Each magical element and legend in this story is special and unique in their own way. While I think Shiori's brothers transformation of the cranes left me a deep impression, Kiki's lively existence (through Shiori's magic) kept me entertained throughout the duology. I loved her loyalty and enjoyed reading her banter with Shiori. I think she's one of the important roles that keep this story going.
2. If the author writes more books set in this world, which characters would you most want her to write about next?
Seryu. Hands down. I most definitely want to hear more about his stories and adventures in Ai'long.
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