The Dragon's Promise by Elizabeth Lim Book Review

Friday 15 July 2022

Firstly I am going to start by saying thank you to both Hodder Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of The Dragon's Promise by Elizabeth Lim for an honest review.

This book was one of my most highly anticipated reads of 2022 after receiving Six Crimson Cranes for Christmas and falling head over heels for the story and its Characters. Please be aware this review will contain spoilers so if you have not read this book do not read ahead.

Following on from Six Crimson Cranes we start with Shiori entering the underwater dragon city to meet with the Dragon King to honour Raikama's last wish that the pearl be reunited with its rightful owner, I felt this would be a major plot arc in the story and that we would get more of Seryu's character in this book - maybe even a bit of a love triangle. However while I am glad the author steered away from the love triangle aspect the arc of the plot within this world seems to end rather quickly and Seryu's character is not heard of again until the end of the book. We are also introduced to a few new characters like Gen for example who seem like they are going to become included deeply within the plot only to be dropped a few chapters later. This portion of the story felt almost disconnected as if it wasn't developed enough alongside the main plot arc or the pacing wasn't quite right.

The book then jumps back to the plot with the demons trying to escape the mountain led by the main plot villain Bandur. This part of the story I thoroughly enjoyed, I have just recently finished reading Spin the Dawn and enjoyed that this duology almost is the backstory to how Bandur became trapped on Lapzur island. This part of the story all felt connected and I was hooked on the plot line to see how this would play out.

However again following on from this we then head back to Kiata after successfully trapping Bandur on Lapzur island where the book almost felt like it was at a natural end point but with what looked to be 100 pages left I could see we had more storyline to go but I couldn't see how with the main villain already defeated? Enter again the high priestesses who have been against Shiori since her return as she is the bloodsake predicted to free the demons from the mountain rift. This brings another curse upon Shiori either allow Kiata to burn to the ground  from demon fire or sacrifice herself to the flames. This again felt a bit disjointed from the plot we had just been following with Bandur and the demons and I understand it was linked to the ending however it just felt abit randomly thrown in and not quite as cohesive as the plot of Six Crimson Cranes.

This being said the ending battle following this curse with Shiori, her brothers and Takkan and the Priestesses army had me gripped and I felt incredibly emotionally invested in the characters endings. I will not spoil how the story ends but it was definitely bittersweet in the best kind of way not a completely happy ending but one that leaves Shiori becoming a legendary tale in her own right with a spark of joy left.

Despite some of the story feeling disjointed there were many elements of the book I enjoyed including revisiting the characters I loved so much from the first book Shiori and her brothers, Kiki and Takkan and it was wonderful to get more backstory on Raikama, her past and how she had come to be in Kiata with the Dragon's pearl.  The writing as always with Elizabeth Lim was endearing, magical and eloquent. The descriptions of the different world's and islands visited was compelling and left you feeling as if you were there with the characters while reading.

I just wish the plot with the demons and the plot with Seryu could have been a bit more interwoven with less of a sharp change in storyline. As well as this that we could have had more development of the characters like Gen or Seryu but I appreciate that maybe the length of the book and the story we had to cover could prevent much of this development.

Overall I am incredibly grateful for receiving this advance arc and the title and if you are a fan of the first book or any of Elizabeth Lim's writing this story is definitely worth adding to the TBR. Despite the few criticisms I have made of the story I still feel the plot points I enjoyed, the characters and the writing deserve this book 4 out of 5 stars. Not quite as good as Six Crimson Cranes but then sequels are never as good as the originals.

Will you be reading or purchasing The Dragon's Promise when it is released in August?

Comment below on your thoughts and whether you will be giving this book a go.

Thanks for Reading!

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