Cover Image: Her Radiant Curse

Her Radiant Curse

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EL has been a staple author for me for her rich and vibrant Asian-inspired tales that immediately immerse yourself into a fantasy world full of magic and wonder. This story is just as beautiful as her others, with characters that have depth and beauty to them. Loved this!

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This is my first Elizabeth Lim book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Six Crimson Cranes has been on my tbr for ages, and reading this prequel has made me even more excited to read the rest of her books!

I absolutely loved Channi and Ukar and it is so refreshing to read a novel where the main "love" of the story is between sisters - where that love trumps all others, including romantic love. While Vanna was not my favorite character given her apparent passivity and spoiledness, she really grew on me during the final 1/4 of the book. Overall, this one was a fun, wild, ever surprising ride, and I'm immediately downloading the rest of the author's novels!

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Lim's prequel expands on her already impressive worldbuilding, adding depth to an already intriguing and fascinating character

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I enjoyed this fairy tale-ish book. Two sisters, one is blessed with extreme beauty and inner light, the other is cursed with the face of a snake and poisonous blood. While the plot is somewhat predictable, there are some twists and the world-building was good, as were the characters. Plenty of suspense, action, and emotion.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a free e-ARC of this book.

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Her Radiant is a prequel of sorts to Six Crimson Cranes, and it is a great expansion on the existing story. It is a beautiful, compelling read.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an e-ARC copy of this book, in exchange for this honest review.

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I thought this was a unique and mystical story as usual from Elizabeth Lim but felt the setting changed so quick when they could’ve been explored more. It was a great intro to “Raikama” but it still felt like it was written after the fact rather than an actual prelude. It also was stagnant in parts that could’ve been expounded on and places we went into detail that we could’ve cut out.

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This book is a prequel of sorts to Six Crimson Cranes, and it doesn't disappoint! This focuses on Channi's journey while being cursed with a serpent's face. Despite being shunned by her family, Channi still tries to protect her sister from being sold, What ensues is quite the story! I enjoyed the world building and getting to know the characters throughout the story. Pacing was a bit of an issue at times, but it didn't keep me from reading the wanting to know how it all ends.

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"One sister must fall for the other to rise."

A complex, moving fairytale for those who don't believe in the simplicity of happily ever after.

When a sacrifice went wrong, one daughter was left with a supernatural golden glow, while the other daughter bore the face of a snake and poison in her veins. Channi's been told the only way to break her curse is to bring her sister to Angma, a tiger witch, before her eighteenth birthday. Now, Vanna, the golden one, is participating in a selection ceremony to find her new home and kingdom, while Channi tries to find a way to save Vanna from Angma, who has sworn to kill her on her birthday.

This is a tale of unlikely allies, betrayals and the power of sibling love. It kept me enthralled, with a sarcastic talking snake best friend and an untrustworthy dragon. The world is rich and enchanting, as Channi and Vanna travel far beyond their village home as they struggle to understand the power they have been granted. The action is non-stop, but it also doesn't skimp on character development as each of the sisters comes into her own.

Her Radiant Curse is set in the same world as Six Crimson Cranes but can definitely stand on its own. I didn't realize it was a prequel for much of the book and enjoyed it for its own merits.

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Her Radiant Curse proved to be a captivating read, seamlessly picking up the threads left by the enthralling Six Crimson Cranes. It effortlessly delivered everything I sought in a post-series narrative, maintaining the same level of enchantment and intrigue that initially drew me into this fantastical world. The storyline flowed smoothly, with well-crafted characters and a plot that kept me hooked from beginning to end. What truly sets this novel apart is its seamless integration with the broader universe of related books, enhancing the overall reading experience. In essence, Her Radiant Curse is not only a satisfying continuation but also a testament to the author's skill in weaving together a rich tapestry of interconnected tales.

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Channi is used to being a monster. Ever since her father tried to sacrifice her life as a child to save her mother, she has been cursed with the face and venomous blood of a snake. Her sister, Vanna, is her opposite - she is beautiful, radiant, and her heart glows with pure power. She was the one who should have been sacrificed, but her father couldn’t bear to lose her and tried to sacrifice Channi instead. Now, years later, Vanna is in the middle of a competition of suitors to determine the king who earns her hand, but Channi knows the curse is coming for them. For when she was cursed, the demon Angma swore to return by Vanna’s seventeenth birthday to take what was meant to be her’s - Vanna’s life and magic. Channi must find Angma first and kill her, before her sister is taken from her forever.

This book is incredible and powerful and sad, honestly. It’s important to note this book is a prequel to Six Crimson Cranes, but it is not necessary to read Six Crimson Cranes and its sequel beforehand. I am actually looking forward even more to reading it now because I want to continue past the ending of this book to see where the world goes and what happens to the characters I know and love.

With that being said, this book is an epic fantasy journey full of unforgettable characters and incredible mythology, but it’s not necessarily for the readers who prefer happy endings, like myself. Despite trying to guard my heart against the possibility of heartbreak, I definitely cried and felt the tragedy to my core. This isn’t the BEST fantasy I’ve ever read, but it definitely holds its own. If you’re wanting a fantasy with twists and turns, hopeful moments and bittersweet ones, and an ending that leaves you feeling a lot of different things, this one is for you.

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

In "Serpent's Embrace," Elizabeth Lim delivers a captivating and emotionally charged fantasy that delves into the complexities of sisterhood, sacrifice, and the unyielding power of love. With a rich tapestry of folklore and mythology interwoven into the narrative, the author creates a world that is both enchanting and dark, leaving readers spellbound from beginning to end.

The story revolves around the transformative journey of Channi, who, after being cursed with a serpent's face, grapples with the harsh realities of being perceived as a monster. Her unwavering love for her sister, Vanna, serves as the driving force behind her resilience and determination to protect her from the ruthless suitors in the village. Lim masterfully crafts Channi's character, infusing her with strength, vulnerability, and a depth of emotion that resonates with readers on a profound level.

The intricate bond between the two sisters forms the heart of the narrative, adding layers of complexity and depth to the storyline. Through their unbreakable connection, the readers are drawn into a world of intricate alliances, heart-wrenching choices, and the enduring strength of familial ties. Lim's portrayal of sisterhood is both poignant and authentic, capturing the essence of sacrifice and unwavering devotion in the face of adversity.

With an exquisite blend of fantasy and folklore, "Serpent's Embrace" pays homage to classic tales while offering a fresh and innovative take on the genre. The author's skillful incorporation of elements from "The Selection" and "Ember in the Ashes," alongside nods to timeless stories like "Beauty and the Beast" and "Helen of Troy," adds a layer of depth and familiarity that enhances the overall reading experience.

While the narrative unfolds with captivating momentum and intricate world-building, there are moments where the pacing feels slightly rushed, diminishing the impact of certain pivotal scenes. However, this minor flaw is overshadowed by the author's masterful storytelling and the intricate web of relationships that drive the plot forward.

In "Serpent's Embrace," Elizabeth Lim presents a mesmerizing tale of resilience, sacrifice, and the enduring power of love. With its evocative prose, dynamic character development, and a richly detailed world, the novel stands as a testament to the author's storytelling prowess. Through the compelling narrative of Channi and Vanna, readers are invited to explore the profound depths of sisterhood and the relentless pursuit of hope in the face of adversity. "Serpent's Embrace" is a must-read for fans of fantasy, folklore, and stories that resonate long after the final pages.

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I absolutely adored Elizabeth Lim's past works, and Her Radiant Curse did not disappoint. It follows the ultimate bond between sisters, Channi and Vanna against a cruel demon witch. I have read Six Crimson Cranes and found the parallels so enjoyable to read, but it is not mandatory to read it before this book. Overall, I think Lim creates an enchanting and immersive story that I cannot get enough of!

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"Her Radiant Curse" follows Channi and Vanna, two sisters with intertwined fates that could lead to deadly consequences. When Channi was a child, her father sacrificed her to the Demon Witch and caused her to be cursed with a serpent's face. Her sister, Vanna, is the favored child of her father and stepmother, and the only person who doesn't see a monster when she looks at Channi. The sisters have an unbreakable bond - a bond that will be put to the test when cruel suitors, sworn enemies, and a deadly battle come into play.

Overall, I really enjoyed "Her Radiant Curse." I will say that I was unaware that this was a prequel to the "Six Crimson Cranes" duology - this had no bearing on my review or enjoyment of the story. I am curious to see how it will impact my understanding of Six Crimson Cranes when I read it since I now have some back story that most people didn't. I liked the relationship between Channi and Vanna, but sometimes would get very frustrated with Vanna as a person, and Channi's continued insistence on being the only one that could protect her. (Their father was also just an awful person). I loved the side character of Ukar - he was fantastic and brought some great depth to the relationship with Channi. I found the ending to be a bit all over the place, but I did look up how it plays into the SCC duology, so it makes sense. This wasn't my favorite, but it wasn't bad; a solid YA fantasy.

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After reading the other two Six Crimson Crane stories I was more than hooked on this one. It was just what I was looking for. Epic!! This was epic and if you enjoyed her other stories you will devour this one.

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“A promise is 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.”

Elizabeth Lim has done it again with a FANTASTIC YA fantasy novel. Her Radiant Curse is a spin-off prequel to Six Crimson Cranes duology. While this is a prequel, you absolutely need to read the Six Crimson Cranes duology FIRST. There are a lot of connections to things that happen within that series, both plot wise and character wise, so if you read this first you'll either be confused or spoil that duology.

Honestly, this book was so brilliantly done and was simultaneously heart-warming and heart-wrenching. I loved being back in the world of the Cranes and getting to expand upon everything that happened in that series! Her Radiant Curse is set a few decades before the events that happen in Six Crimson Cranes and it tells the story of Channi, the stepmother in Six Crimson Cranes, and what happened in her life that led to the events within Cranes.

Channi (who goes by Raikama in SCC) was such a fascinating character in the original series and I loved that we got to know more of her back story in The Dragon's Promise. Having a full length novel that provides the story of Channi and her sister Vanna? SIGN ME UP.

Their story was so so moving and speaks to the loyalty and bond between sisters. Channi would do whatever it took to protect her baby sister, as she has been doing since her birth. When her sister was born and her mother lay dying in childbirth, their father tried to sacrifice Channi to the Demon Tiger, Angma, to save them, only it didn't work and Channi was cursed and told by the tiger that on her sister's 17th birthday, Angma would come back for her. Having survived her encounter with the demon thanks to the poisonous bite from a snake, Channi's life has now changed: she now has a serpent face and poisoned blood. Upon her return home, she makes a promise to her dying mother that she would protect her sister from Angma, and spends the rest of the book doing her best to fulfill that promise.

While Channi was the villain (ish) in SCC, we learn SO much about how she became that person and how much more there is to her. We also understand her connection to snakes in SCC, as they become her constant companion and only friends after the curse causes everyone around her (minus her sister) to be afraid of the girl with the serpent face. She begins to live a life of isolation, ridicule, and hate, and is bullied by others in her village. It isn't until she meets the dragon Hokzuh that she finally feels like there is someone who understands her (unfortunately, they may or may not be enemies, but who doesn't love the enemies to (YA) lovers trope?).

Lim does such a great job in her story telling. I found this book to be well paced, eventful, and engaging throughout. The world building was fresh, while including a lot of what we'd seen previously and adding on to that. There were so many fun new characters we met, along with some who we will get to know more in the duology! Ukar was hands down my favorite. The animal companions are ALWAYS a favorite of mine.

I love how much Asian mythology and lore is woven into Lim's stories, and Her Radiant Curse doesn't disappoint in this area. She writes in a way that is easy to understand and fast paced, while still including plenty of detail to keep the reader engaged. The magic interwoven into her series is perfection.

This story added so much depth to the Cranes world, and I'm so happy that we have Channi's backstory! I won't lie, I had been a little disappointed in The Dragon's Promise after how much I enjoyed SCC, but this was probably my favorite out of all of them! I wouldn't mind another story after this one that tells the early years of Channi once she becomes Shiori's step-mother!

If you read and enjoyed Six Crimson Cranes, I highly suggest reading Her Radiant Curse. What a superb addition to this story and a wonderful story of the bond between sisters and how far they'll go to take care of the other.

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Love love love this one. I love the story and getting to read about different cultures is soo fascinating to me. Super excited for the next one.

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A YA story with lots of adventure. Channi was offered for sacrifice by her father instead of her baby sister, Vanna, to try and save her mother. The witch cursed Channi with a reptile face. Channi spends her life protecting Vanna, aware of the need to ‘save’ her even at the cost of her own life. An enjoyable tale that I recommend.

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Reading the prequel to Six Crimson Cranes felt like reading a familiar fairytale - there was a magical sense of wonder seeing the story unfold and I loved being reunited with characters and getting the chance to explore their backstory. This is a wonderful example of an origin story that fleshes out what readers know from the duology, adding on and expanding that backstory and adding something new while keeping a sense of familiarity that ties the readers to the characters' journey!

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With Her Radiant Curse, Lim continues to showcase what an enchanting storyteller she is. Channi's origin story unfolds like a fairytale. The descriptions, which have always been one of my favorite parts of her novels, are lush and vivid. While the plot moves quickly, the middle seemed to lull, dragging despite so much happening.

Knowing Channi's fate made me hyper-aware of everything happening to her and around her. While I liked it, I was also somewhat disappointed by my lack of emotional connection to the story. I knew there were moments I should be sad and wanted to be sad, yet many things that befell Channi were not successful in making me feel this way. Part of this was also due to the sisterly connection felt surface level as compared to Channi's relationship with Ukar, her best friend.

Her Radiant Curse is a good read. I liked it but my expectations likely affected my overall view of the novel. I still recommend this one. If you liked SCC, her Radiant Curse is a must-read. (3.5 stars rounded to 4 stars)

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This was such a lovely story. I really didn't know too much about the story before I began reading, so I did not have many expectations. I enjoyed getting the know the main character and reading about the prophecies and histories in this story. The ending was very unexpected, but it was a wonderful conclusion. Thank you so much to Netgalley for giving me the free e-book for review!

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