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Her Radiant Curse

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Member Reviews

4.5 stars

"Find the light that makes your lantern shine. Hold on to it, even when the dark surrounds you. Not even the strongest wind will blow out the flame."

My heart hurts. Just as it always does with tales as vivid as this.

Elizabeth Lim is a master weaver. Her stories are intricate and the portraits she paints of characters, settings and mythology are striking. Each time I open her books I'm prepared to be immersed in a world full of color, life and fantasy.

Knowing Her Radiant Curse was a somewhat standalone prequel to the Six Crimson Cranes duology only made me more intrigued. Like I mentioned in my review for the first book, I grew up with the Hans Christian Andersen tale The Wild Song and fell absolutely in love with the way Elizabeth Lim transformed the story and immersed the tale with myth, legend and folklore. I expected and received the exact same for Her Radiant Curse and I am equally as in love.

The characters in this book are so vivid that I want to re-read the duology just to see how they're transformed in someone else's story now that I've seen their own through their eyes. I want to dive right back into the land of Kiata and the fantastical experience portrayed within those pages. At it's core, I think these three tales are that of the powerful bond between siblings, and the unbreakable love that you have for them, that is so different than any other kind of love anyone can experience.

"All the riches and power in the world cannot buy someone who loves you truly. That’s the greatest treasure."

Her Radiant Curse was published on August 29, 2023. My greatest thanks to Random House Children's, Knopf Books for Young Readers, NetGalley and the author for the digital arc. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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I received this as an e-arc from NetGalley. (Thank you, NetGalley.)

For readers of the series, this is a prequel of Six Crimson Cranes, starring the villain of the series. We are reading her origin story. Lim's style is much the same, so if you enjoy these elements-- great: vivid world building, a protagonist feeling frustrated at home eventually going on a dangerous journey, a companion creature (always a creature with a sassy voice), and a love interest that comes and goes. It was certainly interesting to hear from a character who has always been reviled.

I liked this book just fine but knowing that things were following formula allowed me to put the book down for long stretches of time. If you're comforted by predictable (and I'm not knocking it), then this is safe. Some people enjoy structures they recognize because it reduces anxiety. This would work for that. I kept reading this book when I only had my phone on me and I was waiting somewhere. I was perfectly content to read it when I needed something to read.

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Elizabeth Lim does it again! I absolutely loved her Six Crimson Cranes and this is even better! This story is in the same realm but much earlier in the past. I loved the sisterly love and the sharing of Asian Folklore. I will definitely recommend!

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Stunning fantasy. As a young child, Channi is cursed with the face of a snake by the Demon Witch. The curse can only be broken by the sacrifice of of her beautiful younger sister, Vanna, by her seventeenth birthday. But the bonds of sisterhood are stronger than any curse. Channi loves Vanna, the only one who truly sees her, and she will do anything to keep her sister safe. Thus begins Her Radiant Curse.

I absolutely adored this story. The world is beautiful. I love the combination of mythologies, spinning together a unique and engaging story. At its heart, this is about the bonds of sisterhood, and I felt so connected to the relationship between Channi and Vanna. It's great to watch both sisters come into their strengths. I also loved Ukar, who adds some light into the darker moments. The romance was a nice side element, though so much less important than the sisterly bond. I could not put this one down, and definitely cried like a baby at the ending. Though this is a prequel to the Six Crimson Cranes duology, (which I have not read yet) I had no trouble falling into the story. Would 100% recommend.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

thank you SO MUCH to penguin teen/knopf books for young readers and netgalley for this amazing book in return for my honest review!

everyone, elizabeth lim has DONE IT AGAIN 🫡 this woman… y’all this woman does not miss! i finally finished this book and it took me a while bc ya girl was goin thru it 😔🤘🏼but it was SO worth reading.

i will admit, i feel the need to now reread the six crimson cranes duology so i can refresh my memory on what happens after this book ends. i remember loving it so much so i might just do that 🫣 after all, i have nothing to lose.

this book was, i kid you not, the perfect prequel to the SCC duology. we get to learn all about raikama, or channari as we know her. we learn why she is the way she is and what she has been through, which since SCC i’ve been so curious about. i’m in love with her character and her drive to protect her sister. it would’ve been so easy for her to resent vanna for the fact that her father clearly preferred her but she so fiercely protected and loved her that you couldn’t help but feel attached to her journey.

i loved channi’s relationship with those around her, like hokzuh. she goes from hating him, to reluctantly accepting him as an ally, to calling him a friend and maybe a bit more. we also see that, despite everything she’s been through, she’s still an ultimately sweet and kind person to those who deserve it. we eventually see that she loves kids, especially young ones, because if they grow up with her they don’t judge her for her appearance.

one of the lines that stuck with me was one directed at her father, and it was “never will i apologize for being the monster they made me” and just UGH ITS SO GOOD. it just hits different. thinking about it now, the whole last fifteen percent or so was just pure pain. i was crying so hard. i tried not to, and at first it was just a tear or two but eventually i was ugly crying so hard my service dog came to check to make sure i was okay. but i’m also a huge crybaby so take that as you will.

all in all, fantastic book, i loved it. now to go reread everything elizabeth lim has ever written 🫡

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I didn't realize this was a prequel to Six Crimson Cranes. Because of this, I wasn't prepared for that ending. I disagree that this is a standalone. I think those who've read Six Crimson Cranes will have a better idea of what they're getting into and a better appreciation of the references.

Even if that were not the case though, this book would not have been for me. It took 1/3 of the book to get through the inciting incident. Key facts changed from page to page. It was hard to picture what the characters looked like or were doing. Sometimes characters would seem to teleport or be doing two things at once.

But the main issue I took with this story? It seems to push the message that self-mutilation can set a person free. And that's a dangerous message to give people.

Thank you to Random House Children's and NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

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Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!

4.5/5 stars

I love Elizabeth Lim's writing - her worlds are beautiful, her characters complex, and her plots captivating. Her writing is easy to fall into, making for fast reads but great quality. The Six Crimson Cranes duology was one of my favorite reads of 2022 and I was so thrilled to love Her Radiant Curse just as much!

This story fit so perfectly into the world - I loved making the connections from the original duology and gaining a new depth of understanding into Channi and her story; why she was the way she was and why things ended up how they did. It just....the book would be wonderful and enjoyable on its own I have no doubt, but it added such beauty to it having the other plot to compare.

This was such a great installment to the world and it gave a real sense of closure and satisfaction. I highly recommend to everyone, though definitely recommend reading the Six Crimson Cranes duology first!

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I love this series SO MUCH. I was so happy to see it continue and to get the step mother's backstory. However, knowing how it all ends has made it so much harder so finish. The writing is so lovely but the story is so sad and slow at the beginning its been very hard to focus and finish.

I think if they're read in story line order and not publish order it'll be better for all.

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Channi was cursed as a child for her father's actions. He tried to sacrifice her in order to save his wife after the birth of a shining baby girl, but the being she was sacrificed to wanted the baby, not Channi. So she's grown up with the face of a snake and only snakes as her friends while her dad abuses her and keeps her hidden from those who have started to worship her younger sister. Channi should at least resent Vanna, but she loves her sister with all her heart and would do anything to help her.
I get that the inner glow in Vanna makes everyone fall in love with her, but she's really not much of a character and I never got much of a sense of her character. All she's ever described as or acts on is 'good' and that's honestly boring.
Everything that happens, good and bad, happens because Channi is willing to sacrifice it all for Vanna. Even the very interesting semi-antagonist never gets top billing because it's all about the shining sister with not much of a personality.
So it's an interesting read and there were moments that I was glued to the page, but I really wish that Lim had given the linchpin on whom the entire plot depends more of a personality than just being magically shining and good. Mainly because I really, really liked Channi and felt like she deserved someone better to be inspired by.

A very excited thanks to NetGalley and Knopf Books for Young Readers for the excellent read!

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thank you to netgalley for the advanced reading copy. I really enjoyed this and will be getting copies for my shop.

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I loved being back in this world!! The beginning and ending both were fast paced and exciting, though the middle did lag a little for me. I loved the little snake familiar and getting to see this prequel story of the two sisters!!! Definitely recommend to anyone that enjoyed the original duology. It makes me want to go back and reread now that I know the origins.

You *can* read this as the first book, but it might spoil the perception of a certain main character & some of the big reveal in the original duology.

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"I was not born a monster."

Channari, alslo known as Channi, was very young when her sister was born with a light in her chest. Unfortunately, her mother lost a lot of blood at her sister, Vanna's birth. Her father then tried to save her mother by sacrificing a child. Vanna's radiance was so powerful that he chose Channi to offer her to Angma, the Demon Witch, who had the image of a tiger. He ran into the jungle and offered his firstborn daugghter instead of the health of his wife to Angma to hopefully save her. But before the tiger arrived, the serpent king poisoned Channi's blood, so she became useless to the Demon, for that Angma cursed the moon-faced girl to never look at her face without feeling pain.

Channi became a monster and the only way she could undo it, was to bring Vanna before Angma on her seventeenth birthday, If not, she would come for them both.

“One sister must fall for the other to rise,”

Channi has the ability to talk to snakes now that the poison is in her blood; only snakes are immune to her poison, as she is to theirs. The snakes call her “Lady Green Snake,” helped raise her while growing up in the forest, and taught her their wisdom, lore, and ways. Channi considers them brothers and sisters and her loyal and closest friend is Ukar.

With green-brown scales on Channari's face, she would always hide in the shadows and behind a mask till no one saw her cursed face, which is more like a snake than a human. Men shriek in terror in her presence and her sister Vanna is the only one who fell in love with her. Because of Vanna's love, Channi swore never to let the Demon Witch take her.

Her Radiant Curse is an individual prequel of Six Crimson Cranes. An Asian fantasy full of red eyes demons, witches, dragon stories, dragon's pearl, and Hokzuh a Dragon Prince whose destiny is tied with the Serpent Queen!

It's a wonderful book filled with magic, despise, revenge, and love that will give you all the feels and the understanding behind Lim's Six Crimson Cranes. While I personally felt like the book took a little bit for me to get into, Once I was at the third chapter, I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended for those who love magic, curses, witches, and all things dragons! 4 out of 5 stars.

Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton via Netgalley for giving me a chance to read Her Radiant Curse by Elizabeth Lim, I have given my honest review.

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HER RADIANT CURSE is a YA fantasy book about a girl named Channi, who was cursed with the face of a serpent when she was a child and lives in the shadow of her beautiful younger sister. When her sister is to be married, Channi wants nothing more than to defend her sister from the evils of men as well as monsters. This is a prequel to SIX CRIMSON CRANES. While this book does read like a standalone, it does spoil a reveal that happens in SIX CRIMSON CRANES, so I definitely recommend reading that one first! I also think reading this second makes some of the character development within the book much more powerful. If you read SIX CRIMSON CRANES first, you also know roughly how this one will end, but thanks to Lim’s masterful writing, the end is still incredibly impactful.

Something that I love about HER RADIANT CURSE is how Lim was able to balance beauty and whimsy with darker topics, like a mature fairy tale. This made the writing style and plot completely engrossing without feeling stressful.

My favorite part of this book was the love between the sisters. I liked how the differences between them did not lead to resentment but rather the desire for them to protect each other from the different types of dangers that each would face. It made Channi so easy to root for because you could see how kind her heart was in spite of the way she was treated.

I am looking forward to reading more of Lim's books! Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy!

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I actually requested this book on NetGalley without knowing that it’s a prequel in the “Six Crimson Cranes” series which sadly affected my experience, and not in a positive way.

If I had known this fact prior to reading Her Radiant Curse, I probably would have liked it more. The book can definitely be read as a standalone but it’s much more interesting when you connect the dots.

I loved reading about the relationship between the two sisters, Channari and Vanna, and it was the highlight of the book for me.

The plot wasn’t as immersive as I wanted it to be and it bore me at times. I had to force myself to get through it honestly.

Again, I will only recommend reading this after Six Crimson Cranes because otherwise it’s not really worth the time.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children's for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

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3.75 stars
I have actually enjoyed this book especially with the morally grey characters as well as the adventure and how action packed this book was. I was honestly not expecting how action packed this book would be, but this was such a wonderful surprise because I love action in books! I need to go and read her other books because I know this will be a great one!

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𝗛𝗲𝗿 𝗥𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗖𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲—This is a story about two sisters, Channi and Vanna. One is golden one and the other is monster.

“𝑭𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒍𝒂𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒏 𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒆. 𝑯𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒊𝒕, 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒏 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒅𝒂𝒓𝒌 𝒔𝒖𝒓𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖. 𝑵𝒐𝒕 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒓𝒐𝒏𝒈𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒘𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒍𝒐𝒘 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒍𝒂𝒎𝒆.”—chapter 31

𝗔 𝗽𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿'𝘀 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲.
It was a captivating prequel that I' ve ever read. I really enjoyed reading Channi and Vanna's story.

5 reasons why you should read 𝗛𝗲𝗿 𝗥𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗖𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲:
1. If you're looking morally grey characters in story, this one for you.
2. Such an adventurous and action-packed story.
3. A perfect standalone that enchanting you 'till the last page.
4. Adorable characters and their interactions are so entertaining.
5. I have mix feelings after reading the book. Maybe I'll re-read Six Crimson Cranes duology.

If you're looking forward for sister's bonding and magical story, you can try to read 𝗛𝗲𝗿 𝗥𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗖𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲.

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I have a deep connection with the characters, but I don't see any of Elizabeth Lim's glorious writing in this book. 3 stars for the plot.

I already bought the physical book and would review it later after I reread this thoroughly.

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I snuck in just in time to get an ARC of this, just days before it was published. I was beyond ecstatic, and though it meant reading this before I got a chance to read Dragon's Promise, I was so glad that I did.

Chanari clearly had secrets and a past before Six Crimson Cranes, and while some were revealed, so many others were left hidden. I'm so glad we were able to see her story, and now there are some characters I'm eager to keep an eye out for when I get back to Dragon's Promise. After I read Crimson Cranes again, of course!

Like I've come to expect from this series and Elizabeth Lim's writing, the mythology and world were above par. The blessings and unexpected results that having part of a dragon's pearl can bring to your life. The bond between siblings. All were handled so very well, and reading this was like a reward each time I got to pick it up again.

When Channi's mother lies dying after the birth of her sister, her father is given an impossible choice. To give up the new baby, the one with the radiant light spilling from her chest, and his wife will live. Instead, her father takes Channi to be sacrificed. But she is not the one Angma wants. Channari's life is saved when the snake god bites her, leaving her blood forever poisoned, but keeping Angma from eating her. Angered, Angma curses her face to represent the snake, and promises that she will return on Vanna's 18th birthday.

Channi has spent her whole life being hated and outcast. No one, not even her family, remembers that she wasn't born cursed. That she was once a regular girl. Not even Vanna, her only friend and the one that Channi would die for. She'll do anything to keep her sister safe, and she's remained ever vigilant for Angma's return.

Things are not as simple as Channi expected them to be. Despite managing to ensure that her sister is bought by a suitor who might one day grow to love her, Channi is soon separated. Now she must not only learn Angma's current identity, but also keep others who might do Vanna harm from finding her, and travel across foreign lands to find her.

Beautifully written, Elizabeth Lim is definitely one of my must-read authors!

Thank you to the publishers through NetGalley for the ARC!

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Anything by Elizabeth Lim is an instant read for me. Her Radiant Curse was stunning! From the world building to each and every character the incredible attention to detail was classic Lim and so indulgent.

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Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an arc of this title in exchange for this honest review.

This book was absolutely incredible. Elizabeth Lim has such a talent for creation beautiful fantasy books that feel like the perfect mix of a ghibli movie and a fairytale. What aa delight to read, truly.

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