The Ultimate Elizabeth Lim Reading List

If there’s one YA fantasy author whose work you’ll want to speed right through, it’s Elizabeth Lim. Her bestselling young adult fantasy novels—Spin the Dawn, Unravel the Dusk, and Six Crimson Cranes—combine all your favorite fantasy elements (including forbidden romance, epic quests, magic, enchantment, and curses galore) with fresh storytelling, lyrical writing, and unforgettable characters. The themes of both familial and romantic love, fighting and reaching for what you want, independence, and overcoming the odds to achieve the impossible run through all of Elizabeth’s YA fantasy novels.

The Blood of Stars duology is steeped in Chinese culture and features a main character willing to risk everything for the ones she loves—even when the stakes are higher than ever and her own body, mind, and magic are turning against her. Six Crimson Cranes, which is inspired by East Asian folklore as well as Western fairy tales, features a cursed princess and explores what one girl will do to save her kingdom when everything is taken from her, including her voice.

Elizabeth Lim has been a storyteller since age ten and is a professional film and video game composer. In addition to graduating from Harvard College and the Juilliard School and having a doctorate in music composition, she’s the acclaimed and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of some of your sure-to-be favorite fantasy young adult books. Elizabeth grew up in the Bay Area in Northern California and in Tokyo, Japan, and now lives in New York City with her family.

Read more about your favorite Elizabeth Lim YA books below, but know that whichever one you pick to start, you’re in for a treat. As you work your way through our ultimate Elizabeth Lim reading list on your way to becoming her number one fan, you can visit Elizabeth online at elizabethlim.com, on TikTok at @elizabethlimwriter, or on Instagram at @elimpix.

Did you enjoy this reading list of Elizabeth Lim YA books? Check out other book nerd reading lists here, and get social with us at @getunderlined.

Six Crimson Cranes

Six Crimson Cranes

By Elizabeth Lim

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A princess in exile, a shapeshifting dragon, six enchanted cranes, and an unspeakable curse… Drawing from fairy tales and East Asian folklore, this original fantasy from the author of Spin the Dawn is perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone.

Shiori’anma, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted. But it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

A sorceress in her own right, Raikama banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes. She warns Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and uncovers a dark conspiracy to seize the throne. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in a paper bird, a mercurial dragon, and the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to forswear–no matter what the cost.

Weaving together elements of The Wild Swans, Cinderella, the legend of Chang E, and the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, Elizabeth Lim has crafted a fantasy like no other, and one that will stay with readers long after they’ve turned the last page.

Get this and other page-turning Elizabeth Lim YA books at getunderlined.com.

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Spin the Dawn

Spin the Dawn

By Elizabeth Lim

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping fantasy about a teenage girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars. And don’t miss Elizabeth Lim’s new novel, the instant New York Times bestseller, Six Crimson Cranes!

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia makes the ultimate sacrifice and poses as a boy to take his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors in a cutthroat competition for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the unthinkable final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the sun, the moon, and the stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this fantasy novel is not to be missed. Get this and other page-turning Elizabeth Lim YA books at getunderlined.com.

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Unravel the Dusk

Unravel the Dusk

By Elizabeth Lim

From the New York Times bestselling author of Six Crimson Cranes comes a fantasy filled with courtly intrigue, deceitful demons, and breathtaking gowns … the stakes are higher than ever in this thrilling sequel to Spin the Dawn!

Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon, and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. Edan, the boy she loves, is gone–perhaps forever–and no sooner does she set foot in the Autumn Palace than she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace. When the emperor’s rivals learn of her deception, there is hell to pay, but the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within.

Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red; losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, and in the meantime she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.

Get this and other page-turning Elizabeth Lim YA books at getunderlined.com.

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