If you’ve been following our book content for a while, then you’ll know that Elizabeth Lim is a household name in the THP-verse. And now she’s back with her latest fantasy novel, Her Radiant Curse! This book is a prequel to the Six Crimson Cranes duology, but you can still read it as a stand-alone.
Her Radiant Curse is a beautifully written tale about Channari “Channi” Jin’aiti, a girl who’s been cursed with the face of a snake. She’s a strong fighter who will stop at nothing to protect her sister Vanna from anyone with ill intentions.
Elizabeth Lim delivers yet again with this phenomenal story. So here are three things that shine the brightest about Her Radiant Curse!
Content Warnings: graphic depictions of violence, death, murder, torture, gore, bullying, cannibalism (not graphic), death of a loved one, human sacrifice, self-harm, slavery (Read at your discretion!)
Summary: One sister must fall for the other to rise.
Channi was not born a monster. But when her own father offers her in sacrifice to the Demon Witch, she is forever changed. Cursed with a serpent’s face, Channi is the exact opposite of her beautiful sister, Vanna—the only person in the village who looks at Channi and doesn’t see a monster. The only person she loves and trusts.
Now seventeen, Vanna is to be married off in a vulgar contest that will enrich the coffers of the village leaders. Only Channi, who’s had to rely on her strength and cunning all these years, can defend her sister against the cruelest of the suitors. But in doing so, she becomes the target of his wrath—launching a grisly battle royale, a quest over land and sea, a romance between sworn enemies, and a choice that will strain Channi’s heart to its breaking point.
Weaving together elements of The Selection and Ember in the Ashes with classic tales like Beauty and the Beast, Helen of Troy, and Asian folklore, Elizabeth Lim is at the absolute top of her game in this thrilling yet heart-wrenching fantasy that explores the dark side of beauty and the deepest bonds of sisterhood.
You should’ve seen the pure shock on our faces while we read Her Radiant Curse. Each action sequence is so vivid and filled with incredible imagery. Channi’s strength is commendable, and we couldn’t keep our eyes off the page when she fought. And even though we weren’t expecting so much violence, it fits well with the plot. The battles weren’t only between her and a suitor or a demon. These were fights for her and her sister’s autonomy.
The Bond Between Sisters
Another thing we love about Her Radiant Curse is Channi and Vanna’s indestructible relationship. We can feel the love in everything Channi and Vanna do for each other. They give strength to one another. And they always choose to stay together in everything they do, despite their wildly different worldviews. Their conversations were heartbreaking to read at times, and we admit we teared up a lot. Channi and Vanna’s journey teaches us that no matter how hard you try to prevent something, life finds a way to twist it out of your control.
The Angsty Romance
We can appreciate how Elizabeth Lim focuses on familial love in Her Radiant Curse rather than romantic love. Nevertheless, we still found ourselves rooting for the forbidden romance between Channi and Hokzuh. He’s one of the only people who sees Channi as her true self. But then there’s so much angst after Channi figures out what Hokzuh has spent his whole life searching for. Let’s say we weren’t expecting the twist ending at all, and we’re feeling so torn.
Her Radiant Curse by Elizabeth Lim comes out August 29th. Here’s where you can preorder it.
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