Monday, July 26, 2021

My Thoughts: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Spin the Dawn
(The Blood of Stars #1)
by Elizabeth Lim

Publication Date: July 9th 2019
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 392
ISBN: 9780525646990
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Retelling
Source: Netgalley Review Copy / Own

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Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young 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.

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 poses as a boy and takes 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 vying 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 final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor's reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of 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 young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim is one of those books that I totally meant to get to when it first came out, but waited way too long to start, then kicked myself for not having started it sooner. I was determined to finally read this series this year and I’m SO glad I did! (But yes, still kicking myself.)

Spin the Dawn was described as Project Runway meets Mulan, and it was that Mulan description that completely drew me in. Mulan was one of my most favorite Disney movies growing up and so of course I wanted to read a book that was inspired by it!

The storyline for this book was very interesting! I could definitely tell which parts were Mulan inspired, and I loved it. I also love that there’s magic in the story as well! That definitely wasn’t expected at all. I also really loved so many of the characters in the book as well! Maia is definitely a favorite of mine and I loved her determination and growth over the length of the book. I also really, really loved Edan as well. Together, they are a great duo!

I also want to add that I have devoured the second book in this duology before writing this review, and it was perfection. It was a great story, with a great ending, and while I’m sad to see it all come to an end, I’m so thrilled to finally read the series. I can’t wait to read more of Elizabeth’s book soon!

Overall; I really enjoyed Spin the Dawn, (and Unravel the Dusk), SO much more than I expected to! I will be kicking myself for a while now for not reading it sooner, and I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more of Elizabeth’s books in the future! I have her newest book, Six Crimson Cranes, on my TBR to start soon, and now I’m even more excited to do so. If you haven’t checked these books out, I definitely recommend them!

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