This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using that link, a small commission is made from the sale. There are no additional costs to you. Thank you for your support!Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
The Blood of Stars #1
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on July 9, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: ARC, eBook
The author/publisher provided a free copy of the book for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a review copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore do not affect the opinion or content of the review.
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.
You’d think I would learn from my mistake of “I’m going to do everything in the span of 24 hours” after The Chosen. But nope! I did it again with Spin the Dawn.
Seriously. Why do I this to myself?
Okay, okay, to be fair, I’m back in my wrist brace part-time. Anyways.
Spin the Dawn is a beautifully written first novel in a series.
Elizabeth Lim sucked me in from the first page of her debut novel, Reflection, and it’s no surprise she does it again with Spin the Dawn. I found myself enchanted and woven into the threads of Maia’s story as she aspires to become the greatest tailor in the land. What can be better than being the imperial tailor?
Full of magic and romance that will sweep you away.
I am absolutely in love with Spin the Dawn — it’s just that amazing. The novel is the first in The Blood of Stars series, where Maia takes her father’s place posing as a boy due to her father struggling. But getting the position isn’t as easy as it seems — while she has phenomenal talent, there are others who vie for the position as well. Unlike Maia, they’re not hiding a secret that they are a girl posing as a boy and who made a name for themselves before entering the palace.
Strong, Intriguing Characters
Actually, Maia is more a Cinnamon™ and so is Edan.
Maia is a strong and well-developed character who has gone through so much; I just want to hug her. I’m really scared with what will possibly happen to her in the sequel because what the actual hell. Someone hold my precious threads. And I loved her developing relationship with Edan throughout the second part of the book, particularly their interactions! I just wish I got the chance to know Edan a little more; he’s just tall, dark and mysteriously broody right now. I don’t doubt Elizabeth Lim will give us more insight in the sequel, though.
But mainly, I desperately want to know more about Lady Sarnai, the emperor’s bride-to-be. She probably prefers to be tied into a nasty knot, but she is by far the most intriguing character aside from Edan. I’m hoping she will make more appearances in the second book.
Spin the Dawn is a gorgeous story perfect for readers looking for a romantic fantasy taking you on an unforgettable journey.
About Elizabeth Lim
Elizabeth Lim grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English.
Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel — for kicks, at first, then things became serious — and she hasn’t looked back since.
Elizabeth loves classic film scores, books with a good romance, food (she currently has a soft spot for arepas and Ethiopian food), the color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She lives in New York City with her husband.