Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
Synopsis: 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.
Publication Date: July 9th, 2019
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Series: The Blood of Stars #1
I’m pretty sure if I say, ya’ll I loved this book, I feel like someone is going to slap me. but seriously, this book is so damn good that I’m fawning over both the preorder incentive, and how pretty this cover is. They’re both amazing, and I could literally fawn over them anytime, because this book is so damn good.
This book has been on my radar ever since I heard it has Mulan vibes along with other things. Mulan is one my favorite Disney movie ever, and possibly the one remake movie I want to see like now (Disney, hurry up and put it out on DVD, I can’t wait till like September of 2020 to watch it).
Normally, hype books do not work with me very well especially this year. I’m seriously still disappointed in The Wicked King and Red, White & Royal Blue. I feel like this is the only rare occurrences where I loved a hyped book so much that I am in love with it.
This book is so freaking wonderful that I have a complaint to Ms. Lim. Why is this book so amazing, and where can I get an ARC of the next book? Because I need the next book like now. I will sell my soul to the devil, or maybe to her, as long as I get an ARC of this book.
Crap, I just realized how hard this review is, unless you want to me to say how amazing this book is every three sentences.
I really loved the characters so much. They were so magical, and um amazing???? I fell in love with them especially with how unique they are. I’m so conflicted which character is my favorite, Maia or Lady Sarnai?
Maia: I adored Maia. She was so fierce, and literally reminded me of Mulan quite a bit. I loved that she wanted to protect her family, yet, she wanted to become the best Tailor. It was so brilliantly done that I quite loved, especially since women aren’t allowed to become a tailor-basically become housewives.
Lady Sarnai: Lady Sarnai was quite interesting. I really loved her despite her being rude, cold condensing attitude. I don’t know, I see something in her that I really adore, and I really hope I get to see her more in the next book. Actually how about we get a whole book about her? I’d be down for that.
Edan: I really adored Edan. He’s so precious and such a cinnamon roll. I seriously adore him, and now I really want to find a guy like him, and he’d be a boyfriend material.
I really adored Lim’s writing. Her writing was so lush and magical, it really made me feel like I was there.
besides I’m a freak and I don’t feel like being a housewife thank you very much. The world was absolutely gorgeous, and I loved the way Lim combined Chinese Mythology into this book.
I did find the pacing to be quite slow, but at the same time I just did not care. I was so immersed into the book, that I just loved every second of it. It was really good, and I’m fawning over it.
I didn’t really feel the romance in this book. It kinda felt like both Maia and Edan lacked chemistry. Their relationship was very under-developed and they felt like they were more like friends. Maybe, it’s the way I function with being demisexual, or that I can’t find anyone attractive which is rare when I do. It’s just hard for me with romance in books. I either love them, or I can’t get behind it or just feel very confused very often.
I kinda don’t know how to think about the ending. I’m kinda iffy about it, because it’s just an odd thing to do. It’s confusing, but it also set up high stakes for the next book.
This book is incredibly good. The characters were all very interesting people, and have a lot going for them in the next book. The plot was interesting, and the writing was absolutely gorgeous. The romance, however, and the pacing was off, but it was absolutely perfect.
TW: violence, death (of loved ones), blood, imprisonment, ableism