Title: Spin the Dawn
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Published: 30th July 2019
Series: The Blood of Stars 1/2
My Rating: ★★★★★
Disclaimer: I borrowed an ARC copy, all opinions are my own.
Thank you Ellie from @faerieontheshelf for letting me borrow her ARC copy of this book, it was so gooood!
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.
THIS BOOK WAS JUST AMAZING! It was one of my most anticipated to read and I just fell in love with the characters instantly – Maia is such a powerful and strong female character, Elizabeth Lim has written her so well! Edan is an enchanter who works for the Emperor so at the beginning half I wasn’t sure whether his character was going to be good or bad or maybe something in-between. I also thought that this was going to be one of those books where the main character whose poor and ends up working for the Emperor only for them to fall in love and get married.. THIS WAS NOTHING LIKE THAT TROPE AND I WAS ACTUALLY GLAD FOR IT!
Two of Maia’s brothers died in the war and her other brother came back from the war with broken legs but then there is summon to the palace for Maia’s father or brother to take up but Maia is the best tailor in the house but they don’t allow girls, her solution? Chop off her hair and pretend to be her brother. Thinking she’ll be the only person who was summoned she arrived at the palace to find out that it’s actually a contest to find the best tailor.
When Maia makes it through most of the challenges but she wasn’t prepared for what the final challenge would bring, the Emperor’s bride to be is attempting to prolong the engagement so she prepares a challenge that’s impossible to do, sewing three magical gowns, one from the laughter of the sun, one from the tears of the moon and lastly the blood of the stars.
I thought that this book was so well written and paced out perfectly, I devoured it in a day and once I finished I had to preorder it so I recommend that you also preorder it because you’ll all need to read this one! It’s marketed as Project Runway meets Mulan but there’s other references within the book as well that make it 10x more better and ugh it’s just absolutely astounding and I can’t wait for the companion novel to come out next year!