[Review] Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

*I received a copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review*

Title: Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1)
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 9, 2019

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.

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Okay, so I might be completely obsessed with this book! It didn’t dawn on me until I finished, but this is actually a fairytale retelling with a Chinese mythology twist. I’m a sucker for a solid quest story, especially when it’s done so well. The writing was stunning as well and the descriptions of everything were so intricate. I loved getting to see the world through Maia’s eyes because she described everything as a tailor would.

While this book begins with a fierce competition, Maia ends up with the impossible task of creating dresses from the sun, moon, and stars. She just loves living dangerously! She ends up on a journey to get what she needs with Edan, the emperor’s mysterious High Enchanter. The enchanter aspect of the book was interesting because there were slight similarities to a djinn or genie, which was definitely interesting. I’m also completely hooked on Edan and craving more of him!

I really loved the journey aspect of this book! It was amazing to see Maia’s strength and her refusal for help. There’s a strong family theme in this book as well and everything Maia does is to help them survive. This book also deals with the oppression of women and I was rooting for Maia to show all those men up with her tailoring. She’s all “screw you patriarchy, I don’t need a man to be successful” and I respected her hard.

If you love a fantasy with magic, forbidden romance, myth, demons, ghosts, and sacrifice then you need to read this one ASAP! This story had more than a few twists and I don’t know if this is a trilogy or duology but I need more!

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