There are no spoilers in this review.
Spin the Dawn, Elizabeth Lim
Publishing on July 9th, 2019 by Alfred A. Knopf Books For Young Readers.
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.
☂️ TRIGGER WARNINGS: click here to see them.
violence, death, loss of loved ones, blood, imprisonment, threat of sexual assault, some homophobic and ableist language, sexism.
☂️ DIVERSITY: All Asian cast (Chinese).
- Spin the Dawn was one of my most anticipated reads of last year, obviously I went in with a lot of expectations, even more knowing so many of my friends loved it. I’m happy to say, I wasn’t disappointed.
- The first thing that took me into the story straight away was the writing. Spin the Dawn is written in such an exquisite, incredible way I couldn’t help but be swept away. Everything came alive under the author’s writing and I loved it.
- The characters won me over in a second, especially Maia, the main character. I loved her determination, I loved her growth, I loved how close and protective she was of her family, I loved her passion for her craft shining off the page, too and immediately rooted for her!
- Edan was a second close favorite to me. I just lived for his and Maia’s dialogue and banter and I loved the growth of their relationship and their chemistry, too.
- The world-building was really unique and wonderful, too. Inspired by Chinese mythology, it has magic, demons, ghosts, magical carpets and it was so lovely. Another thing I loved was how the author took us along on the main character’s quest and how vivid it all felt. The changes in the landscape, the magical quests with the sun, the moon and the stars… I felt like I was traveling along with Maia and Edan in this magical world and I loved it.
I HAD A HARD TIME WITH…
- I hate writing this section when I can’t find, exactly, what is the thing that prevented me from rating this book higher. I had a great time reading Spin the Dawn overall and maybe it’s because I found the first chapter of exposition a bit long and was really eager for the action to kick off and the competition to get started? I’m not sure.
If you’re looking for a wonderful fantasy read, I’d recommend Spin the Dawn. Its magical writing, fierce characters, endearing romance and stunning world-building are perfect if you’re looking to escape for a little while into a magical world. I can’t wait for the sequel!
Final rating: 4 drops!
Did you read Spin the Dawn? Do you want to?
Do you have any recommendations of fantasy reads for me? Let me know in comments!