Book: Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars 1) by Elizabeth Lim
Release Date: July 9th 2019
Tags: Fantasy | Young Adult | Magic | Family | Chinese Inspired
Trigger/Content Warnings: Attempted Sexual Assault | Death of Family
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.
Well this was quite a charming read as a whole. Spin the Dawn was advertised as a Mulan meets Project Runway, and that initially made me nervous. Somehow books where the female mc dresses up as a boy or is about fashion never ends up well for me but this book was so much more.
The book starts us off with a sort of prologue to the story where Maia hints at various things and it does so well in giving off a feel and make you curious about the story as a whole. From there on Maia completely sold me. Maia is such a great character who has been used to being in the role of the obedient daughter but does little things like taking over her fathers business as a tailor.
When it is needed she takes her fathers place to go to the palace to try to become the royal tailor. Her family, her brother and father, know and willingly let her go. They have faith in her. I love their family bonds. Despite not being present for most of the book I feel as if they were with her throughout it in spirit. That is something I love in books.
Because I loved Maia so much it was so easy to read through the entire book, regardless of what happens to her. But the whole story was of interest. The tailoring contest, the political undercurrents, the bits of religion and culture we get in the second part of the story.
All in all I truly enjoyed reading this book and I can’t wait to get to the next book.