Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Spin The Dawn by Elizabeth Lim! I loved this book, so I’m so happy to be a part of this tour being hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club. I’ll be sharing my review and favorite quotes.
Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1)
by Elizabeth Lim
Release Date: July 9th 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
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.
I loved Spin the Dawn way more than I thought I would.
Maia was happy at home with her family. She had a mother, father, and three brothers. They were tailors and Maia excelled at it. After her mom died, Maia took on the responsibility of taking care of the men. But there was a war going on and two of her brothers were lost. The youngest came home with broken legs and it was possible he couldn’t walk again. Her father was depressed and couldn’t work. So Maia took on all the shop’s responsibilities. But they were still struggling to eat. The local baker’s son wanted to marry her, but he was horrible.
One day, a mom came asking for her father. Emperor Khanujin needed a new imperial tailor. He ordered that either her father or brother arrive, so matter what. Maia had to make a decision that was very risky. She cut her hair, bound her chest, and put on boys clothes. She pretended to be a boy so that her family could survive. When she arrived, she found out that she wasn’t picked as the imperial tailor. There was to be a competition to decide who was the best. She was up against a lot of older, master tailors. Before leaving, her father gave her a pair of scissors that were her grandmothers. He said they were special and she would know when to use them. The men harassed Maia often, still believing she was a young boy. When her first creation was ruined, she was in her room and saw her scissors glowing. Maia never believed in magic. But they were calling to her. The scissors were enchanted and helped her create whatever she wanted. She had to be careful. Lady Sarnai thought magic was evil. She was to marry Emperor Khanujin as a way to keep the peace and not have war again. Lady Sarnai is unhappy and makes the challenges harder and harder.
A young man started noticing Maia. She found out that he was the Emperor’s enchanter. He was rumored to be hundreds of years old, but looked close to Maia’s age. He used magic and saw through her, but decided to keep her secret. He enjoyed their banter and she intrigued him. At some point, Edan, the enchanter, was sent with Maia to complete a quest that was thought impossible. It was the only way to keep her life and the lives of her father and brother. Maia had no choice, but Edan snuck out to help her.
During this time, they face great challenges, but also become close. Edan starts telling Maia his secrets and he falls in love for the first time. There were dangers everywhere, including a price on Edan’s head. Maia decided that in the end, she would do anything to save Edan, even if it means cursing herself.
The pacing was great and I flew through this book. I loved Maia and Edan’s banter and how they slowly fell in love. I cannot wait to see what happens in book two.
Warnings for whipping, forced marriage, sexist comments (women aren’t allowed to hold positions like imperial tailor), death of soldiers from war, and things like demons and ghosts. Also, what is close to slavery.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy for review. I gave this book 5 stars.
Some of my Favorite Quotes:
But I would give up the sun and moon and stars if it meant saving him. Him-the boy with no name and yet a thousand names.
My whole life, I’d been told what I couldn’t do because I was a girl. Well, this was my chance to find out. The only thing I could do was take it.
Even the sun seemed to fall differently upon him, so that he glowed like a god from the heavens.
“I’ve found that most men say one things but mean another.” She peered at me.
“Seize the wind,” I whispered. “Don’t become the kite that never flies.”
“Magic is a wild, untamed energy that exists all around us,” Edan explained, “and certain people are more sensitive to it than others.”
I shivered from the intimacy of his touch. My heart-my rebellious heart-began to race.
Sometimes finding the way is tricky, I told myself, but you always do. As long as you don’t give up.
We melted into each other until dawn slid into dusk, and the sun paled into the moon, and the stars, once lost, became found again.
*These quotes were taken from an arc and may change before final publication.*
Elizabeth Lim grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English.
Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel — for kicks, at first, then things became serious — and she hasn’t looked back since.
Elizabeth loves classic film scores, books with a good romance, food (she currently has a soft spot for arepas and Ethiopian food), the color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She lives in New York City with her husband.
Winner will receive one copy of Spin the Dawn (each blog on tour is giving away one copy). There are quite a few mandatory requirements on the rafflecopter. US only.
Follow The Tour: