Book Title: Spin the Dawn
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Target Audience: Young Adult
Publication date: March 4th 2021 (first published July 9th 2019)
What it’s about
A tailor in disguise. Three legendary dresses. The competition of a lifetime.
‘An amazing creation!‘ Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping 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.
On the fringes of the Great Spice Road, 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. Then a royal messenger summons her ailing father to court, and Maia seizes her chance. Disguised as a man, she travels to the Summer Palace in her father’s place to compete for the emperor’s favour, and the coveted position of imperial tailor.
If Maia’s ruse is discovered, her life will be forfeit. But if she wins, she will achieve her greatest dream.
Yet nothing could have prepared her for the challenge ahead: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s bride-to-be. One from the laughter of the sun, one from the tears of the moon, and one from the blood of stars.
Accompanied by the mysterious court enchanter, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise, Maia’s journey will take her 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.
About the Author
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 colour turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She lives in New York City with her husband.
What I Thought
Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for providing me with an eArc of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book captivated me from the very beginning and kept my interest all the way through. Which lately has been a bit unusual as most books have had me fighting for my attention lately.
I’ve read several books set in China and this one stood out among the rest of them mainly because of Maia. I thought it was great that out of her parent’s children (Maia being the only girl) Maia was the strong one and I certainly got that from the story. I think Maia stood out the most because she wasn’t always the timid little girl but actually embraced what a man should be and took her brothers advice to heart. She paid attention to what she needed to do to not be rumbled. I think it helped that she had suffered losses so she knew the consequences of getting caught.
Edan (or whatever name he decides to call himself) was a surprise once I got into the middle of the book. I thought he was going to be a pompous prick throughout the book but was pleasantly surprised.
The cast of characters are easily discernible and each of their personalities shines through.
This book was well written and the world-building was phenomenal. I will definitely be reading more of this author
Have you read Spin the Dawn? Let me know in the comments