Title: Spin the Dawn(The Blood of Stars #1)
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
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.
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.
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“All legends have a spark of truth. Sometimes more than a spark.”
Spin the Dawn is one of those wonderfully crafted tales that weaves self-discovery, love, and adventure into a beautifully written story. I won’t lie, I had high expectations going into this book and let me tell you, Spin the Dawn exceeded all those expectations. Elizabeth Lim has created a spectacular tale rich with culture and magic and strength, and Spin the Dawn has become one of my top reads of 2019.
Spin the Dawn is not just a journey; it’s about falling in love, believing in yourself, and following your dreams. This book is filled with heart and courage and spirit; Elizabeth Lim poured her soul into this story and it’s a magnificent story. The characters are well-developed and the world-building is breathtaking and illustrious.
Maia was born with courage in her blood and magic in her soul. Her spirit and her courageous heart spill out through the words in Spin the Dawn. She defies the impossibilities that deem to hold her back; she, ultimately, proves those who wish to see her fail wrong. She proves to herself that she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to.
Maia easily became a protagonist I loved. She’s true to herself and true to her word: she wants to win this competition without the help of her magical scissors and win solely based on her extraordinary skills. This doesn’t mean she never uses the scissors; on the contrary, they become very prominent further into the book; magic becomes prominent. And even better, Maia’s strength really takes charge in this story, especially when she must do the impossible. Her love for her family and her craft is what sets her apart from everyone else; she wants to prove to the world that a woman can be a tailor and just as talented as a man in the craft. Her spirit is really what made this story what it is: her will to fight and her unwavering belief in herself is what made me love this story so much. And, of course, Edan.
Edan is the emperor’s imperial enchanter, and quite a charmer, if I might add. His relationship with Maia is one of my favorites. Their feelings for each other don’t just grow overnight; it takes a whole journey but nonetheless, their beautiful love story blossoms into something magical. Edan is such a bashful love interest that I easily fell in love with his character. Elizabeth Lim brought us readers a beautiful relationship with chemistry and charm and because of how well-written this relationship is, I could not imagine Spin the Dawn being what it is without their love.
Elizabeth Lim crafts a story with beautiful prose, unending heart, and spectacular magic. Her writing brings to a life a story that will captivate the hearts of all readers. The Chinese culture mixed with shimmering magic and a blossoming romance truly make this story charming. Spin the Dawn is definitely a book I highly recommend and a beautiful fantasy you will not want to miss.
Overall rating: 5 stars
Check out all the amazing bloggers on the Spin the Dawn tour!
PRIZE: 1 copy of SPIN THE DAWN per blog hosting the book for the tour (US ONLY)
Stars: July 7, 2019
Ends: July 16, 2019
Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!