Review: Spin The Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling

Pages: 400

Expected publication: July 9th 2019 by Knopf

Shelf it on Goodreads | Amazon |


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.


My Thoughts

What do you get when you mix in a bit of Mulan, a dash of Project Runway, and a sprig of the genie story from Aladdin? Spin The Dawn.

I wish I had the second book in the queue already because I’m broken after finishing this book and in dire need of the second installment, but I’ll forego wailing to go into my review of the book.

The world was magnificent, a feudal Asian inspired setting, where females have little say in anything except for taking care of families. Maia Tamarin has a dream of one day being the best tailor in the country and become Master Tailor for the Emperor, except she is a woman and therefore it will never be—or will it?

Maia is a wonderful character who does grow by leaps and bounds but also stays true to who she is, too, which is a selfless individual who puts those whom she loves first and foremost.

Edan is a mysterious character, as the Lord Enchanter, this is supposed to be the point of them. They live for hundreds of years, and his job is to protect the emperor and therefore the country, too. But Edan evolves just as much if not more than Maia, and his clever, troublesome personality endeared himself to me.

The overall plot was truly enthralling—I picked this book up half wondering how Mulan and Project Runway could possibly be woven together, but it was done and seamlessly so by Lim. Do yourself a favor and pick this wonderful read up!

What is your most anticipated read of 2019?

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