Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
4 out of 5 stars
“Seize the wind. Don’t become the kite that never flies.”
Goodreads Description: 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.
I received an ARC of Spin the Dawn from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It was released on July 9th.
When I seen that Spin the Dawn was a mix between Project Runaway and Mulan, I knew I needed to read it as soon as possible! I had so much fun reading Spin the Dawn. There are basically two different parts to this story, which I really liked. You have the competition and then the journey that Maia goes on to get the materials to make the dresses. I really enjoyed both parts of the story, but felt like the actual second part was overall the best. Maia gets to go on a crazy adventure and see different parts of the world that she never has before. There are quite a few obstacles along the way, but it made the story interesting and on the edge of my seat at times. I really enjoyed the world building and the descriptions of the different places that Maia had to travel; it made it really easy to envision them.
I loved Maia’s character so much. At the start she seemed a bit unsure of things, but continued to grow throughout the story as she experienced and learned more of the world. I really liked how much she loves her family and what she’s willing to go through for them. Edan was a fun character and I liked the relationship development between him and Maia. It did seem odd and a bit insta-love at times though. There are some characters that I hope we learn more about in the sequel, like the Emperor and Lady Sarnai. Even more about Edan would be great as well. I feel like not enough was written about them or what they went through in the past leading up to the events in this book. I think a lot of the focus was on Maia and her development, so I am hoping the sequel tells more about other key characters in the story.
Overall, I really enjoyed Spin the Dawn. I loved the magic, the adventure, and I had a lot of fun reading it. The ending was perfect and has left me wanting more!
I hope you have a great day!