I’m completely stoked to be here to flail about Spin the Dawn today!
This is part of the blog tour (hosted by MTMC Tours & PRH International) and there’s an epic giveaway running on my instagram too…yes, open INT!
Now I’ll be honest 😌 this book gave me utterly magical feels and I am a little star-struck right now. It mixed this whimsical fairy-tale quality in with a quest-like adventure — and also gave me one of my new favourite OTPs of 2019. Not to mention the ending has left me gasping like a dried out minnow on the floor. I JUST!!!!! I thought it was a standalone and now I need more and I do not have more help meeeeee.
*pulls self together*
*:·ﾟ✧ can we talk about the magic first *:·ﾟ✧
Because it was astoundingly and gorgeously done!
Maia is disguising herself as her brother to win a position as the Imperial Tailor (to save her very poor family). Eventually she’s given the impossible task of sewing three dresses from: (1) the laughter of the sun (2) the tears of the moon, and (3) the blood of the stars. The elements of whimsy and impossibility just ignited my heart. I loved it. It meshed fairy tales with good ol’ fantasy quests (cue a road trip and being chased etc). It managed to mix a satisfying amount of world building without slowing down the story and it just, overall, felt like an easy to read epic. (Accessible for people like meeeee with only two brain cells to rub together at the moment. I am. tired.) Maia also wields magic scissors, which are a huge part of the story, and I loved how she grew to trust magic.
*:·ﾟ✧ the characters won my heart in an instant *:·ﾟ✧
// Maia: so loving, passionate and forthright. Basically a true Gryffindor who can’t lie, loves her family and will fling herself into spontaneous danger to protec. Her hot temper streak was A+ too.
// Edan: aka the Imperial Enchanter who becomes quite keen on Maia as soon as he meets her because he can tell she’s disguising herself as a boy. Their banter goes from distrustful side-eyes to homey bickering and GAH I LOVE THEM. This is my favourite trope!! Enemies-to-lovers ajfkdlsad. I can’t even say how much I cracked up at their arguments. Edan is somehow both sinister and all powerful…and also this ridiculous puffball of sparkly magic who can’t shut up. (He gave me Darkling vibes; but like a nice Darkling.) Their chemistry was off the charts. 😌
A Basic Summary (Tumblrised) of them:
Maia: you are SO ARROGANT.
Edan: Oh yeah?????
Maia: YES I HATE IT NOW KISS ME U ARROGANT JERK
Edan: I can save you–
Maia: [snaps her magic scissors in his face] back off matey i’ll save myself and you too probably
Edan: *flirts with Maia every time he breathes*
Maia: so I have feelings for you–
Edan: 😳unforeseen consequence😳
Edan: 😳must flee before returns feelings😳
*:·ﾟ✧ the story it told *:·ﾟ✧
Not only where the characters stealing my affections, I really enjoyed the plot line too! It held a lot of comfy tropes I like too; like how the tailors had to have trials to win their position + the bit of Mulan vibes going with Maia disguising as her brother + the desert adventure/trek to find ingredients for the magic dresses. It felt like it had a distinct Part 1 (in the castle) and Part 2 (on the adventure). I preferred the castle plot BUT the character development of the adventure was the besssst.
The ending, however. Not. Fair. It brought out the feels like nothing else and didn’t hold back the punches W O W.
*:·ﾟ✧ overall I’m not sure why you’re still here and not off reading this book *:·ﾟ✧
It definitely smashed my expectations and gave me more and more. It was magical and whimsical, but also layered with humorous banter and loving character arcs. I completely and utterly adore Maia and Edan and want MORE BOOKS about them. They are magical disaster lovers. 🤗
Spin the Dawn captured my imagination and my heart! It’s also an #ownvoices narration of a full Asian cast and culture and I cannot frikkin’ WAIT until the sequel.
✨ Don’t forget to enter the giveaway on instagram!✨
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.
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 color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She lives in New York City with her husband.
| what do you think? |
tell me your favourite Asian fantasies or retellings? is this one on your TBR? or if you’ve read it, tell me aaall your feels 🤗