5 Aug 2019

#Review: SPIN THE DAWN by Elizabeth Lim


Author: Elizabeth Lim
Series: The Blood of Stars #1
Source: Indigo Staff Pick of the Month
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

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 RenĂ©e Ahdieh. 
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this from Chapters Indigo but read it via Audible. This in no way impacts my opinion.
Seize the wind, I whispered. Don't become the kite that never flies.
This was very disappointing and felt like it was three books in one and none of them were all that great. I was hoping for so much more in terms of plot and characters but I did enjoy the Asian aspects of this! Definitely not the book for me but I know people who have loved it so check it out if you're interested.

Not only did this have an ableist plot line with our main character pretending to be her disabled brother, but it also just was too many things at once. I loved the rich worldbuilding and the look into Asian culture. With how great that aspect was, I was hoping that this would be so much better. But it just wasn't.

This book is too many things. It starts with a competition, which is where the Project Runway comparison comes in, and that's great! But it was over so quickly and didn't have the same sort of reality TV or competition feel that you really want out of it. There was barely any tension or excitement throughout because you knew with how many people were getting kicked out that it was going to be over quickly.

Then it became a quest and a magical one at that. Which is fine! I love magical quests! But it felt like it was lumped into something that it shouldn't have been. Plus there was a romance that I hated and couldn't get behind. It was so cheesy and forced and I just couldn't bare to read about them anymore.

The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger so be cautious if you dislike those. I probably won't read the next one or continue this series but if you liked this one, I hope you enjoy the rest!

Have you read this one? What was your favourite part?


  1. Oh no, I'm sorry that you didn't like this one! I had been eyeing it since the cover reveal and got it in a book box last month. I still plan to read it, but it's good to know some of the issues going in. I had no idea that the main character was disguised as her disabled brother, that just seems off. Thank you for sharing your review!

  2. This sounded good, but after reading your review, I think I'll skip this one. Thanks for being so honest!


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