Review: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Ahhhh I follow Elizabeth Lim on Twitter and as soon as she announced Spin the Dawn (and pitched it as Project Runway meets Mulan), I was hooked. I entered all of the ARC giveaways and tried my luck at getting a copy via NetGalley to no avail, so when I saw that my library had purchased a copy and I could be the first person on the hold list, I jumped at the opportunity. When I checked out the book, I also checked out The Traitor’s Kingdom, so it definitely was in great company. Unfortunately, I hit a reading slump (which really was more of an influx of extra work at my real job and me finding a cycle studio that I’m obsessed with, both of which meant less time for reading) so I wasn’t able to finish the book before I had to return it to the library- BUT my subscription to Scribd came in clutch because they had the audiobook version of Spin the Dawn ready to go for me! Woop Woop!

Spin the Dawn 5/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

All in all, I really enjoyed Spin the Dawn. It was really fun story and the ending really left me wanting book two to be out, like now. Let’s start with my favorite part of any book- the characters. I really liked Maia as a main character. She fulfilled all of my Mulan-esque requirements (plus all of my project runway requirements too, y’all. She’s great). I also LOVED Edan so much. He was funny and sassy and a great supporting character and I love where his story went. It led to a great path forward for book 2!

Now let’s talk about the world and the plot. I thought the world was really interesting- the magic was really cool and the kingdoms and inter-kingdom conflict seemed very interesting. I also loved how well the plot moved along. It didn’t seem to drag anywhere and it was almost as though we had two stories in one with the way the sections went.

Overall, I really, really enjoyed Spin the Dawn and I can’t wait for the sequel!!!

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