Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)by Published 09 Jul 2019
|Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1).pdf|
|Publisher||Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers|
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.
Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1) Reviews
One word: WOW.
This book is pitched as Mulan meets Project Runway but it was really so much more than that. I loved it!
Project Runway meets Mulan was accurate indeed.
Maia Tamarin has a dream of becoming the Imperial Taylor of A’landi. Growing up in a family of taylor's she definitely has the skill but as a girl it would be improper and all she can do is to make sure she marries well.
Maia has endured much tragedy due to the war. Her father is broken and their family shop is failing, with little options left Maia is almost put in the position of having to take up the proposal from the bakers gross son when a royal messenger comes with a summons from the Emperor.
A summons for her father who is too sick and grief stricken. She poses as her brother and takes the place of her father. Maia decides that this is her chance. Her chance to prove that she could be a Master Taylor despite her gender, her chance to help support her family.
At the palace Maia is shocked to discover that she was not the only taylor summoned. What ensues is a competition for the Master with the best skill.
The first half of the book went surprisingly fast. The pace was great and there was never a dull moment. I didn't expect the competition to move so quickly.
The second half of the book was packed with even more action as Maia goes on a journey and I was completely hooked and invested in Maia's story.
It took me a while to connect with the other characters but in the second half my love for Eden, the Lord Enchanter, grew.
Something I couldn't get over was the unrealistic-ness of how Maia could pull off pretending to be a guy. I'm sorry but how in the world do you manage to always remember to speak in a deep voice? And for that matter how in the world is that deep voice even believable?
I loved how the clothing was described, it made me wish Maia could make something for me.
I think this book ended off well, and I am most definitely looking forward to the sequel. I am filled with anticipation for what is install for Maia and Edan and I would love to learn more about Lady Sarnai.
Publication date: 9 July 2019
Buddy read with Tiffany🌷
ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this so much, it went to my favorites list and I have the hardback pre-ordered!
Animation: Arthur Redhawk
Let me tell you people! Do not always go by what a summary says! When I read this was a cross between Project Runway and Mulan, I immediately put hitting that pre-order button aside. I'm not into those two descriptions. BUT, I saw it on Netgalley and thought I should take a chance. I'm so glad I did! SPIN THE DAWN is nothing like what I was thinking in that part of the description!
This book was everything for me. Let me try to keep this simple without any spoilers. Hmmm....okay, Maia is a tailor in her own right, but girls are not allowed to become tailors. <-- What?! I was like, are you for real?! Anyhoo, her dad was a famous tailor but since Maia's mom died he's not the same and he has become sickly. (I mean we all get old right?) So Maia is the one running the shop and doing all of the mending. Maia has three brothers but things happen to them so they are not doing any kind of tailoring.
THEN, one day some dude shows up saying Maia's father has to come to try out to become a Royal Tailor to the Imperial Majesty. We all know that's not happening...soooooo.. Maia pretends she is one of her brothers and goes up against some other men (some whom are real jerks) to try to win the spot of Royal Tailor. Maia is not just doing this for herself, she wants to get money to her family.
All kinds of shenanigans ensue and even some people trying to kill people! Geez!
Maia befriends Edan who is the Lord Enchanter and he's a bit of something else too. I wish I could tell you. I might come back with a spoiler section =) Edan takes a liking to Maia because he knows her secret and she's a good person; she has some magic too!
They end up on a quest to seek these amazing things to make dresses out of for the Imperial Majesty's soon to be wife. She doesn't want to be his wife but that's how it goes in these arranged things. Anyhoo, this that and the other happens. I was so happy and then I was sad because I'm not sure what the future is going to hold AND I don't have the next book yet!? Do I want to read the next book? I'm afraid! If I'm still alive, I will be reading it!
I love Maia and Edan so much and that's all that matters!
*Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for giving me a digital copy of this book to read.*
this cover is everything
I’m not gonna lie, I jammed that “Add to TBR” button the second I saw this cover. And then I read “Project Runway meets Mulan” and I turned into the physical embodiment of the I Have a Mighty Need meme.
So, does this live up to the hype? For me, hell yeah.
This is a sweeping, romantic saga steeped in mystery and lore that went a long way toward rekindling my love for the young adult fantasy genre.
The world building in this Chinese-inspired land was phenomenal. The Project Runway portion of the story is mostly constrained to the grounds of the Emperor’s palace, and it’s filled with court intrigue set against the backdrop of a vibrant city bursting with life. The second half of the book is no less exciting. Because it turns into more of a quest-driven adventure romp full of danger and high thrills out on the open road.
Maia is everything I look for in a heroine. She’s driven, intelligent, talented, brave, and loyal. The love interest, Edan, was just as strong for me. There’s none of that pushy, borderline abusive bullshittery here. Their relationship is rock solid. Edan, while teasing and mischievous by nature, is always there for Maia. From the moment they meet, he lifts her up and supports her. He believes in her. And she, in turn, is there for him. This is what a healthy relationship looks like.
More of this in YA, please.
This book is also super sex positive. I’m not going to go into detail here, because the publication date is a long way off and spoilers. Let’s just say that progressive, feminist themes pervade these pages without ever feeling preachy.
I also adored all of the shades of gray that Lim added to her villains. One-dimensional bad guys are not my thing, so I always appreciate when we’re given insight into their characters. Lim excels at that. She reveals just enough of their motives and driving emotions that you think that maybe, possibly, there’s hope for redemption. Which makes it all the more painful when they do terrible things.
Throughout this book, I kept vacillating between empathy for one of the villains, and abject hatred. Bravo.
The last thing you need to know before going into this is that it is definitely a romance. While the blurb only mentions Edan, their relationship is one of the central pieces of this story, and it dominates the second half.
Also, these characters are fallible. While Maia is intelligent, she’s still a teenager, and she exhibits some behavior that a lot of curmudgeonly adult readers like myself might find borderline TSTL later on in the book, which is what kept this rating closer to a 3.5 than a 4 star read for me.
But honestly, the setting and the story more than made up for it, which is why I bumped this up to four.
If you love yourself a romantic fantasy, add this one to your TBR right the hell now.
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