Book Review: Spin the Dawn, by Elizabeth Lim

spin the dawn
Image belongs to Knopf.

Title:  Spin the Dawn
Author:  Elizabeth Lim
Genre:  YA, fantasy
Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Maia Tamarin works as a seamstress in her father’s shop. She’d love to become a tailor, but she’s a girl, so marriage is the only thing in store for her. Even better if her future husband is wealthy enough to help her family out of their poverty.

But Maia still dreams of making beautiful clothes, and when a messenger from the emperor arrives commanding Maia’s father to the palace to compete for the position of imperial tailor, Maia disguises herself and joins the competition, knowing she’ll pay with her life if anyone discovers her secret.

The treachery and lies in the competition are one thing, but Maia draws the attention of Edan, court enchanter, whose dark gaze sees everything. Maia’s final task is to sew three dresses:  from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. Maia has no idea how to accomplish this. She just knows she must.

I enjoyed this book immensely! I like the Mulan-like concept of Maia disguising herself as a son in order to save her family, but this is its own tale. Maia’s battles are more subtle—and just as deadly—and the magic here is woven so skillfully through the setting and the characters that it all just worked for me. Highly recommend!

Elizabeth Lim graduated from Harvard and completed her graduate studies at The Juilliard School. Spin the Dawn is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Knopf Books for Young Readers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.)

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