Wednesday 12 May 2021

Audio: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Narrated by: Kim Mai Guest

Series: The Blood of Stars, Book 1

Length: 13 hrs and 54 mins

Release date: 07-09-19

Publisher: Listening Library

YA Fantasy


I am not the best with YA fantasy, I keep trying cos they sound good and then they turn out to lack worldbuilding, being cliche, love triangles, angst, and 16 year olds that are the best assassin/thief/effing mafia boss in the world. BUT this was not that. This was great, this was wonderful worldbuilding, a heroine with flaws and who is not the best at absolutely everything (though she is one great seamstress!), no love triangle, no angst.

It really is project runway meets Mulan. Maia's father is called to enter a competition to become the Emperor's tailor. But Maia's father is a drunk, her brothers except one is dead so she dresses like a man and goes. Even though it is  forbidden. And she is one hell of a seamstress, and not to mention, owns a pair of magical scissors.

This pretend fantasy China was great, I liked everything about it. I liked Maia too, she was strong and even when others tried to hold her down she did not give up.

I kind of need a third comparison, cos the only Mulan thing was that she dressed as a boy. Then there is this whole adventure she takes too when she is looking for secret things. 

Great story, good characters, and even a romance that starts to blossom. And then is ends and I am all, nooooo! I need book 2!

Great narration, omg I keep using great, I need new words. But yes the narration really worked for this book, perfect in audio form

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.


  1. I have wondered about this one. It sounds fantastic.

  2. I heard this was a good read as well. I might try it out.

  3. Great review, that is exactly why I shy away from YAs too but this is going on my list!

  4. I absolutely loved this book and appreciated that there wasn't a love triangle!! Book two is also fantastic, such a mental journey for Maia.

    1. I need it now!
      And yes thank goodness no triangle

  5. Yeah, that does sound like a 'great' fantasy. LOL, couldn't resist. I do like that it skipped the usual tropes, too.

  6. I am not a YA fan, but this sounds fantastic. I would love to see it as a movie!!

  7. Great is such a good word tho!



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