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 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 Ren E Ahdieh. Project Runway meets Mulan sounds interesting but I need this book for reasons that have everything to do with the cultivated vanity that s reserving my space in hell..I mean just look at THAT COVER. July Owlcrate Box Click on the link below the pic to see all of the goodies GOODIES LINKI loved this so much, it went to my favorites list Animation Arthur RedhawkLet 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 happeningsoooooo. 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 Happy Reading Mel Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for giving me a digital copy of this book to read MY BLOG wow wow wow i am truly blown away by how amazing this story is the book blurb does this a slight disservice by pitching it as a cross between mulan and project runway not because it doesnt have those elements, but because this is SO much than that the story is captivating with enthralling writing and charming characters oh my gosh edan is one of the wittiest characters i have read in a while his banter with maia is such a delight to read from start to finish, i was entertained with every page but what really impressed me is the blend of cultures the world is an array of different people and traditions and i love how this captures that so well this story richly mixes the folklore of both east asian and middle eastern cultures and creates a vibrant setting, perfect for maia and her adventure i love how this didnt just stick to one, like most stories do, but expanded beyond that it made for quite an enchanting world to read.i am so desperate to get my hands on the next book if only i could find my own enchanter to make it happen 5 stars I am actually speechless, this book is marvelous, and you need it in your life. One word WOW.This book is pitched as Mulan meets Project Runway but it was really so much than that I loved it Wow what a ride This book was really fun, and there s so much I loved about it First of all, I have to rave about the world building I loved everything about it deeply woven culture meets beautifully artistic magic Really cool folklore and mythology I m DYING to see some fan art Honestly, this alone made the book worthy of five stars I never wanted to leave the world And the story pitched as Mulan meets Project Runway totally fits The first bit gave me definite Mulan vibes But then the story takes on a TOTALLY new direction In fact, I d say it changes directions several times, and I definitely wasn t complaining below.We start with Maia, who in order to save her sick father and provide for her family, takes her father s place by dressing like a boy to meet the Emperor s summons At the palace, there s a competition to be come the Emperor s tailor but the tailor must impress his fianc first But as the plot progresses, it becomes so much One thing after another, and all the sudden, Maia is thrust on a journey to craft three impossible dresses one made of the sun, another of the moon, and lastly, one made from the blood of stars And don t worry she isn t going on the journey alone Wink wink I did like the characters Maia has the biggest heart and she s tough I especially loved Edan though Some of you saw my status update in the beginning, he totally felt like a baby Darkling He s the Emperor s Enchanter, and has a soft spot for Maia But as you learn about him, he becomes and unique I loved trying to figure out his mysteries The only issue I had was trying to follow some of the character s motivations at times, but I ll admit I was pretty under the weather while reading this, so it might have just been me being a bit delusional.I will say this book reads a bit younger perfect for teens which is the intended audience So much of YA these days feels way older, but this one felt very appropriate for the audience It reads very clean meaning it s easy to follow and the main character actually acts like a teenager and I don t mean that in a bad way at all Honestly, this book was a breath of fresh air.My Blog Instagram Twitter This was the magical adventure of my dreams and I am a little starstruck right now I meeeean, wow It mixed this whimsical fairy tale quality in with one of my favourite ships of 2019, not to mention the ending has left me gasping like a dried out minnow on the floor I JUST I thought it was a standalone and now I need and I do not have help meeeeee pulls self together barely can we talk about the magic firstbecause it was astoundingly and gorgeously done Maia is disguising herself as a boy to win a position as the Imperial Tailor to save her very poor, very low on luck family And as the story goes on, she s commanded to sew three dresses from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of the stars So like we have some epic amounts of whimsy going on and I LOVED IT It meshed this fairy tale quality tone with just a good ol epic fantasy adventure cue roadtrips and trails etc Perfect mixture is perfect Plus I confessI get really exhausted reading epic fantasy usually But not this I felt like it had perfect world building BUT still stayed really easy to read and accessible thx from me, with only two brain cells to rub together.I also loved the magic scissors that Maia wields and the hint that, because she can use them and others can tmaybe there s to herI hear it pitched as a Mulan retelling, but that s really only because Maia disguises herself as a boy to enter the trials But she s literally sewing lmao And no one sings I ll Make A Man Out Of You so Smh the characters won my heart in an instant I loved Maia She s your loving, passionate and forthright Gryffindor type can t lie, loves her family, will plunge into danger with 2% planning LOVE MAIA She has a little hot temper streak and I adored that too But oh oh we must also talk about Edan, aka the Imperial Enchanter who takes quite a shine to Maia right up I mean, he s a magician so he can tell she s not a boy And their banter just goes from little jabs to homey bickering and GAH I LOVE THEM This is my favourite trope Mild enemies to lovers ajfkdlsad And I can t even say how much I cracked up at their arguments Edan is absolutely ridiculous and just like this fluffy, sparky ball of magic who doesn t shut up and teases Maia so much she just wants to throttle him But yA KNOWthe chemistry is off the charts Maia is basically yelling that he s arrogant and he s like OH YEAH and then she s like YEAH NOW KISS ME YOU JERK and I stan Paraphrased, hush The book is much much better written than my meme ing qualities Anyway 10 10 to their relationship ajdfklsad I felt like Edan all dressed in black, bound to the Emperor, mystical with dark powers is like the inverse of the Darkling If the Darkling was a dorky boy and flirted like a giddy pumpkin the story it toldOk I totally loved the story It held a lot of homey tropes too so like the trials of the tailors to win their position was fun and stabby Then Part II of the book is like a roadtrip with lots of perils I am less, personally, fond of fantasy excursions but it didn t feel slow I LOVED the gathering of impossible objects and all the banter there too And did I mention THE ENDING WASN T FAIR It brought out the feels like nothing else Like don t hold back punches W O W My only cautious negative, and I did read an ARC so I don t know if this changes, is there was several anti queer sentiments like Maia being horrified at the thought of gay men etc overall I m not sure why you are still here and not reading this book.I so SO enjoyed it It was magical and whimsical, but also layered with humour and banter, and a couple I completely and utterly adore EDAN AND MAIA, MY MAGICAL DISASTER LOVERS It captured my imagination and my heart And of course adored the full Asian POC cast from an ownvoices author More of this And cannot frikkin wait for the sequel. 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 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 about Lady Sarnai.Publication date 9 July 2019Buddy read with Tiffany ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 starsHey so uh quick question..who thought they should leave me on my own to figure out that the ending would end like that and HURT like that.Spin the Dawn follows Maia Tamarin, a female seamstress who is struggling to support herself and her father after her brothers went to war When her father is invited to the Emperor s palace to compete for the position of the royal tailor, she takes his place and dresses as a boy.Maia takes on several other magical tailors, meets the alluringly mysterious enchanter, and embarks on a nearly impossible quest to retrieve the laughter of the sun, tears of the moon, and blood of the stars Throughout all this, she must keep her identity a secret and learn how to use the magical scissors her grandfather passed down to her I knew then we were like two pieces of cloth, sewn together for life Our stitches couldn t be undone I wouldn t let them. The most striking thing about Spin the Dawn is how absolutely gorgeous its writing is Even just the laughter of the sun, tears of the moon, and blood of the stars is so beautiful and metaphorical, and the rest of the book is just as stunning This is definitely one of those cases where the writing is just as pretty as the cover As much as I love the writing, I love Maia even She s just such a strong character, in so many ways She risks everything by posing as a boy to become the royal tailor, and she never gives up even when given an impossible task to complete She s determined to do whatever she can, in order for her loved ones to survive, and it s so beautiful and inspiring to read.Edan, the enchanting magician that Maia meets, is also a character I adored Their flirty banter back and forth was so much fun to read, and I loved the two s dynamic I also just really loved his backstory sassy brooding magical characters are 100% destined to be my eternal weakness.And of course, the romance between them had me swooning I honestly don t know how else to describe my feelings about it besides my own wise words Edan you make me remember a part of myself I d forgottenme I just really loved their relationship, and it especially killed me at the end of the book I do want to say that there is a weird age difference as in, he s like 500 years old, and she is not , and some people found that to be an issue for them I personally wasn t that bothered by it, but still wanted to let you all know He broke his promise to me At first I thought it was because the war and magic had blackened his heart, but that is just the way of men For what is a promise if it s made to a women I don t normally talk about worldbuilding in my reviews, because it s not something I really notice unless it stands out, but the worldbuilding in this book really did stand out I really loved the incorporation of magic and demons and ghosts, and even a magic carpet The book is inspired from Chinese mythology, and while I don t know enough Chinese mythology to have recognized it in the writing, I know it means a lot to Chinese readers and I m happy that it was included.The themes in this book were also very strong Of course, the significance of family is emphasized, with how determined Maia is to help her family survive, and that made me so happy to see And it s also about Maia carving out her own place in the world, chasing the ambitions and dreams that only men have been allowed to have before her.Also, can I talk about the ending I m going to talk about the ending I was not expecting it at all, and as much as it destroyed me, I loved it From the way the book ends, and from what I read of the second book from an excerpt in my ARC, the sequel is sure to be dark, and I am extremely excited.If it wasn t obvious, I truly loved this book It s gorgeous, inside and out, and so enjoyable to read that I didn t want to put it down If you re looking for a beautiful Asian fantasy with compelling characters, I highly recommend this rep all Asian cast Chinese content warnings violence, death of loved ones , blood, imprisonment, ableism in old ARCsThank you to Knopf and the author for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a spot on this blog tour This did not affect my opinions in any way All quotes are from an advance copy and may differ in final publication.
- 385 pages
- Spin the Dawn
- Elizabeth Lim
- 22 September 2017 Elizabeth Lim