Spin the Dawn is the first book in the Blood of Stars duology by Elizabeth Lim.
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 blew me away. I absolutely loved Spin the Dawn and the inclusion of Eastern mythology. It was pitched as a project runway meets Mulan and has surpassed the pitch completely in my mind.
The world building was incredible and I immediately was in the world following Maia through her journey. I loved how expansive the world was but everything felt like the right distance between places.
The characters were interesting and complemented each other really well. I loved the interactions between Maia and Eden especially. All the other characters were lovely to meet and see Maia interact with them. I loved the inner strength of Maia to overcome the challenges that were thrown her way along with being female that didn’t stop her from stepping outside her comfort zone to protect her family. Eden is one of the sweetest characters I have met and I really enjoyed his interactions with Maia.
I’m really looking forward to reading Unravel the Dusk.