Rating: 4/5 stars

Category: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Adventure

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Pages: 392

Trigger: Mental health

Hello Readers, welcome back to my blog.

I give you this beautiful Chinese culture inspired romantic fantasy duology – to for the price of one.

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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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.


Maia had prosperity and happiness when her mother was alive and the kingdom was at peace but her mother died and the Kingdom was plunged into a war that took her 2 eldest brothers and crippled her surviving brother. Maia’s father was once talented and sort after tailor but the death of his wife and the loss of 2 sons reduced him to a shadow of the man he used to be. Maia had to step up and run their shop even when she was told it is against tradition for a girl to be a tailor. The end of the war sees a summons for her father from the Emperor to be a palace tailor. This could be the salvation her family needs but a girl cannot be a tailor, Maia’s father can no longer sew and her only brother who survived the war cannot sew. To lie to the Emperor about her gender is a death sentence if she is caught but with the blessing and tutoring of her family this is what Maia does. When she gets to the palace, she meets some unexpected challenges and catches the attention of the Lord enchanter who is more mysterious the more Maia discovers about him.

I gave 4 out of 5 stars. There was drama, competition, magic, adventure, love and sacrifice. The story was so great, with a lot of Aladdin elements. I loved the mythical elements of the story as well. It was very sad at the end and I was fully hooked. Maia and Edan are so cute and their adventure together was what really brought their relationship closer but the impossibility of them being together is so sad. I couldn’t wait to read the second book in the duology.

Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.

But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.


Unravel the dusk starts where spin the dawn ends. Maia is back from her adventure with Edan to create the three dresses of the goddess Amana, a dress with the laughter of the goddess Amana, a dress with the laughter of the sun, the light of the moon and the blood of stars. Maia discovers that she has magic and she is in love with Edan but his oath to the Emperor means that he can’t be with her. Maia breaks the oath but it comes with a price. She has been marked by a demon and is bound to replace that demon as the guardian of the lapzur isle.

Do you want action, love, fairytale, adventure, magic, sacrifice; then this is the duology for you. I love how stories link together and it is so clever of the author to introduce her next duology at the end of this duology by integrating it a little into this story. I loved the six crimson cranes duology, it was fantastic. You might want to check out my review of six crimson cranes and the dragon’s promise after this. I gave this story 4 out of 5 stars. Maia experiences a lot of mental torment. The fight against your own mind is not an easy one and I see a lot of correlations with mental health in this book. We need the strength of God, when our body and mind are against us. It was such a beautiful and to her story, although, she ended where she began, the journey back to her beginning was not an easy one and she wasn’t the same girl by the end of it.

John 4:10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for your and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

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