Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the bookstagram & creative blog tour for SPIN THE DAWN by Elizabeth Lim hosted by MTMC Tours & PRH International!
Project Runway meets Mulan, this Silk Road-inspired fantasy is about a tailor who must sew 3 dresses of the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars to save her kingdom! This is the first installment in The Blood of Stars duology released on July 9th, 2019 from Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers. Check below my tour stop and make sure to visit all the bookstagram & creative stops for a chance to win an international edition of this book + swag!
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.
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 Renée Ahdieh.
Should You read Spin the Dawn?
Spin the Dawn is about a girl Maia who dreams of becoming an Imperial tailor but cannot because of her gender. Eventually, she has no choice but to take her father’s place when a royal messenger summons her father for the position of the imperial tailor. Maia hatches a plan to go in the disguise of her brother. Reaching the palace, Maia finds out that she wasn’t told the entire story, that she had to complete with other tailors for the coveted position and that the emperor’s bride-to-be will choose the winner. Day after day, Maia has to maintain her disguise; evade backstabbing tailors, dangerous court games and the attention of the Lord Enchanter Edan.
As the competition reaches its end, Maia wins but it comes at too much of a high price. As the Imperial Tailor, Maia’s first task is to make three gowns for emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be and they must be made from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. Will Maia succeed in this impossible task or will she die like all others before her?
This was really a mashup of Project Runway and Mulan; well, if Project Runway included contestants physically harming each other and Mulan was a tailor and…nope, not saying anything else. A very familiar fantasy trope was at play in this book : If you’re female, you’re doomed and you’ve got to “prove” yourself. Maia grew up with a thread in one hand and a needle in other; it would be sacrilege if she couldn’t become a master tailor. However, circumstances were pointing towards Maia to either marry or spend her life alone. The rules in A’landi are particularly harsh if someone finds out a woman is masquerading as a man.
“My whole life, I’d been told what I couldn’t do because I was a girl. Well, this was my chance to find out. The only thing I could do was take it.”
There is also a mention of a war at the beginning between the Emperor of A’landi and his Shansen(warlord) but not much is clear as to why it happened but magic was involved, that much is clear. Magic plays an important role throughout the story and although I can’t tell you why but it is pretty cool. The world-building is beautiful but not complete( I guess it’s because this is book one) and the journey to gather the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon and the blood of the stars was the most enjoyable portion of the story for me!
I also want to talk about Edan who I immediately likened with the Darkling in the beginning but he was anything but. Edan or the Lord Enchanter(as everyone calls him) was the living-breathing example of everything Maia shouldn’t trust but boy, she was so wrong. Edan is smart, funny and loyal. He doesn’t everything in his power to help Maia even though it comes at a price.
Overall, I recommend it to you if you love fantasy, retellings with a twist, adventure, a fierce and loyal heroine who’d do anything to protect her loved ones, unlikely romance, and magic.
Thanks to the MTMC Tours and PRH for including me on the blog tour!
About the Author:
Elizabeth Lim grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English.
Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel — for kicks, at first, then things became serious — and she hasn’t looked back since.
Elizabeth loves classic film scores, books with a good romance, food (she currently has a soft spot for arepas and Ethiopian food), the color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She lives in New York City with her husband.
International Tour-wide Giveaway:
Head over to my Instagram account for a chance to win an international edition of Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim + swag! And don’t forget to check all the accounts/blogs participating for extra entries!!!
@Bookslovereaders – Bookstagram
@erhibiscus – Bookstagram
@annreads – Bookstagram
@womanon – Bookstagram
@giota_the_reader – Bookstagram