Spin The Dawn: Retelling of Mulan? I Don’t Think So || A Book Review

Spin The Dawn (ARC)

Author: Elizabeth Lim

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: July 9th, 2019

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance

Pages: 392

Format: Netgalley e-ARC

Characters: Maia Tamarin, Keton, Edan, Lady Sarnai, ….

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.

Source: Goodreads

What’s up with the title of this post, you say? It’s because all the similarity I could find is that the main character disguised as a guy to help her family out in the quest of becoming the imperial tailor. Other than that, there’s no similarities or  whatsoever, this story is good on its own. Elizabeth Lim has done such a great job at spinning a truly original and authentic tale with her words and tale telling skills.

This book has so many great plot points and it is very eventful. From the contest of becoming the imperial tailor to the quest of finding the impossible items to create magnificent dresses for Lady Sarnai. This book is so strong and you’ll never find it dull even for one second. The plot was very well written and developed. The writing style is just superb. I honestly couldn’t find any flaw.

The only two things that I have issue with maybe is the name of the characters and the romance part. Don’t get me wrong, even these two aspects have the good side and bad side. The names, I think, the author has sort of modernized them, which again, is very original yet for me, I would prefer if the names stick more on the Chinese side. Then the romance, is so well written. Maia and Edan are both very passionate. I love the conflicts going on in the relationship and why they keep pulling and pushing each other. It could be cringey at times, yet it’s good. So, basically, I still enjoyed these two aspects in the end of the day. yea, boo me.

This book also addresses on the status of men and women very thoroughly. I think this issue is discussed very well in this book, especially about the role of women. We could see it through Maia, Lady Sarnai, and also few other minor characters, on how they depend on the male’s statuses to get a good life instead of depending on themselves.

The ending though, I need the sequel NOW. That’s all I have to say. Great story so go get it, GO. GET. THIS. BOOK! Many thanks to Netgalley for providing the ARC so that I could read this beautifully woven tale.


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