Review: Spin the Dawn
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.
Words can't possibly describe how beautiful and magical this book was and how enchanted it made me feel as I was reading it. Everything was described to perfection - every detail from the delicate embroidery to the vivid color palettes, the dresses to the quest to retrieve the laughter of the Sun, the tears of the Moon, and the blood of the Stars. I could envision every bit of it in my head and I was so grateful for that literary experience.
Maia was as good as of a protagonist and narrator as one could ever wish for. She was selfless, strong-willed, determined, motivated and easy to love and empathize with. I admired her for her courage and tenacity at achieving what she set out to do and shattering that glass-ceiling.
Edan - oh my Edan - was everything you hope for in a love interest. Tough and courageous himself, he was extremely supportive of Maia and never coddled her, instead choosing to let her find her own way. I admired him for being selfless as well. It was so refreshing to see.
The setting and world-building were done perfectly. The story was inspiring. What a great tale of love and courage and never giving up, even when all odds are against you. I absolutely devoured this book in one sitting because I just couldn't put it down. I can't wait to read the next one!
I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.