I normally don’t read fantasy (I’m not sure why as all the books I’ve read in this genre I’ve absolutely loved) but this year I decided to branch out from my usual historical fiction, Agatha Christie, and classic literature reads and explore new genres: fantasy being one of them. I’m so glad I did! Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim was a solid five out of five stars for me!
In the spirit of Mulan, Lim weaves together a whole new and fantastical tale about tailors, scissors, magic, adventure, and much more!
Maia is a poor peasant girl and a exceptionally talented seamstress who will do anything to protect her family. As a woman, she’s not allowed to be a tailor, but when her brothers go off to war and her father’s health decreases, she is faced with keeping his business going.
When a royal messenger summons her father to become the Emperor’s tailor–an honour which because of his failing health, he can no longer perform, Maia disguises herself as one of her brothers and goes in her father’s stead, risking her life if she is found out.
Once at court, she realizes things aren’t all that they seem. Instead of being the sole tailor, Maia is competing against eleven other equally talented candidates who will do anything to possess the acclaimed position as royal tailor.
Every task given the contestants will be increasingly harder and harder to perform. When Maia is given the final task to create three magical gowns for the Emperor’s bride: one from the sunlight, one from the moonlight, and one from the stars–she realizes it may or may not be impossible to achieve.
While similar to Mulan in a way (disguises to save family), Spin the Dawn is also an entirely its own magical and richly imagined creation! I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, Unravel the Dusk.
Do you read fantasy? Have you read this one?
This review is also posted on my Instagram.
*Book links to Goodreads*