Hi friends! To be honest, I’m terrible at intros, it took all my brainpower to think up the not-so-clever title so let’s just begin, shall we??? Also I just wanted to add that I’m going on vacation this week, so if I don’t respond the comments really fast I’m sorry😅 I’ll answer them as soon as possible though!
A huge thank you to the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC via NetGalley!
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.
“The laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of the stars.” That’s got to be one of my most favorite sentences in the history of ever. I think it really describes the author’s writing style well!
The first half! I mean, magical competitions are my weakness*. The whole concept of tailors and dresses drew me in and never let me go. Listen, I may not know anything about fashion but I’ve taken it upon myself to learn. So clearly, magical dresses are the way to go!
*one of my many, many weaknesses, along with cookie dough and puppies.
I also freaking loved Maia’s character SHE WAS AMAZING. First of all, I believe that this is #OwnVoices Chinese inspired! I could sense a lot of the culture seeping through the very pages of the book, the author was just that good.
And Maia actually eats food!!!!!! Like a normal human being!!!!
I could rant forever about YA female characters never seem to eat or have zero thoughts on food whatsoever. It’s a travesty, a crime, something that ought to be crushed from the the face of literature*. Fortunately, Spin the Dawn carries none of those problems! In general Maia just feels so real. She has her flaws, and her hopes, but I actually connected with her.
And the romance! It’s slightly bittersweet but as for what I liked about it, there was forbidden romance which makes me literally scream with happiness. The entire first half has somewhat Project Runway vibes, but I would say the whole Mulan dynamic is stronger. And the second half really reminded me of Aladdin with the whole adventurous feel. Which leads me into…
*if you thought i was passionate about food before, you obviously have never seen me writing a blog post when i’m hungry
I didn’t hate anything about this book but I will say that the second half didn’t intrigue me like the first. It kinda felt predictable, and slightly dragged. Also, it really didn’t do the romance any favors because it turned both characters into carbon YA copycats obsessed with each other. Of course, that’s just my opinion, others might disagree!
And the ending.
It was…disappointing. Mainly because it felt like the entire book could have been fixed or summed up and finished off if the second half hadn’t dragged like it did. Actually, I think the book would have been better if it had been written as a stand-alone. The whole second half would have felt better, and not so contrived.
What would I recommend???
I’m still reading this BUT IT’S ALSO INSPIRED BY PROJECT RUNWAY AND IT’S SO GOOD. Definitely has some flaws, but very enjoyable.