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Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim book review


Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim book review

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim book review

Spin the dawn by Elizabeth Lim. This is a pretty new young adult book. This is a fantasy and adult book. And I was actually sent this in the mail by Knopf. So the way this book is being pitched is Mulan meets Project Runway, which is a mostly correct comp for this book. 

And I will get into that in a second. You are following this girl named Maya. She is the youngest daughter of this really well-renowned seamstress. What's a male seamstress called? A tailor? Yeah, a tailor. 

So her father was this really well-known, a well-renowned tailor in this area. But then some things occurred and he lost a lot of his business. They end up moving to the small village and you know the business isn't quite what it used to be. In this world, women are not allowed to be like seamstresses or anything like that.

And so it's kind of assumed that the sons in the family, Maia's older brothers, would become the sort of apprentices to her father. But Maia is actually the one who picks up on the skills the best. One day, a messenger from the Emperor comes to their home. 

The Emperor is looking for a new Royal tailor and so Maya's father has been called to go to the palace and become the new tailor. But his skills have deteriorated quite a bit and no one really knows that Maya's the one who's been doing the majority, if not all of the work for the family business. 

And her brothers aren't capable to really taking on this task as well. And so Maya ends up basically pulling a Mulan and pretending to be one of her brothers and going to the palace in her father's place. 

Of course when she arrives at the palace, she finds out that her family hasn't been hired to just directly become the Emperor's tailor. She has to compete with other tailors from around the country to figure out who's the best tailor to take over this role. 

So that's kind of how the "Mulan meets Project Runway" pitch comes about. You have the Mulan aspect of Maya pretending to be a boy through all of this, and you have the Project Runway aspect in that there is this competition between all of these different tailors. 

And there actually are like specific tasks and things that these tailors have to compete in. And every time there is a task, at least one tailor ends up going home. So that comparison feels really accurate and that's a part of the reason why I was super excited for this book. 

I love both Mulan and Project Runway and I also really enjoy young adult books that deal with like competition. Like I really love the Hunger Games and I loved it because of the actual games aspect of it. My favorite Harry Potter book in the series is Goblet of Fire because again I loved the tournament so much. 

And I think that this book was sort of poised to be another one of those books that has like this competitive element to it that I could read about. The downside to all of this is that that's not what the entirety of this book was. 

And it's very possible that the author expanded beyond it because there wasn't enough material in the competitive aspects, but I feel like it could have had more to it than what's in the book. 

Because basically in the second half of the book, Maya ends up going on a quest and then the story shifts significantly in tone and style. Not style, but in tone because it becomes a quest story as opposed to this competition. 

And so I feel like your mileage is going to vary with this book depending on how you feel about those different styles of stories. So if you're really into like the competition part of the story, but you don't really like quest stories, then you're not gonna like the second half of this book. 

There's also a romantic element that gets thrown in in the second half of the book, which I'm not really sure how I feel about quite yet. But I do think that the author has created a really interesting world here and this is the first book in a series. 

I don't know how many books are supposed to be in this series. But it is a world that I'm interested in and a world that I will be going back to. The quest part didn't seem really original to me. And I honestly do believe that those two parts of the story could have been broken out in two separate books and they could have been fleshed out a lot more and that would have been more enjoyable to me. 

But I'm also someone who always says that slow burn and slow-moving fantasy stories are always my favorite. So that just might be my own personal bias. I mean, obviously it is my own personal bias. But if you are someone who doesn't enjoy slow burn fantasies, but you want there to be a little bit more plot and pickup to your stories, then this one probably will be one that you will enjoy a lot.

I think that Maya has a really great and really interesting relationship with her family. There are some parts in the story that are really sad and really like spoke to me in my heart. But yeah, my favorite, favorite parts of this book were all in the beginning when they were in the midst of this competition 

when you're trying to figure out who's actually Maya's friend and who's not. There are some interesting like royal political things happening in the story as well, which I'm hoping that they go into a little bit more in future stories. There's a character in here who 

I'm not gonna go into too much detail about because I feel like that might be spoilers, but there's a specific character in here where I can't tell if you're supposed to believe that she's a friend or foe. She's one of them many people in the court for anyone who has read this book.

But yeah, I just think that this is a really great really interesting world. And if it's a book that you've kind of had on your radar or you've had on your list to maybe pick up, I do think that this is a fun book. 

I think the ending might be a little disappointing for people. But I think that the world that is being created in here is worth picking up. I think I gave it four out of five stars on Goodreads.

I actually don't remember what my rating is, but it might be more like a three and a half just because of the way things went. But I found this book to be really engaging and really fun and a really great read that I like zoomed straight through. So yeah, those are my quick thoughts on spin the dawn. 

Also read:  There There by Tommy Orange Book 

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Also read: In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner book 

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