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Spin the Dawn

The Blood of Stars, Book 1
Written by: Elizabeth Lim
Narrated by: Kim Mai Guest
Series: The Blood of Stars, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Looking for your next big YA fantasy series? We've got our eye on this stylist blockbuster." (Entertainment Weekly)

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping 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 12 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.

"Spin the Dawn is proof that casting a wider net not only gives us a fresh story that feels unlike everything else on the shelves beside it but also allows for richer and more nuanced storytelling." (NPR)

"All the cutthroat competition of a runway fashion reality show and the thrilling exploits of an epic quest...a stunning tapestry of adventure." (The Washington Post)

"What an amazing creation! Every time I thought I knew where it was going, I was wrong. This is a white-knuckle read." (Tamora Pierce, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Tempests and Slaughter)

©2019 Elizabeth Lim (P)2019 Listening Library

What the critics say

"Maia's perspective as a working tailor makes her world vibrant and full of sensory details that are sure to delight even the most jaded of fantasy readers." (NPR)

 

"Part Project Runway set during the Silk Road era, part epic adventure.... This will have broad appeal." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Beautifully written with a can’t-wait-for-the-sequel ending, this breathtaking and fast-paced Silk-road inspired fantasy from the author of Mulan-retelling Reflection (2018) is sure to enchant readers beginning to end." (Booklist)

"An addictive magical adventure." (SLJ)

"Spin the Dawn is pure magic. Romance, artistry, and deep enchantment." (Gregory Maguire, best-selling author of Wicked)

"A thrilling tale as rich as velvet and as exquisite as fine embroidery." (Heidi Heilig, author of The Girl from Everywhere)

What listeners say about Spin the Dawn

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lotty
  • 2019-10-28

just alright.

Some reviewers complained this story was too "Romance-y" which I did not end up having a problem with. Where I was disappointed was that the story had so much potential to be a strong "Girl kicks ass and overcomes trauma" story a la Court of Thorns and Roses. My biggest problem with this story is our main characters motivation. She makes her choices "Because I love him and could never be happy without him!!! " and not because "I have overcome a lot and respect myself."

I hoped the pace of the narration would pick up after the narrator found her groove, but she keeps the same slow high pitched voice from sample to epilogue. I feel like I might have been able to take the story more seriously had there been a different voice actress.

Over all, it was an alright listen for an airplane ride but I will not be relistening or purchasing the sequel.

3 people found this helpful

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  • tatiana
  • 2019-10-20

It seemed like such a good book

It starts off so well and then halfway through your interest dwindles. It had such potential! Sadly I will return it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • stacy2342
  • 2020-07-02

Loved the book

A perfect adaptation of Mulan and Aladdin! It was great I loved the story and adventure the characters took

1 person found this helpful

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  • Shilo
  • 2019-08-07

Simply magical; one of the best books of 2019

This is easily one of the best books I've read this year. Part Mulan, part a tapestry of other tales, and all of it magic. There are echoes of familiar tales woven throughout an enchanting story, twisted so you never quite know what's coming next. The writing is gorgeous. The audiobook narrator did a fantastic job bringing it to life. A joy to read and listen to. I cannot wait for the next book

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rivershark
  • 2019-07-24

A Tale Spun with Words as Fine as Silk

This beautiful story is a rich tapestry of words and emotions that draw the reader into a fantastical realm of competition, quests, romance, and wonder. Elizabeth Lim's writing and Kim Mai Guest's narration weave magic. Not to be missed!

3 people found this helpful

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  • potatoid
  • 2019-09-24

too lovey dovey

I just really wish it wasn't all about romantic love and was more about a kick butt young woman taking an amazing journey. love can be part of the story, sure. it just made Maya seem weak and whiney.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Aly P
  • 2019-09-20

Amazing story!

I loved this book! The spin on Mulan was a great idea and it was only bare bones similarity, this story had it's own plot and interesting characters. The competition at the beginning was fun, I love stories with contests. Maia is strong and smart and a good person and I liked seeing her beat the other guys, especially the ones who treated her poorly. Edan was an interesting character, so full of mystery and he cares for Maia quite a bit. The impossible tasks of making the dresses was cool and intriguing. The narrator did a fantastic job, I loved listening to her get into the story and it helped suck me in! So excited for the next book! Beware of a cliffhanger...

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-08-09

wonderful

if you are looking for a book with magic, Ghost, demons, transformation, war, death, gods/ Goddesses, and trails, then this is for you.

2 people found this helpful

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  • ValientZero
  • 2020-07-16

beautiful.

I love Mulan and I love sewing. If you put the two together with a wonderful story I am sold. the twists and the turns. I really enjoyed. I did not see the end coming.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-06-03

one of the best books I've read

I can't say enough great things.... this story is so daring and captivating. it is a MUST read in my opinion!!! Can't wait for the following novel!

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  • Linara K.S
  • 2020-04-17

the story felt like sweet honey

I absolutely loved the performance it made the while story come alive and this story is quite easy to get into. you'll probably love it.