If you know me at all, you know that I ADORE Asian books and I will take any chance to boost them, especially in 2019, with so many great Asian books coming out!
When Shealea @ Shut Up Shealea announced that she was hosting a blog tour for this book, I jumped at the chance. Getting to read, review and boost one of my most anticipated, proudly Asian releases of the year? An absolute yes to that.
I was beyond ecstatic to be accepted into this all-Asian tour, and I’m beyond grateful to have a spot in the tour!
Credit to Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads for this image!
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.
Thank you to Shealea from Caffeine Book Tours, Knopf Books for Young Readers and the author for providing an electronic ARC free of charge via Netgalley in exchange for a post and stop on their international blog tour! I am beyond ecstatic to be given this opportunity. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.
If you know anything about my reading taste, you know that I adore Asian YA fantasies, and Spin the Dawn was no exception from this rule!
This book was so much fun and employed so many of my favourite elements in books, such as the incorporation of tournaments/games, which made me fall in love with it even more. I absolutely flew through, adored, and could not put down the first half of the book in particular, as Lim writes an enchantingly engrossing story filled with high stakes, political intrigue, and of course, beautiful clothing. I was suspicious and of everyone and everything, and was desperate to discover how each stage of the competition would be resolved.
Before I picked this book up, I was really struggling to get through books and was beginning to feel a slump creep up on me. Spin the Dawn effectively broke my slump, and I devoured this book in three days (on weekdays, which is incredibly fast for me!) The story is split into three stages, the plot structure essentially has two plot points: the first being the competition, the second part following the aftermath of the events of said competition, and the third following the aftermath of the second stage as well as setting the stage up for the sequel.
One of my favourite aspects of Spin the Dawn were the characters, especially Maia and her family. I loved how close they were as a family, how distinct each member was and how their relationships with each other fueled their motivations. I was so invested in the family and found their backgrounds so fascinating. The prologue in particular spends a lot of time setting up the family, and got me so sucked in and basically made me fall in love with the book very quickly.
Lim’s prose complements the story and the atmosphere so well, adapting to the nature of Maia’s environment and her feelings. It sings with magic, detail and allows readers to be able to easily picture the events and the atmosphere of the scenes, and I just couldn’t get enough of it.
Arguably, one of my favourite parts of the novel I really enjoyed the incorporation of mythology. The mythology in this world played such a heavy part in the plot, and was by far one of the biggest highlights of the book. As a kid growing up in an Southeast Asian household, I was used to hearing lots of epic stories of Chinese mythology told to me by my parents. I also have a fascination with all forms of mythology, and thus this was something I truly appreciated in here.
The world-building was absolutely phenomenal. The world has clear Chinese influence, and as a Malaysian-Chinese reader, it made my heart absolutely sing with joy. Like I said earlier, this world was so easy to imagine and the world bustles with life and vibrancy. It was something so fascinating to me and something I cannot wait to revisit in the sequels.
For the most part, the pacing was absolutely fantastic. Lim wastes no time in setting the main plot up and gives us just enough information while simultaneously avoiding info dumping and making readers thirst for more. Spin the Dawn is evidently a tightly plotted novel, and every piece of it is purposeful and thought about. While the second half was interesting and I was still invested in the storyline and the characters, the pace did drag and it made the book far easier to put down. The quest was interesting but it did admittedly drag a little more than I would have liked.
If you’re looking for a fun, intriguing Asian fantasy filled with magic, rich in mythology and culture and with great characters and a fantastic plot, I have no hesitation in recommending Spin the Dawn. This is probably my favourite fantasy of the year thus far, and one of my favourite books of the year. It will be a book that I look back with fondness and love, and something that I love with my entire heart.
MY SPIN THE DAWN AESTHETIC:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elizabeth Lim grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English.
Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel — for kicks, at first, then things became serious — and she hasn’t looked back since.
Elizabeth loves classic film scores, books with a good romance, food (she currently has a soft spot for arepas and Ethiopian food), the color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She lives in New York City with her husband.
Be sure to check out the other stops of the blog tour for lots of great reviews and lots of fantastic creative content!
July 01 (Monday)
- Blog tour launch (from Shut up, Shealea)
July 02 (Tuesday)
- Review, creative feature post, and aesthetics/moodboard from Book Freak Revelations
- Review from Happy Indulgence Books
- Review from READING (AS)(I)AN AMERICA
- Review, creative photos, excerpt and favorite quotes from Snow White Hates Apples
- Review and creative photos from Star is All Booked Up
July 03 (Wednesday)
- Review, favorite quotes, and own playlist from BookwyrmBites
- Review and aesthetics/moodboard from Holed Up In A Book
- Review and aesthetics/moodboard from Librae Paints Pages
- Review, aesthetics/moodboard, creative feature post, excerpt and favorite quotes from mybookcastle
- Review, own art, and own quote graphics from The Sparrow’s Perch
July 04 (Thursday)
- Review, creative photos, excerpt and own graphics from Artsy Draft
- Review, excerpt and favorite quotes from Caitlin Althea
- Review from Literaery Adventures
- Review and favorite quotes from Moonlight Pages
- Review and aesthetics/moodboard from Read By Tiffany
July 05 (Friday)
- Review, creative feature post, and own quote graphics from Beyond Secret Pages
- Review, aesthetics/moodboard, creative feature post, and own quote graphics from Crowing About Books
- Review, aesthetics/moodboard, creative photos, and own quote graphics from Lyrical Reads
- Review, creative photos, excerpt, and own quote graphics from String of Pages
- Review and own quote graphics from Utopia State of Mind
July 06 (Saturday)
- Author Interview from Shut Up, Shealea
- Review, creative photos, and own quote graphics from Hana Book Review
- Review, aesthetics/moodboard, creative feature post, and own quote graphics from Phantom Paper
- Review, excerpt, favorite quotes, and own art from R E A (D) I V I N E
- Review, creative feature post, and creative photos from Unputdownable Books
- Review from Wavy Pages
July 07 (Sunday)
- Review, aesthetics/moodboard, creative photos, and favorite quotes from Forever and Everly
- Review and creative photos from The Quiet Pond
- Review and own art from Read at Midnight
- Review, own art, and own quote graphics from The Ultimate Fangirl
- Review, aesthetics/moodboard, creative feature post, creative photos, and favorite quotes from Your Tita Kate
- #CBTTC Twitter chat hosted by @CaffeineTours
- 9:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST)
- 9:00 PM Philippine Time
BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAY:
In cooperation with the generous folks from Knopf Books for Young Readers, Caffeine Tours are giving away finished hardcover copies of Spin the Dawn to three (3) lucky winners! This giveaway is open internationally!
Click here to enter!
And of course, you are all invited to participate in the #CBTTC Twitter Chat hosted by @CaffeineTours at 9AM EST! I know it’s going to be great, and I hope as many of you can participate!
Is Spin the Dawn on your TBR? Which image was your favourite? What are some of your favourite or most anticipated Asian fantasies of the year? I would love to know in the comments.