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Spin the Dawn

(The Blood of Stars #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  45,897 ratings  ·  8,379 reviews
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
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Kristia Seabolt There's subtle cursing in this book, like words of "damn" and "piss" (if you consider piss a curse word, in which I really don't). Nothing too outland…moreThere's subtle cursing in this book, like words of "damn" and "piss" (if you consider piss a curse word, in which I really don't). Nothing too outlandish. There are curse word alternatives used, like "Demon's Teeth" used. None of this has strained my enjoyment of this book, in which I will/have given a five star rating.

I get you. Sometimes it bothers me if there's an over usage of cursing. More so in the past than in the present. I still steer away from some subject matters and content. It's how I even reflect upon movies, if there's the constant F bomb thrown around (I don't mind some well placed ones for dramatic effect), I'll turn the movie off.

When there's constant explicit cursing, It makes me wonder how limited a person's vocabulary is. It's not about censoring oneself from it, it's how a book reflects on you while reading, and if it's an enjoyable experience for you. If there's a lot of cursing, that's not your cup of tea. Oh well, everyone has their preferences. And sometimes, on down the road, your views on such things may adapt (like mine).

<spoiler>Now for steamy content, it's close to none, and what is present is done tastefully. This book is well suited for a younger audience, or a family wholesome reader. </spoiler> (less)
Lesia Joukova The cover artist is Tran Nguyen! It's a stunning cover!…moreThe cover artist is Tran Nguyen! It's a stunning cover!(less)

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  45,897 ratings  ·  8,379 reviews

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Nov 28, 2020 rated it liked it
It’s a fun concept that I would love to watch as an animated movie or series. I personally would have liked it better if the book hadn’t shifted into a journey narrative in the second half and hadn’t prioritized romance as the main motivation; this felt like a different direction than what we would’ve expected at the beginning, and I don’t think it was effective, especially since the main couple is pretty vanilla and (IMO) not necessary to the story. I wish the book focused more coherently on th ...more
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
I really enjoyed this one! The world was super cool and completely sucked me in. However, I definitely preferred the first half over the second half. The first half focuses on competition and the stakes are high and you get to see the main character try and overcome many obstacles to do what she loves and save her family. It was great. The second half turns into a quest storyline that had more of a romance focus and was just kind of a little boring. I still really liked the book, but that shift ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Reread with For Love Of. A Book Group, earned this badge

July Owlcrate Box! Click on the link below the pic to see all of the goodies!


I loved this so much, it went to my favorites list!

Animation: Arthur Redhawk

Let me tell you people! Do not always go by what a summary says! When I read this was a cross between Project Runway and Mulan, I immediately put hitting that pre-order button aside. I'm not into those two descriptions. BUT, I saw it on Netgalley and thought I should take a cha
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wow wow wow. i am truly blown away by how amazing this story is. the book blurb does this a slight disservice by pitching it as a cross between mulan and project runway. not because it doesnt have those elements, but because this is SO much more than that.

the story is captivating with enthralling writing and charming characters. oh my gosh. edan is one of the wittiest characters i have read in a while. his banter with maia is such a delight to read. from start to finish, i was entertained with
Nilufer Ozmekik
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Eastern mythology dances with rich fairy tale elements, an amazing journey to the sun, moon and stars, lots of amazing dresses created by a gifted artistic tailor and her magical scissor and please don’t forget the heart-throbbing forbidden love story!

How could I not fall in love with this book? And the best thing is I got the sequel (after my regular weekly four rejections from NetGalley, I think I still have some lucky stars shining over me!)

So of course you can imagine I’m making my happy
Can I sue for false advertisement? This book was advertised as Mulan meets Project Runway, two things I love. So, I was pretty sad, and yet not all the surprised when this ended in disappointment.

Aside from the fact that the main character pretends to be a man, there isn’t much about this story that resembles that of Mulan. And only the first third of the book actually resembles Project Runway. So, what is this book about?

Mainly, it’s about a tailor and an enchanter/magician/Jinn? going on a po
Maryam Rz.
(3.5 ★’s)

Spin the Dawn, in one sentence: A tailor Mulan through a royal competition alongside treacherous masters, a journey through magical, perilous lands for an impossible task, and a love story that overflows your heart.

This retelling is fun, sweet, rather cloyingly romantic, and bursting at the seams with unique myths and magic, carrying a world unprecedented, splattered with a delicious dosage of knitting and prettily sparkling dresses (oh my) while failing miserably at action scenes
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
2 Angry cunt stars. (Yes, cunt Clem is back and I'm about to burn the house down.)

Instagram | rant on youtube


and non-gender conforming folks, welcome to another episode of "How the hell did this get published?", staring Spin the Dawn and yours truly. Please take a seat, grab yourself a drink, and hold on tight to your grandma’s underwear....because shit is about to get serious.

SYNOPSIS: Some random girl from the north of somewhere (I can’t, for the life of me, tell you where) likes to sew c
Vibur (hiatus)
Jun 22, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
(Yeah, rant alert. Sorry?)

First off, this was a rigmarole of monotony and meaningless repetition (I dnf'ed this, so whether or not it's the same for the latter half of the novel, I don't give a shit). I mean, aside from the protagonist stitching some pretty clothes and all, nothing happened—or, at least, it felt as if nothing happened. Scenes that should read dramatic are more or less a pallid, uninspired smudge of print on
I am actually speechless, this book is marvelous, and you need it in your life. 🌙✨
✨ A ✨
Project Runway meets Mulan was accurate indeed.

The first half of the book went surprisingly fast. The pace was great and there was never a dull moment. I didn't expect the competition to move so quickly.

The second half of the book was packed with even more action as Maia goes on a journey and I was completely hooked and invested in Maia's story.

It took me a while to connect with the other characters but in the second half my love for Eden, the Lord Enchanter, grew.

The writing and description
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One word: WOW.

This book is pitched as Mulan meets Project Runway but it was really so much more than that. I loved it!
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
Wow what a ride!

This book was really fun, and there's so much I loved about it.

First of all, I have to rave about the world building. I loved everything about it - deeply woven culture meets beautifully artistic magic. Really cool folklore and mythology. I'm DYING to see some fan art! Honestly, this alone made the book worthy of five stars. I never wanted to leave the world. And the story - pitched as Mulan meets Project Runway - totally fits. The first bit gave me definite Mulan vibes! But th
Arini ~ Miss Casually Reading

#1 Spin the Dawn — 3.75 Stars
#2 Unravel the Dusk — 2 Stars

I didn’t know a tale about knitting and sewing competition could be this F A S C I N A T I N G! This book was so fun, exciting, and full of adventure. Not to mention, unique and magical. Just so you know, I’ve never watched Mulan or The Project Runaway. The only thing I know about the former is that it’s about a girl pretending to be a guy. And in that regard, this book does have that aspect. Anything else, I can’t really comme
Irena BookDustMagic
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 4,5 stars

First of all, let’s take a moment to admire this gorgeous book cover, because (in my humble opinion) it is one of the most (if not the most) beautiful covers of 2019.
And the best part: it pictures perfect the story that’s in the pages.

Spin the Dawn was one of the best fantasy books I read in general (but keep in mind, I haven’t read many of them).
I love how it was pitched as Mulan meets Project Runaway, because that is a perfect description, and overall I think a lot of e
Cindy ✩☽♔
Unpopular Opinion Coming-in

A slow, lackluster attempt at a Mulan retelling. I make the comparison only because, if I remember correctly, that's how this was originally pitched.

Here I think we might have another case of it's not you, it's me. Because the writing itself was not bad. Yet I struggled with this book much of the time. It was just downright boring to me at certain points.

I did not care about the characters. I did not care about the journey and the romance did little for me overall. B
may ➹
4.5 stars

Hey so uh quick question.....who thought they should leave me on my own to figure out that the ending would end like: that and HURT like: that.

Spin the Dawn follows Maia Tamarin, a female seamstress who is struggling to support herself and her father after her brothers went to war. When her father is invited to the Emperor’s palace to compete for the position of the royal tailor, she takes his place and dresses as a boy.

Maia takes on several other magical tailors, meets the alluringly m
Joel Rochester
Whilst I did enjoy the premise for this novel, I felt like I had been slightly misled by the synopsis. The competition only lasts for 1/3 of the novel, whilst the dresses are separate from the competition completely. Also, I found that the latter half of the novel took more of a focus towards the romance between Maia and Edan as opposed to Maia's journey, which felt secondary to none. I wish the novel focused more on Maia's journey and her love for tailoring and the competition actually lasted t ...more
Hannah Greendale
The first half of Spin the Dawn is Disney's Mulan with war taking place at sewing stations as opposed to a battlefield. Maia Tamarin is in competition with eleven talented tailors for an honored position in the Summer Palace. This portion of the book is intriguing and imaginative with Maia facing increasingly difficult challenges to do with unorthodox materials.

While the midpoint hinges on a thrilling new challenge for Maia, the second half of the book makes a significant departure from its fir
booksnpenguins (wingspan matters)
“I want you to know that some journeys have ends, but not this one. This one will change you. Irrevocably."
"Don't all journeys change you?"
"It isn't the same." He leaned forward. "I, too, once journeyed beyond the stars."
"What did you find?"
His voice turned lethally soft. "That it's just the beginning.”

You know that feeling you get when you start a book and immediately know it's going to be one of those books you're going to absolutely adore?
Spin the Dawn was it for me from the very begi
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it

I’m not gonna lie, I jammed that “Add to TBR” button the second I saw this cover. And then I read “Project Runway meets Mulan” and I turned into the physical embodiment of the I Have a Mighty Need meme.

So, does this live up to the hype? For me, hell yeah.

This is a sweeping, romantic saga steeped in mystery and lore that went a long way toward rekindling my love for the young adult fantasy genre.

The world building in this Chinese-inspired land was phenomenal. The Project Runway portion of the sto
Cait Jacobs (Caitsbooks)
*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own.*

Quick Stats
5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: Spin The Dawn is a fun, fast paced fantasy. It was pitched to me as Mulan, Project Runway, and a hint of Aladdin, and honestly, that is the best way to describe it.

"Artisans such as you are soldiers in times of war."

// Content
I want you to know that some journeys have ends, but not this one. This one will change you. Irrevocably. 💫

FIRST THINGS FIRST: Tell me the girl on the cover isn’t Davika Hoorne’s doppelgänger!!?

NEXT: I mentioned in a status update that I’ve put off starting this book (for literally a year lmao) because I have this irrational, paralyzing fear of reading the books I’m most excited about, for risk of major disappointment.

I’m really, really sad to say that my fears weren’t entirely unfounded w
Reynita ★ The Night Reader ★

I was supposed to review this book two months ago, but well ... I was pretty lazy that time after getting all my examinations done. So here I am reviewing this book! I'm honestly glad and happy to be back reviewing. It's one of the things that I love to do ... when I am not feeling lazy. :p

To be honest, I read this book because I heard it's Mulan retelling? and I love Mulan so much that I literally will read anything that is Mulan retelling. It's kind of complicated to descr
Interviewee: This book broke my heart. Shattered it. No, it stomped on it, ripped it to shreds, put in the blender, drank it, vomited it out. *begins crying dramatically*
interviewer: Um that's wonderful news, but I asked how was your day, not how was the book?
interviewee: *wipes tears with Clorox wipes* oh, my day was pretty shitty, I just gave birth and realized the baby daddy is Vladimir Putin. At least I'll get that DINERO.🤪✌️
interviewer: tell us a
Ashlee » libraryinthecountry
Spin the Dawn is an enjoyable fantasy with fairytale qualities and a compelling storyline. The dynamic between Edan and Maia was sweet, with fun and witty banter. The romance is charmingly honest, with some enticing forbidden love aspects.

One thing that threw me off is that this book very much felt like two smashed into one. The first half of the book is very focused on Maia masquerading as a boy to win a spot as the Emperor's Imperial tailor. It was fast-paced and primarily focused on the compe
Sep 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Spoiler Alert*

Are you effing telling me that Maia went through *waves around* all that bullshit tailoring trial in addition to months on an expedition just so she could fall on a sword for a boy?

Are you fucking kidding me?!
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.6/5 ☆ = 6-

TW//(view spoiler)

Spin the Dawn may be one of my favourite books I read this year! The fantasy aspect as well as worldbuilding was brilliantly written, and I was hooked from the very start. The legends and magic - I loved it all! It was a fast-paced read which I enjoyed.

I really loved the retelling of Mulan, and the strong protagonist, Maia. I admire how the author reminded me that a strong protagonist does
Em Lost In Books

Not without flaws but an entertaining story, and that cover is gorgeous!
"Sendo used to tell me fairy tales. How he’d love mine if he were still alive: the tale of a girl who’d sewn the sun, the moon, and the stars into three dresses.”

SPIN THE DAWN starts off incredibly strong. I loved the framing of the narrative - starting with the ending and then segueing into the beautiful first chapter. I also really felt the emotion & grief Maia felt at losing her brothers and teared up a lil (it was late, yes, but it was also really compelling).

The following 150-ish pages are
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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 bre ...more

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