ARC Review: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

*I was given an arc of Spin the Dawn in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and Elizabeth Lim*


Spin the Dawn follows Maia, who comes from a long line of tailors. After the death of her mother, the family tailoring business begins to struggle. This is pushed further by the ongoing war, in which Maia’s two older brothers Sendo and Finlei are enlisted. Her youngest brother Keton runs away to also join the war and to hopefully find their brothers. Keton is the only brother that returns and he comes back not able to walk. 

Not long after Maia’s father, who has lost his touch of tailoring, is requested to join a competition to become the next imperial tailor. As he is not able to and only men are allowed to take the position Keton must take his place. Keton was never much of a tailor and so to bring honour back to her family, Maia pretends to be her brother so she can compete. 

After making it through the competition, Maia is given one last challenge. The impossible task of creating three dresses from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. 


I have waited so long for this book to be available in the UK. Ever since I first saw people talking about it online I knew I needed to read it. Mulan meets project runway, yes please. 

Spin the Dawn was everything I thought it would be and more. The story was beautifully rich and when it got around the halfway point I was surprised at how much deeper it could go. 

I’ve always been a huge fan of books that have great attention to detail when it comes to clothing and this book is by far the best so far. I loved being able to vividly picture the garments that the tailors were creating and just thinking about a dress that may include the blood of stars was extremely exciting. 

Character-wise this book was also very strong. I really loved Maia and the fact that no matter what challenge was thrown her way she would take it head-on. She was determined, selfless and courageous. The best type of YA female lead. 

I can’t not talk about Edan and just how much I loved him. The chemistry between him and Maia was electric and any time they got closer I felt myself getting a little giddy. Oh and obviously he is a completely swoon-worthy heartthrob. I wouldn’t have expected anything else. 

The magical elements were fascinating and the ways in which they were interwoven was vital to the story. Let’s just say there is a certain magical object of which I was completely intrigued by and I need to know more. It’s a good job there’s a second book so I can do just that. 

Spin the Dawn had me hooked from the get-go. I had been in a huge reading slump before this and it was taking me weeks to finish a book. I finished this in just over two days and could not put it down. 

Now I am pondering over what will happen next in this world of mystifying magic and gorgeous garments. Looks like I need to get reading book two right this second. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Like this post? Why not read this one too? What I Watched: March 2021


  1. I also really enjoyed Spin the Dawn. The clothes Maia made were just stunning and the romance between Maia and sedan was perfect. I really enjoyed their banter and the companionship that developed between them during their travels

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