ARC Review: Unravel The Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

*I was given an arc of Unravel The Dusk in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and Elizabeth Lim*


“Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.

But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.” 


This review will contain spoilers for the first book any spoilers for Unravel The Dusk will be pointed out clearly so you do not accidentally read them if you do not want to know what happens. 

After my rave review of the first book, I had very high hopes for Unravel The Dusk. Sadly these were not met as highly as I thought they would be. Don’t get me wrong I still really enjoyed this book, but nowhere near as much as the first. 

In book two you slowly get to see Maia transform into a demon. Well, you’re supposed to anyway. At times I definitely forgot that this was happening other than the voices she often hears of the ghost calling her to Lapzur. 

*The next paragraph has spoilers*

Maia’s personality really doesn’t change that much and I honestly would have loved to see her become the villain as that would have been a really interesting twist. Instead, the ending of Maia’s ‘demon arc’ was very disappointing and felt like it had no effort behind it. Using the classic Deus Ex Machina trope, all of the book’s problems are solved very suddenly and very easy through the intervention of higher beings. This did ruin the story for me quite a bit.

I still really love the characters and thought that they were well developed, other than Maia’s demon side. The human side of Maia really came into herself and although she was still quite timid around her higher-ups, she was much more self-confident and strong-willed. 

Lady Sarnai became really likeable and just incredibly strong and resilient. It was great to see more from Ammi and get to know more about her background. 

There wasn’t really any tailoring happening in this book and I was a little disappointed about that as I loved reading about the clothes. Although it was great to see Amana’s dresses again and picture just how beautiful they are. 

Romance was not a huge part of this book which I found strange because it was quite a large part of the first book. Unravel The Dusk definitely focuses more on the action side of the story, with those plot points being a lot more drawn out well planned. 

Overall I did really enjoy this book, however, it did take me a long time to get through it. Maybe if that wasn’t the case I would have enjoyed it more, but I’m finding that I can’t remember a lot of plot points. However, if you are interested in a whimsical fantasy that has a slight focus on romance and an incredible focus on small details then you will love Unravel The Dusk and The Blood of Stars duology. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Like this post? Why not read this one too? To Be Read: June 2021

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