Waiting on Wednesday: Spin the Dawn

spin the dawn


Spin the Dawn

Written by Elizabeth Lim

400 pages

Published by Knopf

Publication date: 30th July 2019


Summary (from Goodreads):
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.

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.


Why I can’t wait to read this:

  • You had me at ‘Chinese-inspired fantasy’. I love fantasy books and am particularly excited to read books inspired by East Asian countries, as I have spent a large portion of my life living in China, Japan and Vietnam, as well as learning about the languages and cultures.
  • I love the original story of Mulan, as well as many of the adaptations and re-imaginings that I have read, heard or seen. I am excited to see which elements of the story will stay the same and which will change.
  • I have always enjoyed stories where someone has to go undercover e.g. a girl disguised as a boy or some cops pretending to be a couple (guilty trope alert!)
  • There is magic! Pretty much everything is better with magic and I love the fairy tale reference to the magic dresses.
  • Court intrigue and politics are definitely some of my favourite things in books so this sounds brilliant. ‘Forbidden romance’ too = can’t wait!
  • I just found out that this is going to be the first in a duology – as much as I love stand-alone books I also love how much more you can expect to learn about the world and the characters in a series!

What do you think?

Does this sound like the kind of book you would enjoy?

Will you be reading this or do you have any other anticipated releases you would recommend to me?

Let me know in the comments!


See some other Waiting on Wednesday posts here: When the Mountains Roared, The Exact Opposite of Okay, To Kill a Kingdom, Starfish, The Gloaming, The Smoke Thieves, The Way You Make Me Feel, The Queens of Innis Lear, Legendary, Nyxia Unleashed, Bright Ruin, A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, Empress of All Seasons, Tempests and Slaughter, Grim Lovelies, The Glass of Lead and Gold, Storm Witch, The Way Past Winter, The Gilded Wolves, Fierce Fairytales, Descendant of the Crane. Dragon Pearl, Last of Her Name. The Familars. A Pinch of Magic, A Witch Come True, The Winter of the Witch. Once Upon a River, A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Shadowscent, Romanov. Echo North, The Wicked King, The Priory of the Orange Tree.

While you’re here, why not check out my reviews of The Hazel Wood, Tangleweed and Brine, Sanctuary, The Pretender or The Gilded King?


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Thanks for reading!

16 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m also SO excited for this book! It sounds so original 🙂 great post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everything about it just makes me excited to read it! Hope you like it too because I’m pretty sure I’ll love it!

      Liked by 1 person

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