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Spin the Dawn

The Blood of Stars, Book 1
Narrated by: Kim Mai Guest
Length: 13 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (117 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Looking for your next big YA fantasy series? We've got our eye on this stylist blockbuster." (Entertainment Weekly)

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping 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 12 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.

"Spin the Dawn is proof that casting a wider net not only gives us a fresh story that feels unlike everything else on the shelves beside it but also allows for richer and more nuanced storytelling." (NPR)

"All the cutthroat competition of a runway fashion reality show and the thrilling exploits of an epic quest...a stunning tapestry of adventure." (The Washington Post)

"What an amazing creation! Every time I thought I knew where it was going, I was wrong. This is a white-knuckle read." (Tamora Pierce, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Tempests and Slaughter)

©2019 Elizabeth Lim (P)2019 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"Maia's perspective as a working tailor makes her world vibrant and full of sensory details that are sure to delight even the most jaded of fantasy readers." (NPR)

 

"Part Project Runway set during the Silk Road era, part epic adventure.... This will have broad appeal." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Beautifully written with a can’t-wait-for-the-sequel ending, this breathtaking and fast-paced Silk-road inspired fantasy from the author of Mulan-retelling Reflection (2018) is sure to enchant readers beginning to end." (Booklist)

"An addictive magical adventure." (SLJ)

"Spin the Dawn is pure magic. Romance, artistry, and deep enchantment." (Gregory Maguire, best-selling author of Wicked)

"A thrilling tale as rich as velvet and as exquisite as fine embroidery." (Heidi Heilig, author of The Girl from Everywhere)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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One of the best books of the year

Very much enjoyed this book. It’s does end in a cliffhanger. Looking forward to the next book. Had a Mulan feel and loved the strong female lead with touch of romance. The narrator was amazing overall had an excellent performance. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a fantasy romance to get lost in.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Pleasantly surprised.

I was very unsure about this book when I got it, but it turned out to be better than I thought it would be. The only thing I really would like to wonder and think about is how fast the characters seemed to fall in love, when they could barely stand each other at the beginning of the book.

But the story line was great, the idea of the book is wonderful. And I am super sad the next book (if there is one..) isn't out because I really would die to know what happens next. This is a beautiful story and very much worth your credit. No regrets!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing story!

I loved this book! The spin on Mulan was a great idea and it was only bare bones similarity, this story had it's own plot and interesting characters. The competition at the beginning was fun, I love stories with contests. Maia is strong and smart and a good person and I liked seeing her beat the other guys, especially the ones who treated her poorly. Edan was an interesting character, so full of mystery and he cares for Maia quite a bit. The impossible tasks of making the dresses was cool and intriguing. The narrator did a fantastic job, I loved listening to her get into the story and it helped suck me in! So excited for the next book! Beware of a cliffhanger...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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wonderful

if you are looking for a book with magic, Ghost, demons, transformation, war, death, gods/ Goddesses, and trails, then this is for you.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Simply magical; one of the best books of 2019

This is easily one of the best books I've read this year. Part Mulan, part a tapestry of other tales, and all of it magic. There are echoes of familiar tales woven throughout an enchanting story, twisted so you never quite know what's coming next. The writing is gorgeous. The audiobook narrator did a fantastic job bringing it to life. A joy to read and listen to. I cannot wait for the next book

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A Tale Spun with Words as Fine as Silk

This beautiful story is a rich tapestry of words and emotions that draw the reader into a fantastical realm of competition, quests, romance, and wonder. Elizabeth Lim's writing and Kim Mai Guest's narration weave magic. Not to be missed!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • sara
  • REDDING, CA, US
  • 08-15-19

WOW!!

Such a captivating story, so much action, twists and turns, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Would recommend to anyone who enjoys a thrilling, romantic and jaw-dropping read!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Book!!!

It grabbed me from the first paragraph, such a great story!! Read it trust me.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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too lovey dovey

I just really wish it wasn't all about romantic love and was more about a kick butt young woman taking an amazing journey. love can be part of the story, sure. it just made Maya seem weak and whiney.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-30-19

Great story but terrible narrator :/

This story was great and I loved the whole thing from start to finish. I definitely want to read the next one and I can't wait for it to be published.. but... I really hope they don't use the same narrator! Lifeless monotone and boring but worst of all she made the strong awesome protagonist sound like a whiny little crybaby and the mysterious sexy love interest sounds like a boody indifferent jerk who only has one tone of voice no matter what he had to say.. I OFTEN wanted to stop listening or even throw my phone through the room because of the terrible narrator making the protagonist so whiny but held on because the story was so good.

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  • Crumble
  • 07-30-19

Amazing

Beautiful imaginative story with wonderful narration! Definitely recommend to fans of fantasy, YA and romance! 💛

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  • sarah marrie
  • 08-08-19

Good for what it is

This book isn’t perfect, but for what it is it’s fairly good. It successfully reimagines the Mulan story, even though the ending takes an unexpected twist.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful