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Spin the Dawn

The Blood of Stars, Book 1
Narrated by: Kim Mai Guest
Series: The Blood of Stars, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 54 mins
Categories: Young Adults, Ages 13 & Up
4 out of 5 stars (12 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)

"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)

 

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

What listeners say about Spin the Dawn

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

"Seize the wind"... and boy it did!

Spin the Dawn takes notes from Mulan and Mythology, But don't let that fool you! Spin the Dawn is it's own book in it's own right. With loving characters, court intrigue, fashion and a magic system (probably one of my favorite things about this book) will have you listening to the book for the whole day.

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  • Lotty
  • 28-10-2019

just alright.

Some reviewers complained this story was too "Romance-y" which I did not end up having a problem with. Where I was disappointed was that the story had so much potential to be a strong "Girl kicks ass and overcomes trauma" story a la Court of Thorns and Roses. My biggest problem with this story is our main characters motivation. She makes her choices "Because I love him and could never be happy without him!!! " and not because "I have overcome a lot and respect myself."

I hoped the pace of the narration would pick up after the narrator found her groove, but she keeps the same slow high pitched voice from sample to epilogue. I feel like I might have been able to take the story more seriously had there been a different voice actress.

Over all, it was an alright listen for an airplane ride but I will not be relistening or purchasing the sequel.

3 people found this helpful

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  • tatiana
  • 20-10-2019

It seemed like such a good book

It starts off so well and then halfway through your interest dwindles. It had such potential! Sadly I will return it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Shilo
  • 07-08-2019

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

4 people found this helpful

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  • stacy2342
  • 02-07-2020

Loved the book

A perfect adaptation of Mulan and Aladdin! It was great I loved the story and adventure the characters took

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rivershark
  • 24-07-2019

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!

3 people found this helpful

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  • potatoid
  • 24-09-2019

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Aly P
  • 20-09-2019

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...

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-08-2019

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 people found this helpful

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  • emily
  • 22-08-2020

I loved the first part

The story started off strong I loved every part of it. Part two completely lost me. It was boring and it was dark and it did not mesh with the rest of the story. Part three was sort of a strange hybrid between the two. I am undecided if I will read the next book

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  • Jennifer
  • 21-08-2020

Meh...

spoiler-ish

The first portion of this booking reads like reality television. I felt like I was listening to a brand new Tailoring competition with a love interest thrown in on the side.

The basis and motivation for the plot seemed silly and contrived. It was hard to suspend belief with the idea of "magical scissors". I think if I were writing it, the magical device would have been something like a needle or a thimble. Something that you would be used more when creating things. Scissors cut the material and then they are set down. I was not able to visualize holding scissors and somehow creating threaded masterpieces. The best I could come up with is that she was using the scissors more like a wand... and in that case, she really couldn't claim that it was her own work and effort.

I did enjoy the love story but I don't know if I liked it enough to find out if there is a next book in the story.

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  • Eclectic Taste
  • 01-06-2020

Keeps you listening

An excellent book with an interesting storyline and characters. You feel invested in the love story as well as wanting the two main characters to succeed in their quest. The writing and narration keep you listening and wanting to find out what happens next! Definitely left it open for the next book in the series but I can’t believe I have to wait until July for the next one!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-09-2019

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
  • 30-07-2019

Amazing

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

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  • sarah marrie
  • 08-08-2019

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.