Hi ya’ll! I am taking a break from covering demos. It’s been a very stressful year. I’ve changed as a person and thus needed to change what I write about it. I may go back! I may not! But for now, we’re going to change gears. I’ll be writing about a new sci-fi or fantasy book every week.
This week we’re looking at Spin By The Dawn by Elizabeth Lin(2019), the first of The Blood of Stars duology. This is a Young Adult Asian Fantasy with an interesting concept. The Emperor is marrying to bring peace to the kingdom after a long war. The problem? The Empress-to-be comes from a completely different culture, and thus has no clothes to wear. Obviously, she needs the best in the kingdom. Maia knows she may come from a poor family, but she is without a doubt one of the best tailors and will stop at nothing to prove it. Even if only boys can be tailors. And the competition for the title is cutthroat.
Now before you, dear reader, go “Sewing? That’s boring.” Let it be known that A) Even without a fantasy setting, sewing is metal as fuck and 2) There’s still plenty of awesome stuff even if you disagree with the first statement. The competition is really only the first third of the book, and it goes by very quickly. When it’s all said and done, there’s action, danger, court intrigue, and magic.
There’s romance too, but it kinda sucks, so I’m not going to include that on the awesome stuff list. Let me just say this (minor spoilers for the romance, please skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to be spoiled) the love interest is a very Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle Esque character (except without being a whiny manbaby) and I dug that. The problem is when the romance is official, he loses all personality and just doesn’t have a personality outside of being in love. This facet is actually what keeps it from 5/5 rating, cause oh jeez, it turns into a slog. I wish they just became really good friends.
That said, the other stuff is so good! Plus Elizabeth Lin has a very lyrical writing style that drew me into the story. The way she describes things, even the mundane sounds magical. I think I would read her write about anything, even if it was paint drying.
So here’s my (mostly) spoiler-free. If Young Adult novels are your thing, and you can deal with a terribad romance, everything else makes it for it.
Rating: 4 spools of thread out of 5
Here’s Janette, signing off~