Rating: ★★★★★
Title: Spin the Dawn (Ein Kleid aus Seide und Sternen)
Author: Elisabeth Lim
Publishing info: July 2019 by Alfred A. Knopf Books
German publisher: Carlsen
Genre: Young adult, Fantasy
Narrative Style: First-person perspective of Maia
Length: 440 pages

Price: 16.00 €
Sequel: Unravel the Dusk. Regarding the German version “Bestickt mit den Tränen des Mondes” will be released towards the end of July 2021. The Italian version of the first book “Il sangue delle Stelle” will be published by the Mondadori publishing house shortly. Unfortunately I haven’t found any information on the release of the book in French version.

Back Cover Summary

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, one 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 can prepare 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.


I turned my attention to this novel when I read the description of “Project Runway meets Mulan” but above all I had never read a book told from a tailor's perspective. This world of tailoring fascinated me a lot and reading the description of the creation of dresses in detail was wonderful. While I was reading I could very well imagine Maia's creations. I give five out of five stars because this book enchanted me. I find it very interesting that magic is not used very often and therefore feels more real even though the story is still fantasy.

Maia has a character very similar to that of Mulan. Edan is a mysterious type, but he is very sincere, sweet and personally I loved his way of taking care of Maia. I loved the love story between Maia and Edan. It is perceived that it happens gradually, the more time they spend together the more they fall in love. When Lim tells about the trip to the desert they made together, made me even more involved in the protagonists and in their love story.

Another character that needs attention is Lady Sarnai, the future wife of the king. Perhaps a very selfish character. But I always tried to put myself in her shoes because she has a difficult situation. Just like Maia, she tries in some way to fight against the injustices of not being able to choose her future. The end leaves us a bit unfinished, which is why I can't wait to read the second book and know what happens next. I highly recommend this book.

Thank you for reading.

One last thing

"I want you to know that some journeys have ends, but not this one. This one will change you. Irrevocably." "Don't all journeys change you?" "It isn't the same." He leaned forward. "I, too, once journeyed beyond the stars." "What did you find?" His voice turned lethally soft. "That it's just the beginning."

Elisabeth Lim