Spin the Dawn

Random. Jul. 2019. 416p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780525646990.
Gr 7 Up–When a royal messenger comes calling, Maia Tamarin uproots her life as a seamstress to take her father’s place at the Summer Palace. Posing as her brother, Maia competes for the title of imperial tailor, amid schemes, lies, and one very persistent court enchanter, Edan. Her final test as a tailor launches her on a journey across the kingdom to create three legendary dresses out of the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. However, completing this task means testing the limits of body, mind, and soul—something Maia may not be ready for. This immersive Chinese-inspired fantasy is a great debut novel. Maia’s country of A’landi is rich with detail, from its Five Winters War to its expansive Great Spice Road. The quick-moving plot at the beginning of the novel gives way to a more intricate and refined story line later on. Though the delightful romance between Maia and Edan comes across initially as forced, it’s given room to develop as they traverse the kingdom for Maia’s final tailor task. Maia is a powerful figure, though, as with many, it’s through trust in herself that she discovers just how influential she can become.
VERDICT An addictive magical adventure that’s a strong purchase for library shelves

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