Book Review: “Spin The Dawn” By Elizabeth Lim

I read this book with my small book club of friends and I wasn’t entirely sure of what I was getting myself into other than the fact that this is a Mulan retelling. I am not a huge Mulan fan but this was a pretty cute take on that story.

“You’re used to being underestimated, so you want to prove yourself. Don’t let that be your crutch. Accept help when you need it.”

Elizabeth Lim, Spin the Dawn

About The Book

Author: Elizabeth Lim

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books For Young Readers

Published Date: July 9th, 2019

Page Count: 392

Main Genres: Fantasy, YA, Romance

GoodReads Rating: 4.00

“I knew then that we were like two pieces of cloth, sewn together for life. Our stitches couldn’t be undone. I wouldn’t let them.”

Elizabeth Lim, Spin the Dawn


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 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 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.

Synopsis From GoodReads

“I’d battled ghosts and touched the stars. I’d climbed a mountain to the moon and conquered the fury of the sun.”

Elizabeth Lim, Spin the Dawn


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


I was a little worried to read this book because I am not a big fan of Mulan. However, I really loved the twist to this story. Her being a tailer was a fun story line that was pretty easy to follow along with.

I thought the characters were all very well written and well rounded. You have characters you loved and hated which made you really want Maia to be victorious.

The Romance aspect in this book was probably my favorite part. I think both Maia and Edan are made for each other and I hope things work out for them in the next book.

I rated this book a 3.5 because part two in this book felt really slow to me and made it really hard for me to want to pick the book up and finish it. While most of the romance was in part two and most of the character development, it was just really slow. I am glad I finished the book and the ending made me really want to pick up the next one to see how the story continues but I am not sure I will be doing that anytime soon.

“Seize the wind,” I whispered. “Don’t become the kite that never flies.”

Elizabeth Lim, Spin the Dawn

QOTD: What is your favorite retelling?

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