tournaments and trials book review

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim is my most recent read. It is based in Chinese folktale, Charles Perrault’s “Donkeyskin,” and Norweigan fairytale that all comes together to create a spellbinding story of trial and love. The story follows Maia, an experienced seamstress who enters a competition to become the royal tailor by cutting her hair and pretending to be her brother who has been wounded in war.

This story had many strengths. There were beautiful relationships that were built between Maia and her family, even if the family is wrought with tragedy. The other main female is strong in ways that are unexpected and is allowed to be cruel without being redeemed beyond allowing some pity for her character. There is magic and intrigue, plus a lot of fun adventures that Maia and Edan go on together. As for the ending, it’s a cliffhanger, but it’s so much better than I had ever expected.

Lim does have a few chapters that are solely information dump and the romantic relationship felt rushed (but I think they always do to me). Also, something about the physical printing made the book feel like it was a cheap print but I’m not sure what it was.

Highly recommended. It’s a good, quick read that doesn’t disappoint.

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