Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Book review: Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

Note: This is the second book in a duology. Proceed with caution if you haven't yet read the first book, Spin the Dawn. (Here is our review.)

Book Summary
The thrilling sequel to SPIN THE DAWN, a magical series steeped in Chinese culture.

Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.

But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.

YA fantasy readers will love the sizzling forbidden romance, mystery, and intrigue of UNRAVEL THE DUSK.

Flo's Review 
Spin the Dawn ended on enough of a cliffhanger that I was like, "I need the next book immediately!" Luckily, I was able to secure an e-ARC so I could do just that. 

Unravel the Dusk has a different feel than Spin the Dawn. The stories are definitely related, and it was an easy flow from the first into the second, but the two stories were also quite distinct in their tone and execution. In the first book, Maia is discovering her true self though various trials. In the second, she is fighting to stay this girl she discovered. Unravel the Dusk gave us more time with a few characters from the first book -- I really enjoyed that. Ammi was one. Another was one of the other tailors from the initial competition. And Lady Sarnai. What a character! I could write a whole separate review on what we discovered about her in this book.

The romance, which was one of my favorite parts of the first book, was present in this one -- but different. Instead of taking center stage, it was one of several important threads making up Maia's story. Their relationship was constancy instead of discovery. It evolved as both Edan and Maia changed, but it changed in a way that fit them. The strong foundation they built in the first book served them well in this one.

If you've read Spin the Dawn, I think you will enjoy seeing how the story and the characters develop and eventually end up in Unravel the Dusk. It publishes July 3rd. 

Thank you to Random House Children's Book for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

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