Parents' Guide to

Spin the Dawn: The Blood of Stars, Book 1

By Michael Berry, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Teen unravels secrets of sewing in sharp, unusual fantasy.

Spin the Dawn: The Blood of Stars, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 1 parent review

age 11+

Fun, exciting likely too intense for kids under 10;

WHAT'S IT ABOUT: In an effort to redeem her family's reputation and achieve a long-sought-after dream, young Maia enters a competition to succeed her brother as the new Imperial Tailor in Spin the Dawn. PARENT'S GUIDE: Parents should be aware that Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim is a fantasy book set in a magical alternate Asia. There are a few violent sequences, such as sword and dagger battles and fires, but nothing particularly graphic or upsetting. Only when an adult drinks from a flask and becomes drunk is there substance usage. There isn't much cursing ("damn," "hell") used. The main character Maia and the enchanter Edan fall in love and perhaps have a sexual encounter, though it's not clear. MY OPINION: I honestly loved this book. Maia and Edan's developing romance follows a formulaic path in which she first misinterprets his restrained demeanor for emotional coldness and they frequently engage in contradictory communication. In the end, their connection grows gradually and realistically, and each feels that the sacrifices they make for the other are justified. The book ends on a suspense, which is a good thing since readers will want to keep up with Maia's upcoming experiences.  This book has everything; magic, romance, adventure and mystery.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (11):

Plenty of fantasy heroes are adept with knives and swords, but this unusually engaging quasi-Asian fantasy focuses on a young woman who expertly wields scissors and needles. Author Elizabeth Lim manages to find excitement in dressmaking, as Maia tracks down the materials that will win awards for her creations and competes with rivals who won't hesitate to cheat.

Maia's budding romance with Edan follows a familiar pattern, as she initially mistakes his reserved personality for emotional coldness, and they spend a lot of time talking at cross purposes. Their relationship eventually develops slowly and realistically, and the sacrifices each makes for the other feel justified. The volume ends with a cliffhanger, which is good, because readers will want to follow the further adventures of Maia and Edan. This is a highly promising series -- sharp, witty, and romantic.

Book Details

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