Unravel the Dusk: The Blood of Stars, Book 2

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Unravel the Dusk: The Blood of Stars, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Magical tailor fights demon for her soul in lively fantasy.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Less background information about sewing, which distinguished the first volume.

Positive Messages

It's possible to overcome negative feelings. Family is an important part of life and should be carefully guarded.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Maia is brave, loyal, resourceful, ready to sacrifice herself for safety of others. She especially fears becoming a demon and hurting her loved ones.

Violence

A number of fights and magical battles, but descriptions are not especially gory. Maia and her cohort struggle against ghosts and a tiger-demon.

Sex

Edan and Maia sleep in the same bed, are presumably intimate. No details are provided.

Language

Smattering of swearing: "hell" and "damn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Unravel the Dusk concludes the fantasy saga begun in Spin the Dawn. Author Elizabeth Lim continues the adventures of Maia, tailor to the emperor, as she battles the demon that threatens to steal her soul. There are numerous scenes of violence, none particularly disturbing. Swearing is limited to "hell" and "damn." Maia and Edan sleep in the same bed and are presumably physically intimate, but there are no discussions of sex.

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What's the story?

As UNRAVEL THE DUSK opens, Maia has returned to court as the emperor's tailor. But the empire is under siege, Maia is slowly turning into a demon, and Edan has lost some of his magical powers and disappeared. Caught between rival factions, she must use the magic in her clothes to contend with ghosts, tiger-demons, and her own growing demonic powers.  

Is it any good?

Fantasy fiction often depends on unique sources of magic, and this Asian-influenced tale is fresh and compelling. The first volume, however, is a little more unusual in its narrative trajectory, putting a seamstress at the center of a fantasy saga. Nevertheless, Elizabeth Lim's Unravel the Dusk brings the duology to a fitting, satisfying end. Maia and Edan make a likable romantic couple, and the supporting cast includes some interesting villains and allies. Offbeat and well constructed, Unravel the Dusk proves to be the work of an exciting new talent.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Unravel the Dusk uses its fictional Asian setting to ground its story. Why might the author have chosen not to use a thoroughly realistic background?

  • Maia wants to protect her family from the knowledge that she's turning into a demon. Is it better to discuss hardships with your family or to keep bad news bottled up inside?

  • How long does it take to excel at something? Why is practice so vital to mastering any art or sport?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy and Asian-inspired stories

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