Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Summary from NetGalley:
Maia Tamarin proved her skill as a tailor when she wove the dresses of the sun, the moon, and the stars, but it will take more than a beautiful gown to hide the darkness rising up within her. . . . The stakes are higher than ever in this breathtaking sequel to Spin the Dawn, perfect for fans of Six of Crows.
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. Edan, the boy she loves, is gone–perhaps forever–and no sooner does she set foot in the Autumn Palace than 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. When the emperor’s rivals learn of her deception, there is hell to pay, 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, and in the meantime she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.
ARC provided by Random house Children’s Publishing via NetGalley for an honest review.
Well, this was quite a different book from the first one. While the first one dealt with the competition, the growing relationship between Maia and Edan, and their journey to find the things needed to create the gowns that were commanded by the Emperor, this one mostly dealt with how Maia coped or didn’t with the growing demon inside of her. This one was just as good as the first, it just had a different tone and journey for Maia than the first.
This book was more about the internal struggle for Maia, how to survive her choices in book one. But also about how to protect her family, Edan, and her country from the horrors that are coming. I found this to be a very interesting thing and enjoyed being in her head and listening in on her struggles. I also liked the friendship that developed between Maia and Ammi. I had liked Ammi in the first book so was glad to see more of her in this one.
I really liked how the author wove the dresses into the story and how their powers both helped and didn’t help Maia and her quest to save everyone. The descriptions of the dresses was also amazing and they are something that I would love to see.
I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but there were a couple of things I didn’t like that much. The first one being that Edan is pretty much absent from most of it. I know he was off doing what he needed to do, but it was one of the things I loved about the first book, and it just seemed like he should have been there supporting Maia a bit more. The second thing that bugged me was the end. Not how the whole demon thing was resolved, that was pretty epic and I loved that, but the epilogue was just too cheesy and Disneyish. It kind of turned me off of Edan and Maia’s relationship.
For the most part I thoroughly enjoyed this second book as much as the first. I really like the world and the magical system that the author has created here and would love to see more books written set in this world. They don’t even have to be about Edan and Maia, but that would be awesome too.