Title: Unravel the Dusk (The Blood of Stars #2)
Author: Elizabeth Lim
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.
I’ve been waiting for this one since I finished Spin the Dawn, and it was every bit as amazing as I was hoping it’d be!
The story picks up right after book one, with Maia as the Imperial Tailor. Her dream came true, but at the cost of her humanity. After the deal she had to strike with a demon to succeed in her last task in the previous book, Maia’s humanity slowly deteriorates throughout the story. She has to fight tooth and nail to stay herself, and that made for an immensely compelling story alone. Throw in the stakes of a country at war and Maia’s determination to do everything she can (even potentially succumb to the darkness) to save her people, and the fairy tale grows even grander in scale.
Like in the previous book, Lim builds upon a world full of magic and heroes. We get to learn more about the rest of the cast this time around, too. This book is less focused on Maia and Edan (he doesn’t make an appearance until the latter half of the story), and that was a pleasant surprise. While I love them both as characters, I found myself really enjoying and rooting for Lady Sarnai even though she hated Maia. It was refreshing to see that, although Sarnai disliked Maia immensely, there was an intense amount of respect between the two women.
Overall this story was beautifully written and I ended up binging my way through it. I’ve been on a bit of a reading hiatus the last few months, and this was exactly what I needed to get me out of it. It was a fun, engaging, and immersive dive into a wonderful fairy tale. This is a world I’ll definitely be revisiting. Elizabeth Lim has joined my list of favorite authors, and Unravel the Dusk currently holds the spot of favorite book in 2020.