[Blog Tour: Review + Moodboards] Unravel the Dusk by 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.

Genre(s): YA, Fantasy
Series: The Blood of Stars #2
Published by
Knopf Books for Young Readers on July 7, 2020
Goodreads | Amazon | B & N | Book Depository | IndieBound

Representation: (click to show)

Chinese-inspired setting & culture, Asian-coded cast, implied past M/M relationship

Content warnings: (click to show)

precanon loss of loved ones (mother & siblings), depiction of terminal illness, grief, whipping, torture, mention of blood drinking, blood magic, selling of children, hearing voices

I received an advance review copy of the book for the blog tour; all opinions remain my own and honest. All quotes are taken from the ARC and may change upon publication.

My Review

Having been lucky enough to participate in the Spin the Dawn tour — you can check out my review and playlist here — and having fallen in love with this series already, I was absolutely overjoyed to be picked for the Unravel the Dusk tour!

As with the first book, Lim’s writing is lyrical and lushly detailed; there’s lots of East Asian mythology, expanding the worldbuilding I loved so much in Spin the Dawn with even more familiar stories. (No spoilers, but Unravel the Dusk prominently features another of my personal favorite Chinese folktales!) 

But to be entirely honest, I may have hyped this sequel up too much in my head, particularly because I was essentially expecting it to be much the same, maybe a bit darker. It picks up after Spin the Dawn, though the conflicts and stakes are quite different, which makes the plot structure quite different: rather than another quest with milestones, this was more of a will she/won’t she gradual build. 

The narrative focus also shifts, with Maia and Edan separated — we see more of Maia’s love for her family and her kingdom, which shows other sides to her character and leads to an interesting journey. (Not to say there’s no romance in Unravel the Dusk, because there absolutely is!)

None of the above is inherently bad, of course, but it does mean that your feelings about Spin the Dawn may not be a great predictor for your feelings about Unravel the DuskSo I guess you’ll just have to read it yourself to find out. 😜

3.5 stars


“Magic was the blood of stars falling from the sky, the song of my enchanted scissors — eager to make a miracle out of thread and hope.”

“Seize the wind. Don’t become the kite that never flies.”

“I will stay by your side until the fire in the sun grows cold and the light in the moon is no more. Until time blots out the stars.”

About the Author

Elizabeth Lim grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English.

Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel — for kicks, at first, then things became serious — and she hasn’t looked back since.

Elizabeth loves classic film scores, books with a good romance, food (she currently has a soft spot for arepas and Ethiopian food), the color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She lives in New York City with her husband.

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This post is part of the blog tour organized by Caffeine Book Tours, which includes an international Rafflecopter giveaway of a hardcover edition of Unravel the Dusk!

7 thoughts on “[Blog Tour: Review + Moodboards] Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

      1. I typically love darker fantasy novels, so I’m kinda glad to hear that but the light parts of Spin the Dawn were really fun so I’m interested to see the differences.


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