Unravel the Dusk (The Blood of Stars, #2) – Elizabeth Lim [ARC Review]

Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Synopsis:

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 beenchanging . . . 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.

Review:

Thank you to Netgalley and Knopf Books for Young Readers for providing this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

So I absolutely adored the first book in this duology! Spin the Dawn was such a fun, magical adventure! I’m so bummed to say that Unravel the Dusk was a let down.

The story picks up right after the events of Spin the Dawn . In this story, Maia must face becoming a demon after striking a bargain to create the dresses of Amana. I did not connect to this story at all. I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters or the plot. I just wasn’t invested in Maia’s journey. And honestly, I was pretty bored. The plot just seemed to drag. This was one of those books where I kept checking how long I had left because I just wanted to be done.

I would never guess that this was the sequel to a Mulan inspired tale of a girl competing to be the imperial tailor and then going on an adventure to make three fantastical dresses. This book honestly felt like a whole different world. There was also just too much going on. Maia’s battle against her literal inner demon should have been the focus. The addition of the emperor, the Shansen, and the impending war were just distracting. I felt like Lady Sarnai and the Shansen should have been a totally separate book. It just didn’t fit with Maia’s journey. And the ending was . . . interesting. I definitely didn’t expect it. It also seemed like it was a very easy resolution.

I am so disappointed that I didn’t love Unravel the Dusk . I wish that Spin the Dawn was a standalone. I will say that the cover of Unravel the Dusk is STUNNING. The imagery throughout the story was also gorgeous.

Unravel the Dusk will be released on July 7th, 2020.