Title: Unravel the Dusk
Author: Elizabeth Lim
Series: The Blood of the Stars #2
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Publication date: July 7th, 2020
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.
“We do not choose to be tailors; the cloth chooses us. There’s a feeling in our fingers, a feeling in our heart. The gods saw fit for you to bring Amana’s dresses back to this earth. You must believe there is a reason for that, young Tamarin. A good reason.”
I’m not kidding when I say this book was on my Top 10 most anticipated books of this year, because after finishing and absolutely loving Spin the Dawn last year I wanted to know how it ended, so I immediately added it to my TBR, and I absolutely adored this sequel as well, though I’m not sure if there is going to be a third book in the series.
I’m so glad I decided to re-read the first installment before diving into this one, because I noticed I remembered much less that I thought I would., so that made me go fresh into Unravel the Dusk and understand everything that was going on.
Something that I realized as I kept reading Unravel the Dusk was that even though the first one had a very clear plot, this sequel was more character driven. There wasn’t really a plot until we passed the half mark of the story, and the first half was more about Maia dealing with the consequences of what happened to her in the end of the first book, but I honestly absolutely adored that.
I know I always say I love me a good complex plot, but I feel in this particular case that couldn’t have worked because of everything that was going on with her. But instead, we got to know about her physical and mental changes, as well as her slowly reaching that point of insanity and then rising up from those ashes, which was such a great arc in my opinion.
“Now that I’ve found you again, Maia, I will never leave you. 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.”
We got to see a lot about Maia thoughts, as well as how much she cared and loved her family and Edan. Even though we knew exactly how much she cared about her family and how much she loved Edan in the first installment, I think this sequel we got to see a rawer side of her, where she knew exactly what was happening to her but couldn’t do anything, and how that internal fight affected her in her journey and her relationship with the rest of the characters.
And I have to say, if I loved Maia in Spin the Dawn, I was absolutely blown away by her in Unravel the Dusk. There was something about her actions and her inner monologue that made me empathize and connect with her so much throughout the book, and rooting for her and wanting her to be happy and safe.
I also really enjoyed seeing some characters again and watching them interact with each other. Though I wasn’t the biggest fan of Lady Sarnai at the beginning, I ended up really enjoying her evolution and the little friendship/partnership she formed with Maia, because that was one of the things I really wanted to happen in book one.
“Magic was the blood of the stars falling from the sky,, the song of my enchanted scissors—eager to make a miracle out of thread and hope. Not colored dust flung into the sky.”
I was pretty surprised by how little romance was in this book. Though we got to see them interact and be together at some point of the story, and it was one of the main focuses of the entire series, since at the beginning they were apart, we didn’t see them together until the last 40% of the book, but I think with everything that was going on it would have been to much, so I can’t really complain.
One of my favorite parts about Unravel the Dusk was the ending. I adored how the plot was building up to have this amazing climax, full of action packed scenes that were keeping me at the edge of my seat to know how everything was going to end, and I cried and balled my eyes out during those last few chapters, but really enjoyed that ending.
Overall, I think Unravel the Dusk was such an amazing sequel, and even though I’m not certain if this is going to be a duology or a trilogy, I really enjoyed this cast of characters and the romance. Elizabeth Lim is such an amazing storyteller, and you could clearly see it in the way she crafted not only the first installment, but this one as well. This has become one of my favorite series, and I cannot wait to have Unravel the Dusk in my hands and re-read it and annotate it as I did with the first book.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
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