A+ | There aren’t enough words in any language that I can speak — English, Tagalog, and German — that can describe how much I adored this book. It is simply spectacular, beautiful, lush, and stupendous. It is a million times these words. Elizabeth Lim’s writing shines and there is no rest in this novel. Maia is absolutely my favorite protagonist, hands down. And I didn’t think I would love Lady Sarnai more than I did in the last novel. It is everything I want in a book, but especially everything I want to see in a sequel/conclusion to a series.

This is a spoiler-free review as part of the Caffeine Book Tours #UnravelTheDuskTour. Make sure to check out the details for the international giveaway below!

Title: Unravel the Dusk Author: Elizabeth Lim Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers Publication date: 07 July 2020 Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy Synopsis: 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.

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— Review

Truth be told, despite the fact that I was incredibly excited to read this novel, I was also really fcking scared to pick it up. Books — sequels to be exact — have disappointed me in the past. There is nothing more disappointing than reading a fabulous novel in the series and then the sequel/conclusion turns out to be horrible.

But that did not happen here. Unravel the Dusk is a prime example of how you write a sequel and a conclusion. It is the sequel Spin the Dawn deserves.

This is one of the strongest books I have read so far this year.

I had to force myself to slow down reading this book because I both wanted to know immediately what happened next AND savor every moment. A struggle, I’ll tell ya. Honestly, come the end of the year, I won’t be shocked if I end up ranking this book within the Top 3 of best books of 2020. It is that good.

The worldbuilding continues to be strong.

It builds off what we know of the world from the last book. Elizabeth Lim’s writing and details sprinkled throughout the book bring this world to life. It is a lush world full of life, history, and magic.

The characters? Hands down some of my favorite of all time.

I mentioned in my ARC review of Spin the Dawn that I adored Maia, Edan, and Lady Sarnai. I still love them all. But I especially grew to love Maia and Lady Sarnai even more this time around. I can safely say that Maia and Lady Sarnai have both secured themselves onto my “Favorite Book Characters of All Time” list.

Both Maia and Lady Sarnai are strong characters in their own ways but are similar in that they both have a lot of love and passion within them. Again, without getting into spoilers, this book puts a lot of focus on love: love for friends, love for lovers, love for family, love for country, and love for their own talents/hobbies. How they go about facing the troubles that come their way are certainly different due to their personalities, however, both of them have heart and come to life in these pages.

I wrote in my previous review on how Maia felt so real and she has a clear personality. I stand by that. I mention how love is a driving force in this novel and it plays into how Maia acts throughout this novel. Her priorities have changed and it was cool to see this character fight so hard for love. I did like how things ended for her. I can’t say I’m disappointed with it.

And then we have Lady Sarnai who I can completely understand why people don’t/wouldn’t like her, but I just adore because she isn’t this one-dimensional female character we are meant to hate like so many female characters (especially in Chinese or Korean historical dramas). She continues to be that complex figure whose actions you’d love to hate, but are understandable given the circumstances. Again, I wish we had more from her as well, however, I was happy with how things ended up for her.

Was I sad that we didn’t get as much Edan-Maia time? Absolutely. However, the plot lines and the way they were executed made up for it. Still, the cute moments left me thirsting for more because I these two? Adorable. I adore them.

It is a testament of Elizabeth Lim’s writing that she can craft such a stupendous story with interesting and lively characters.

The writing here is just stunning. Having read her earlier works, I can see how much Elizabeth Lim has gown as a writer and storyteller. She is able to balance worldbuilding, characterization, plot, and pacing and it shines in her writing.

I wrote in my little updates in Goodreads: “This book is just nonstop one thing after another and my heart both loves it and can’t take it anymore.” I truly felt like she wanted to take my breath away with every page I read. I was at the edge of my seat this entire book. The stakes were much higher and it showed in the diction and pacing. The emotions sang in every page and I truly felt for Maia and her struggles as well as Lady Sarnai’s struggles.

I absolutely recommend this duology.

There aren’t many books out there that I can 1000% say I love with my entire being. The Blood of Stars series is one of those few books. I loved Spin the Dawn but it is Unravel the Dusk that has truly solidified my adoration for this series.

While I do admit that because I’m a Lady Sarnai fan, I’d like to see more from her and what her future holds, Maia’s (& Edan’s) story has come to an end and I am happy with it. Unravel the Dusk has an incredibly satisfying ending.

I cannot wait to see what Elizabeth Lim has in store for us next!

Caffeine Book Tours — Join the Conversation.

Thank you to Caffeine Book Tours and to Knopf Books for Young Readers for this opportunity and for providing me with the eARC for this blog tour. Make sure to join us on Twitter using the hashtag, #UnravelTheDuskTour, to fangirl about this awesome novel.

Giveaway Time!

Enter to win one (1) hardcover edition of Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

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Meet 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.

Author links:

Author website — https://www.elizabethlim.com/ 

Facebook — http://facebook.com/elizabethlimbooks 

Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6926374.Elizabeth_Lim 

Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/elimpix/ 

Twitter — https://twitter.com/LizLim

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