Book Reviews · My Recommendations

Unravel The Dusk by Elizabeth Lim | Book Review

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication: Knopf
No. of Pages: 355
Book Type: Duology
My Rating: 5/5
Trigger Warning: violence, death, war, imprisonment.


Maia Tamarin has already proven herself to be the greatest tailor in the land. She out-stitched her competitors in the emperor’s contest to select a new imperial tailor. She journeyed to the ends of the earth to gather the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of the stars. And out of these ingredients, she sewed three magic gowns-each worthy of a goddess. But her trials are far from over.

She returns from her journey 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 runaway bride-to-be. When the emperor’s rivals learn of her deception , there is a hell to pay, but the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within.

Ever since her encounter with a demon, she has been changing glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red; losing control of her magic, her body, and her mind… Maia will stop at nothing to find Edan and bring lasting peace to her country – before she loses herself completely.

Maia Tamarin: A tailor from Port Kamalan
Keton Tamarin: Maia’s Brother
Edan: Master Enchanter to the King


The story started right where it ended in Spin the Dawn. It was heart wrenching in the beginning, where Maia is feeling lost and there is no-one to listen to her. She eventually found her way out and made sure that she is united with her love. I admired the way everyone was so invested in protecting their kingdom. There were more than two war theme mentioned in the book and each were unique and thorough that, they gave me the feeling of watching a movie. The entire story was so magical and felt right out of Studio Ghibli production.

Writing & Theme

I was in awe with the writing style of Elizabeth Lim. The descriptions are so smooth, it fells as if the story just flows. Easy to imagine with a lot of vivid details. The story is set in an Asian Backdrop. and, ironically has some strong female leads ( best thing about the book is how it negates the patriarchy that actually prevails in Asian culture, we need to read more books like this one). The rich cultural heritage overflowed in every chapter. I feel like I have read so many novels where the lead usually struggles with their family or they do not get along for some reason. This novel was the complete opposite of that. The family bond was the main plot of the story. Both the duology started with a note in the beginning where Maia describes her family bond, how they were such closely knit people and how strong they were together. The story develops more when I proceeded further and there were some sweet romantic gestures shared between the Main leads. I absolutely enjoyed the forbidden romance trope in the story. The entire story was so magical. While the first book was adventurous and this one was sappy from beginning till the end, just like in any Anime movie!


The story started with a lot of tension and drama in Maia’s life. She was a hot mess until she gathered all her courage and took lead of things. I loved the growth of Maia and how independent she became with time. She was so affectionate for her own family and I loved her bonding with her brothers. Edan was the most cute and supportive person I have read in a long time. He is not demanding, mushy and at the same time ruggedly handsome. All the side characters were such cute ones, I felt like hugging each one of them.


The way Maia fought with her inner demons added another dimension to the story. I loved that the story was absolutely action packed. There were many twists which kept me on the toes and the author used to make sure that we are always travelling somewhere new and facing a new aspect of Maia’s inner demon no matter what. This made the story fascinating and kept the readers hooked.


Sweet romantic and adventurous. I loved every moment of Maia and Edan’s Journey.
Read it if you love: Asian Themed Books, Fantasy, YA, and Magical Adventure.

  • I know that for every dawn, dusk must unravel its darkness.
  • But hope was a valuable weapon, and we were sharpening its every edge.
  • If dying is this beautiful, then I wish I were a tree too. I’d be happy to die and be reborn in the spring.
  • We were like the sun and the moon, sharing the same stars and the same sky.

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