Fantasy

Unravel the Dusk: A Satisfying Conclusion to an Enchanting Duology!

4/5 Stars

Author: Elizabeth Lim

Publisher/Imprint: Knopf

Edition: Paperback ARC, 354 Pages

Hardcover Publication Date: July 07, 2020

A Spine that Shines? Quite Well!

*I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher. All quotes used in this review come from the uncorrected proof. These are my honest opinions. Thank you.*

Book Synopsis

Unravel the Dusk ARC edition, next to Jehovah Rapha devotional book.
Unravel the Dusk ARC edition, next to Jehovah Rapha devotional book.

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.

Book Review

Tailoring is a craft that even the gods respect. There’s something magical about it. Even the simplest thread has great power.

-Elizabeth Lim, Unravel the Dusk

Initial Thoughts

Hello, bookworms! How are you all doing? Lately, I’ve been on quite a journey with some oral health issues, but I’m praying that things will continue to improve. I’m also preparing to begin grad school part-time this fall. That will be another adventure!

Meanwhile, reading has been a nice distraction, so I give to you my review of Unravel the Dusk, sequel to Spin the Dawn! It was a very enjoyable read! Here are some initial thoughts to point out:

  • I loved the folktale/lyrical writing style!
  • I also enjoyed the mythology and cultural details (i.e. food!) that the author weaves into the story.
  • Royal intrigue and drama that immediately grabbed my attention!
  • We get to see Maia use the magic dresses again, and they are awesome!
  • There are magic demon amulets – oohh.
  • Magic cloth birds and magic scissors make appearances in this sequel.
  • Edan’s magic mirror reflects the truth and also allows magical communication!
  • Creepy ghosts show up to battle!

I know that for every dawn, dusk must unravel its darkness.

-Elizabeth Lim, Unravel the Dusk

Characters & Romance

Hardcover edition of Spin the Dawn, the first book in this duology.
Hardcover edition of Spin the Dawn, the first book in this duology.

Here is a brief overview of the characters and romance:

  • Maia’s character arc in this sequel is fascinating! She has become the imperial tailor, but she must battle with an inner demon darkness and save her country from destruction!
  • Edan is still the dreamy boy Maia met in Spin the Dawn, but with less of his magic now. He has been away, training in the mountains to gain some of his magical abilities back. I actually think it would have been interesting to have Edan’s POV in addition to Maia’s, but perhaps that would’ve made the book too long.
  • Due to Edan’s absence in the first half of the book, there is very little romance until the second half. I was slightly disappointed that it took so long for the romance to come back into play, but once it did, it was sweet.
  • Ammi is such a great friend to Maia, and it was wonderful to see this female friendship develop. She dreams of opening her own bakery one day, and she is a fantastic cook of all kinds of yummy food dishes!
  • The “villains” in this sequel are the Shansen and his demon Gyiu’rak. They make quite the formidable pair. I don’t want to give too much away, but there is tiger transformation involved!
  • Lady Sarnai, the Shansen’s daughter, grows on me in this book. I didn’t like her very much in the first book, but we get to know her character a little bit better in this sequel. I enjoyed her character arc this time.
  • I appreciated that Maia’s brother Keton and her father get more page time in this sequel. It was nice to explore their characters more since Maia’s motivations are often rooted in family and love.

Demons devour you piece by piece. Memory by memory. Until you are nothing.

-Elizabeth Lim, Unravel the Dusk

Final Thoughts

Here are a few more points I thought I should mention:

  • There are a few places in the story where it loses momentum slightly, such as training and lots of discussions before the final battle occurs. But overall, it does not detract too much from enjoyment of the book.
  • I also found it slightly unrealistic that Maia would be able to keep her demon secret from her brother and father for so long – given her physical changes. But this is a very small thing.

Overall, this was a well-done sequel! I enjoyed returning to some familiar locations and characters from the first book. The ending of this sequel is sweet, and it wraps things up nicely. Although – there is one character’s death that left me a little sad 😦 But I would definitely recommend Unravel the Dusk to those who enjoyed Spin the Dawn. I can’t wait to see what the author will write next! Happy reading 🙂

*Content Warnings: Fantasy violence and killing; some kissing.*

Copyright © 2020 by Spines that Shine (Caitlin Shaffer)

Check Out My Bookstagram Post

View this post on Instagram

Do you like to post book reviews/where do you post them? I post a short version on my booksta and a longer version on my WordPress blog 😁 BOOK REVIEW: Thank you to @getunderlined for an arc of this book. These are my honest opinions! (Full review on my WordPress blog soon) Some key points: 4/5 Stars -Loved the folktale/lyrical type of writing! -Overall, a well-done sequel! If you enjoyed the first book, you’ll likely want to read this one too! -Lady Sarnai’s character grew on me in this sequel, and I enjoyed her character’s story arc. -Magic demon amulets! -Magic cloth birds! -I appreciated that Maia’s brother Keton and her father also got more page time in this sequel. It was nice to explore their characters more. -There wasn’t much romance in the first half of the book, which contributes to my lower rating. But once Edan returns to the story in the second half, it is lovely to see him reunite with Maia. -I actually think it would have been interesting to have Edan’s POV in addition to Maia’s to see his magic training, but perhaps that would’ve made the book too long 😂 -Maia’s character arc is fascinating! She must battle with an inner demon darkness! -I found it slightly unrealistic that Maia is able to keep her secret from her brother and father for so long, given her physical changes. But this is a very small thing. -There are a few places in the book where it loses a little momentum, such as training and lots of discussion before the final battle occurs. -The magic dresses are awesome! The ending of the book is sweet and I thought it wrapped things up nicely. -Overall, I recommend this book and Spin the Dawn, the first book! I loved the mythology/folklore aspects and the cultural details (food!), and I can’t wait to see what this author writes next! #booksta #bookreviewer #yalit #yabookstagram #bibliophile #bookstgram #bookish #bookaddict #instagramreads #bookphotography #bookishnerd #alwaysreading #bookblogging #bookcommunity #bookstagrammer #igbooks #yaliterature #bookishpic #bookpages #readinginspiration #readingmood #ireadya #readinggoals #readingchallenge2020 #bookhoarder #readstagram #spinthedawn #elizabethlim #getunderlined #unravelthedusk

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Up Next on My TBR: Where Dreams Descend

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2 thoughts on “Unravel the Dusk: A Satisfying Conclusion to an Enchanting Duology!”

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