Thank you to Random House Children’s and NetGalley for sending me an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.
Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.
And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.
Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.(Goodreads)
This book is amazing!
That Project Runway meets Mulan tagline is no joke. That is exactly what I thought I was reading the whole first part of the book, but then it becomes something else entirely.
I can tell you right now I will be recommending this book to everyone I know. Maia is a great character and yes, as I mentioned she gives off a Mulan vibe. She’s strong and I did enjoy that while this clearly takes place in a time and place where women were just meant to marry, the men in Maia’s life acknowledge and respect her strength.
And Edan, well he is another book boyfriend for sure. He’s dark and mysterious without being broody. In fact, he is extremely charming and charismatic, and the comic relief that this book needs. (Can you tell I am a fan?)
The story is great, I read this book in two days, so to say it kept my attention is an understatement. There was always something happening, but never too much like I find in other books. The pacing was also great! Everything was well thought out and nothing felt rushed.
While I love that I was able to read this book early, it does mean the wait for the sequel is even longer. Because believe me I will be reading the next book!
Overall Rating: 5