Unravel The Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


by Elizabeth Lim
Series: The Blood of Stars #2
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: July 7th 2020
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷

I read Spin the Dawn, a creative tale of Mulan meets Project Runway, last year and I loved every moment of it. Obviously, I was very keen on reading the sequel to get back with Maia, Edan, and Maia's magical scissors. While for me Unravel the Dusk did not hold a torch to the first book, this is still a series that I will solidly include in my all-time favorites list.

I mentioned in my review of Spin the Dawn that the protagonist Maia is one of my favorite characters. That continued to be true in Unravel the Dusk. After what happened to her at the end of the first book, she is battling inner demons and a curse while trying to save her beloved kingdom. Maia basically carried the weight of the world on her shoulders and she continued to fight for her country. It's admirable but at the same time, I was frightened for her safety. She had so much to deal with but she handled everything without a word of complaint. I loved that despite everything going on around her, she remained true to herself. I found the scenes of her having to deal with the curse to be particularly compelling. They shed light on what a mentally and emotionally strong character she was. Maia was a character who was easy to root for and you'll find yourself just crossing all your fingers that she will make it out alive.

I was slightly disappointed at how long it took, Edan, her love interest, to show up. I loved Edan so much in Spin the Dawn so I was looking forward to his relationship with Maia developing. Unfortunately for me, the romance took a backseat in this sequel. From a plot perspective, I understood why he wasn't as involved as in the previous book, but I am a romance reader, so I was hoping for more. When the two finally do reunite though, the relationship was very sweet. They were loyal to each other and they respected each other. I was glad that the author didn't resort to any separation or other person drama.

One aspect of this sequel that I really enjoyed was the characterization of Lady Sarnai, someone I saw as a villain in the first book. While she continued to have atrocious manners and personality traits, we also got to see a different side of her. Her journey was a brutal one in Unravel the Dusk and by the end, I was also rooting for her success as she grew into a strong leader. The villain in this book was also brilliant. I love a well-written evil villain who doesn't go away without a fight and I got that from the villain in this book.

As with Spin the Dawn, I was fascinated by the creativity and vibrance in Elizabeth Lim's world-building. Her writing is very vivid and I couldn't help but consume all the beautiful descriptions. Plot-wise, this book was much more action-packed than the first. There were times it felt like a lot was going on which made it hard to put the book down even for a short break. I did miss the more character-driven pace of the first book, but it wouldn't have made sense for the series finale.

Ultimately, Unravel the Dusk was an undeniably satisfying conclusion to a series that I adore. With Maia and Edan's journey over, I'm looking forward to reading whatever Elizabeth Lim writes next.

Let's chat!
Have you read Spin the Dawn? What are some of your favorite series finale?
Let me know in the comments below!

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