Book Review

Unravel The Dusk

Unravel the Dusk

  • Author: Elizabeth Lim
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Publication Date: July 7, 2020
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • Series: The Blood of Stars #2

CONTENT WARNING: gore, death, violence

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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.

This book starts out with a quick visit back in time to Maia’s life when her mother was alive, and it was told with such a poetic feel to it. It gave me some more insight into what her upbringing was like, and why she was so fixated on choosing a career that wasn’t an appropriate choice for women of her time that created her destiny.

“If Edan hadn’t taken his oath as an enchanter, and if I hadn’t dared to step beyond the path that was laid out for me and gone to the palace, we might never have met.”

But right after that, it jumped right into the action. And it grabbed my attention and I couldn’t stop reading until the very end. I loved the way that it combined Chinese folktales and culture into a thrilling fantasy story that felt new and fresh. 

Maia was torn between multiple struggles throughout the story. She consistently had to pick between what she wanted and her obligations to her country, as well as her internal struggle against an actual demon that was fighting to take over her.

“I feel more of myself slipping away. No matter how hard I tried to hold on to my memories, they were like water, leaking through the seams of my fingers.”

And as she struggles to hang on to enough of herself to save her country and the people she cares about, the demon inside of her continued to get stronger and put her loved ones increasingly at risk. It was so painful to watch her try to maintain control and keep falling short.

You do not seem to understand that it is you who are the danger. The longer you stay away from the isles, the more harm you will bring to those you love.

As sad as I am to say goodbye to this duology, I think it ended at just the right place. I loved how it worked out. There were a good amount of plot twists and the pacing was consistent and perfect throughout the story. It never felt like anything was dragging or drawn out as I read, and I enjoyed the entire read. 

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 11

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