unravel the dusk – elizabeth lim | review

Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

Series: The Blood of Stars #2
Published July 7th 2020 by Knopf
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Representation: East Asian


Rating: 4 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.


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

While book one is filled with a competition and a journey to make the three Amana dresses, Unravel the Dusk is Maia trying to maintain her humanity and not let the curse devour her. Without Edan, war erupted and Maia’s in the midst of it all. Desperate to save her country and herself, Maia’s doing all that she can.

This fast-paced action-packed plot caught my attention from the start. I was never bored. Elizabeth Lim’s descriptive and beautiful writing is perfect for magical books like this. Though it’s a duology, Elizabeth Lim managed to fit all the necessary details in while dealing with the problems of war.

Struggling with a demon inside her, Maia’s state of morality shifts back and forth. She doesn’t know when she’ll fully turn and no matter what she does, she cannot invoke the demon’s powers. The three dresses that Maia designed and tailored in Spin the Dawn played a magical role in this continuation. It’s interesting to see the duality of power from Amana’s dresses. They could be easily corrupted and turn into a force of evil though their origins are pure and full of light. Two powers are fighting within Maia. Either Maia’s curse would overpower her or not.

“I will stay by your side until the fire in the sun grows cold and the light of the moon is no more. Until time blots out the stars.”

Maia’s transformation into a demon is slow and painful. In the beginning, she could easily the ghosts of Lapzur but grew to be more distrustful of others and would flare up at the smallest of things. Even with Edan, she couldn’t stop it. Unfortunately, she became more destructive and isolated from the world.

With the events of Spin the Dawn, Edan and Maia are unfortunately apart for most of book two. Without Edan’s presence, Maia’s inner battles were harder to conquer when she felt like she had no anchor. However, I felt that Edan lost a little bit of his personality in this one. Sad to say, his character was bland as compared to the Edan we met in Spin the Dawn. Then again, there were more dire things they had to deal with. Nevertheless, I still adored him whenever he appeared especially when he was always unwaveringly supportive of Maia.

The Blood of Stars duology brought so much whimsicality and magic to the table. The loveable characters are fearsome and determined to make the right decisions. Though they were separated most of the time, Maia and Edan never stopped thinking about one another, and that’s what makes the reunion even sweeter and more satisfying.

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