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Audiobook Review: Unravel the Dusk (The Blood of Stars #2)

Published July 7th 2020

Author: Elizabeth Lim

Narrator: Kim Mai Guest

Audiobook Length: 12 hours 33 minutes

The thrilling sequel to SPIN THE DAWN, a magical series steeped in Chinese culture.

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.

Unravel the Dusk (#2)

After finishing Spin the Dawn, I was anxious to see how the duology would conclude with Unravel the Dusk. The tone of this one is darker compared to the first, but the story does flow well from one to the next. The story continues to follow Maia who is now the Imperial Tailor. After events from the first novel, she is dealing with the darkness growing inside of her on top of dealing with the impending war looming outside the palace. She serves Emperor Khanujin as the seamstress with the political intrigue continuing from the first novel.

Edan is on his own journey for part of this novel. Since the story is told through Maia’s POV, he is not present for the entire book. Unfortunately, this means that I, as a reader, did not fully connect to him as he was overshadowed by Maia. His character showed a lot of potential in this story, so it was an interesting read to have him more in the background. He is going through a lot in this story and is still an important part of it, but it came across as he was now only present to serve Maia’s story. This also became the case with maid from the competition, Ammi, who seemed to appear when Maia needed assistance. This seemed to be the running theme for most of the characters as a lot of them had potential, but they were overshadowed by Maia. She is important as the main character, but I felt there was room for more than just her.

Although Maia continues to be the lead character, I was surprised at how much I continued to enjoy Lady Sarnai’s storyline. She is not the most likable character, but there is something about the way Lim wrote her that made her intriguing to me. There was a lot of potential with her entire storyline where there could have been an entire novel devoted to her POV. This could have either been a companion novel on its own or even just a rewrite of this one, but it just felt wasted as there was a lot more to her character.

Overall, I appreciate the direction Lim was going with the duology and I enjoyed the ending; however, the two novels had some disconnect. The first had Maia in the center with some emphasis on the surrounding characters while this one seemed to keep the focus on Maia. There is a lot of storylines to cover with some telling and some showing. While this was not quite the sequel, I was hoping for based on the first novel, I did continue to enjoy the story. Elizabeth Lim remains an author that I want to read more from and I hope to experience what she comes up with next!

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