ARC Review: Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

Trigger Warnings:

Violence, blood, disfiguration, bruises, demons, death



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. Edan, the boy she loves, is gone–perhaps forever–and no sooner does she set foot in the Autumn Palace than 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. When the emperor’s rivals learn of her deception, there is hell to pay, but the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has beenΒ changingΒ . . . 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, and in the meantime she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.


My Review:

Uhhh, I’m really trying to be creative with my wording here, but what else can I say about Unravel the Dusk other than I loved it?

Last year, after reading this book’s predecessor, Spin the Dawn (one of my favorite reads of 2019!), my expectations for Unravel the Dusk were very high. Unsurprisingly, I was not disappointed at all! Elizabeth Lim went above and beyond and gave us yet another wonderful book. It is rare to come across a sequel that is better than, let alone as good as, the previous book, but Unravel the Dusk manages to defy all odds with its amazingness!

Where do I begin?

For starters, the character development in this book was off the charts. I thought I loved Maia and Edan in Spin the Dawn, but in Unravel the Dusk, they are further fleshed out as the story continues to unravel (pun totally intended πŸ˜‰), making me love them even more. In this book, we see a totally different side of Maia as she battles with the demon inside of her. Despite her inevitable fate of succumbing to darkness, Maia continues to prove that she is a strong, selfless, and courageous heroine. Even with the constant temptation to give into wickedness and embrace the demon she has been cursed to become, she remains true to herself and continues to fight for her country and the people she loves.

I loved how Edan was always so supportive of Maia throughout the story, even when she lost control of herself and lashed out. His love for her was unconditional, and he never gave up on her. Maia and Edan’s romance is an excellent portrayal of a healthy, realistic relationship, which can often be difficult to find in YA fantasy.

I also loved how family and friendship are important themes in this book. Maia’s love for her family was her primary source of motivation throughout the book. It kept her from giving up on herself and motivated her to keep fighting. Maia’s relationship with her deceased mother was more fleshed out in this book, and it was both heartbreaking and beautiful to read.

It was great to see the development of female friendships as well. Ammi and Maia made a great team, and I loved how strong their relationship became by the end of the story. All too often we see women hating on each other in both fiction and in real life, so Ammi and Maia’s friendship was such a pleasure to read. Same goes for Maia and Sarnai’s “alliance” (and eventual friendship by the end of the book).

The thing that puts Unravel the Dusk a step above Spin the Dawn is the emotional aspect of the book. There’s still all of the action and adventure we know and love, but there’s also messages of loss, love, heartbreak, and self-acceptance. These are themes that I think more books should have.

Overall, Unravel the Dusk was a beyond satisfying sequel to Spin the Dawn. It’s a fast paced and breathtaking story filled with beautiful themes that will stay with you long after you put the book down.


Final Rating:

five-stars - TouchSuite - Point of Sale Systems | Merchant ...


8 thoughts on “ARC Review: Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

  1. dinipandareads says:

    Aah, I’m even more excited to read this sequel now 😍 Absolutely loved Spin the Dawn when I read it earlier this year and have been so excited to see what happens next. I really hope that we get to see a good deal of Edan and Maia ❀ Love that Ammi also gets more of a role in this one too! Fab review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Octavia @ Mermaid Reads says:

      It was so good! If you liked Spin the Dawn, you’re gonna love this one too! Edan and Maia are so cute together and yesss Ammi gets a much bigger role in this book so you can look forward to that! πŸ˜€

      Thanks so much! ❀


  2. readingbystarlightblog says:

    Amazing review, Octavia! I’m actually so excited for Unravel the Dusk – and so jealous that you managed to get an arc! πŸ˜‰ I enjoyed Spin the Dawn, even if I felt the second part fizzled out some what, and I can’t wait to see how things pan out. Also, can we just acknowledge the fact that that cover is even more beautiful than Spin the Dawn’s??? As if it were even possible! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

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