By Elizabeth Lim
Rating: 5/5 stars
Summary: Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she'll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There's just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.
Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia's task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.
And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor's reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.
Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.
- Maia and Edan
- THE TAILORING LIKE *jaw drops*
- Seriously the garments were squeezing the breath from my very lungs
- The fact that Maia doesn’t let silly things like rules and tradition stop her from being the badass that she is and going after what she wants
- loved the plot development
- DID NOT expect most of the turns in which this book went in a complete mind exploding direction (lets just say about half way through... things got a bit MORE interesting-- which is like how is that possible when it was already so good?!)
- Also any scene with Maia and Edan doing cute romantic things *my heart*
- Excellent smooch scenes
- Super fabulous magic uses
- ALSO THE ENDING HAS ME SHOOK AND INTRIGUED AND ALSO WHY IS THE NEXT BOOK NOT PUBLISHED??
- Really don't think there was much I did not like. Expect for the fact that I currently do not have the sequel. Which is a fact in itself that is depressing.
A Curse So Dark and Lonely
By Brigid Kemmerer
Rating: 5/5 stars
An alternative cover edition for this ISBN can be found here.
Fall in love, break the curse.
Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she's pulled into a magical world.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.
- THE CHARACTERS!!
- No seriously. I loved Rhen so very much. I loved how they didn’t make him broody or possessive but rather more trapped and depressed. I thought the characters were all really written... and in depth and its like I was experiencing their emotions and the angst... ahhhh love love love when I feel connected to characters!
- Harper was also an amazing ball of fire. Her character was fierce and just a total bull headed teapot of stubbornness and I ADORED her and Rhen moments!! ate em up like candy.
- Grey... what can I say.. I liked him! He was a nice little loyal bean.
- Also the PLOT... sooo imaginative!!
- Loved how the magical kingdom was bridged and intertwined with the life and fears of Harper in the modern world.
- But that love triangle CAN BURN IN THE FIERY DEPTHS WERE MY HOPES GO TO DIE. bc your girl here does not do the love triangle thing. Just no. Nip it in the bud.
- Also it was a tad long. The plot dragged a smidgen at times, but than again I’ve always loved a good slow burn plot.
End notes: if you have not read these books do yourself a favor and read them. Your soul will be much more bookishly satisfied after doing so. Also any other stray bookish thoughts are welcome in the comments below!