Blood of Stars Duology by Elizabeth Lim – Book Thoughts

Bookish Discussions:

What are some series that you felt started with a bang and had a lot of promise, but didn’t manage to live up to expectations?

Thoughts on Blood of Stars Duology:

When I read Spin the Dawn last year, I was bowled over. Many reviewers called it ‘Mulan meets Runway’, and rightly so. I loved the chemistry between the lead pair Maia and Edan, I loved the fact that it was Maia’s story and journey, I loved the journey she has to go through to make the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars, amidst the backdrop of political intrigue and magic. I loved the simple and dreamy narration style from the author and I loved the family dynamics between Maia, her father and her three brothers.

So, as expected from every reader, who is mesmerised by the first book of a series, the author had set the bar really high for herself with Spin the Dawn.

I had to wait a year and more to get a copy of the finale – Unravel the Dusk and finally read it and learned about the ending of Maia’s story. So many questions were unanswered from the first book and I definitely wanted to see Edan and Maia again. It didn’t help that the book distribution was delayed due to the Covid restrictions. But I finally finished reading the second book last week. And well, I was a little disappointed with the second book.

I feel terrible saying this, because in the author’s own words in the acknowledgements, I think she struggled in writing the second book too. I think when the hype becomes so high, it creates an unnecessary pressure on writers and as an aspiring writer, I can very well empathise with the pressure of following up to a hugely successful first novel. But as a reader, I can’t say that I wasn’t disappointed.

In hindsight, I think this duology could’ve very well be a single book, maybe slightly longer – 700 pages maybe?

The story is continued and we see more war and action scenes between the two warring emperors and also Maia’s constant battle raging within her good self vs the demon who is trying to consume her soul. I liked that Ammi gets a lot of presence in the second story and I really appreciated the focus on the platonic relationship between Ammi and Maia. But I felt like Maia wasn’t as invested in their friendship as Ammi was.

I was looking for more scenes with Lady Sarnai and Edan. Somehow I thought Lady Sarnai will have a pivotal role and while she does have an important role, it came too late in the story and didn’t feel enough 🙂 I also missed Edan and Maia’s chemistry somehow, in the second book. Edan felt almost like an afterthought in most of the scenes.

I think overall the duology is good, and everyone should definitely read the first book – Spin the Dawn. I just wish, there was more to Unravel the Dusk, or maybe I’m being too harsh? I’d like to know your thoughts too, whether you felt the same, or if Im being overly critical of the follow up book? 🙂

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