Spin the Dawn

Spin the Dawn
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, Book # 1
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
July 9th 2019
Hardcover
392
English
January 23, 2022 January 27, 2022
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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.


About the book

Short review this time.

I liked this book a lot. Maia is a well rounded character and even if the story may seem simple, it was a good read. I like how the magic is used and Maia’s backstory, her scissors and the legends behind this is well planned.

Cover is beautiful, especially the other one, the UK one? Anyway the one with the palace. I have both because the Italian editor used a double cover for this books (for the second, too). Yay, happy me!

Please read this book, and I hope the second book won’t be a disappointment but if you want a simple, well planned story and a bit of adventure this is the book for you.

The Dragon Republic

The Dragon Republic
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, Book # 2
Harper Voyager
August 6th 2019
Hardcover
658
English
January 14, 2022 January 22, 2022
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In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.

With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.

But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.


What I think

I liked the beginning of this book, but the middle was quite slow, nevertheless I liked it, too. The final part. . . eh. . . not so much, or rather I found it quite mediocre since the ending was obvious. I mean everyone told Rin that “thing” and then it happened. . . Then, the final part is so fast! Comparing it with the middle I would have preferred a smaller middle and a more detailed finale.

I do think this book was so hyped that I had higher expectations, but don’t get me wrong, I still liked it and I will finish the serie (especially because the last book has purple stayed edges and I love purple, it will be nice in my room).

Bye the way, in my first review of the series I said that I didn’t know that the Japanese did experiments on foreigners during the period this book is based on, now I know, they did and I’m going to read more about this subject because I do want to know everything about Japan, the good and the ugly. Every population has its bad behaviour and in every war there are bad things happened so it is right to know the ugly, too. A long time ago, my teacher said that we study history so we won’t repeat our ancestors mistakes, but I see that’s not the case. We are repeating the same stuff over and over again.

Kitsune: A Little Mermaid Retelling

Kitsune: A Little Mermaid Retelling
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, Book # 1
Independently published
August 14th 2015
eBook
274
English
October 24, 2021 October 27, 2021
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Rescuing him was a mistake. Falling in love was unthinkable. Because to save her own life, she has to destroy his.

Rin is an immortal kitsune, or at least she was until a witch’s curse turned her human. To regain her youkai powers and avoid being turned into a fox, she must make the lord’s son fall in love with her before the next full moon. Her kind has been seducing humans for centuries, and it should be easy, as long as he doesn’t find out she’s a kitsune… except that the curse also took her voice.

Hikaru is betrothed to the daughter of a rival lord, and he will fulfil his duty, protecting his clan from others and from the youkai. But when he’s saved by a mysterious red-haired woman, he can’t forget her, try as he might. Then she turns up at his door… Only it can’t be his saviour, because this woman has ebony hair, but there’s something inexplicably bewitching about her. Yet his father’s treaty depends on his marriage to another, and even an innocent dalliance could ruin everything.

Falling in love is dangerous for them both. Not only are they from different worlds, but their time together can only end in heartache. Hikaru’s marriage means security for his clan, and Rin must destroy it or be turned into a fox. And truly loving Hikaru means revealing she’s one of the hated youkai and an immortal. Will they risk it all for love? Or will their two worlds rip them apart for good?

Fans of fairy tale retellings, anime, and manga love Kitsune: A Little Mermaid Retelling, an old tale retold from a fresh perspective.


About the book

I read this book because, first of all, it was free and second, I was drawn to the cover. Furthermore, the title talks about Kitsune and therefore the book is clearly of Japanese inspiration. I’ve always liked the Little Mermaid story even if it’s not my favorite fairy tale.

Rin is an immortal kitsune, a Youkai, a spirit who has the power to transform into both a woman and a fox. But an evil witch turns her into a woman and steals her voice. Her task is to make the prince fall in love with her in order to break the treaty that the prince himself managed to create between his family and that of a rival lord.

One evening, Hikaru, the prince, is in the forest with his men and risks being killed by a boar demon. Rin saves him but in doing so triggers a series of events that leads her to Hikaru’s court. Here, she must make the prince fall in love or she will be transformed in a fox forever.

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Darkdawn

Darkdawn
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, Book # 3
St. Martin's Press
September 3rd 2019
Hardcover
512
English
July 13, 2021 October 3, 2021
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The greatest games in Godsgrave’s history have ended with the most audacious murders in the history of the Itreyan Republic.

Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run. Pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion, she may never escape the City of Bridges and Bones alive. Her mentor Mercurio is now in the clutches of her enemies. Her own family wishes her dead. And her nemesis, Consul Julius Scaeva, stands but a breath from total dominance over the Republic.

But beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. Together with her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life. Truedark approaches. Night is falling on the Republic for perhaps the final time.

Can Mia survive in a world where even daylight must die?


About the book

And here I am finally reviewing the third and final book of Nevernight series. In Godsgrave, Mia managed to win the greatest games of Godsgrave and to kill her two enemies. This book starts with Mia running away with her newly found little brother from the Magni, but the Red Church is hot on her heels.

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Le masque de Nô

Le masque de Nô
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, Book # 1
Gallimard Jeunesse
August 27th 2020
Paperback
416
French
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June 23, 2021 July 11, 2021

The chronicles of maple and cherry tree form a tetralogy set in seventeenth-century Japan. We follow two heroes, Ichirō, a young samurai with a fabulous destiny, and the mysterious Hiinahime, a stranger who hides behind a Nō mask. In the first two volumes the narrator is Ichirō, in the other two it will be the heroine Hiinahime's turn to tell the story. The first volume, entitled The Nō Mask, traces Ichirō's life from childhood to adolescence. Abandoned, Ichirō is raised as a son by an unknown samurai who teaches him the way of the sword. The boy will live a solitary existence in the mountains, in the heart of a wild nature and at the rhythm of the seasons, between moments of bliss and lightheartedness and an apprenticeship that requires perseverance and courage. But one tragic night, Ichirō's life is turned upside down by the attack of shady samurai. Destiny will then take him to Edo (ancient Tokyo), where he will begin performing in kabuki theaters; there he will make his first friendships and meet Hiinahime, the unknown woman with the Nō mask.


About the book

First book in the series set in Edo period Japan (17th century) entitled Les chroniques de l’érable et du cerisier which, from the Italan translation (sorry don’t know any French) should be The Chronicles of Maple and Cherry tree, a very intriguing title. We are in the period in which the Tokugawa family holds the maximum political and military power in Japan, a period of isolation and persecution of Christians.

The book begins with a Master, a former samurai, who finds a child in a biwa shell in the forest near his isolated mountain home. He takes him home and together with the housekeeper he raises him as if he were his son. The latter, Ichirō, is raised with samurai teachings, of which the Master is an expert, until the Master’s past comes knocking on the door of the isolated house and Ichirō is catapulted into ancient Edo (current Tokyo) where, to survive, he has to beg and live on the streets, until he meets a poet who will help him find work. He also discovers the Kabuki theater and thanks to this, he makes his first friends. In Edo he also meets Hiinahime, a girl who hides behind a mask of the Nō theater.

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