Unravel the Dusk

Unravel the Dusk
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, Book # 2
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
July 7th 2020
Hardcover
355
English
January 28, 2022 February 1, 2022
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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


About the book

Short review this time, too.

I liked this second book less than the first. I understood the ending way before the actual finale even if I didn’t have idea who would become the emperor.

I liked the story between Edan and Maia, I liked how Maia is described and what she does. Even if I liked the first book more, I recommend this series. I didn’t find anything that I disliked, I just find it a little bit slow in the beginning and the middle and too fast the ending.

Anyway, I liked the world built by the author and the characters, too.

And, here, too, I like the second cover more than the first, the one with the palace.

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.

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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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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Descendant of the Crane

Descendant of the Crane
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Albert Whitman & Company
April 9th 2019
Hardcover
416
English
June 14, 2021 June 22, 2021
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Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death... because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.


About the book

Princess Hesina must take over the reins of her father’s kingdom when he suddenly dies. But Hesina saw that gas come out of her father’s body as the doctor performs an autopsy, so it can’t be natural death. Hesina wants the truth, but she must also reign, quell the revolts against soothsayers, banished and exterminated individuals throughout the kingdom, as well as avoid war with her neighbouring kingdom.

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