by Elizabeth Lim
"Romance, artistry, and deep enchantment."
– Gregory Maguire, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked
"An addictive magical adventure."
– School Library Journal
This is book one 1 of 2 from The book of Stars series.
The book is divided into 3 parts: The Trial, The Journey and The Oath.
Part I - The Trial
The main character is Maia, she is the 4ft child of the Tamarin family.
The family is formed of Finlei, Sendi, Kenton, Maia, mother and baba, he is a good tailor and has a shop. They all live as a happy family in A'landi.
Everything changed when their mother died, baba began to drink and neglect his shop, causing the family financial difficulties. When the war started between the Emperor Khanujin of A’landi and the shansen the country’s more powerful warlord, the boys were called to war. Finlei and Sendi left but when a letter arrived at home announcing Sendi's death Kenton decided to go and bring home Finlei. When the war was over, at home returned only Kenton, but unable to walk.
One day someone from the palace come into the shop and requested for baba or Kenton to go and become the emperor's tailor. Baba was weak and didn’t sew for a very long time, Kenton's skills were almost none and Maia couldn't go because there wasn't possible for a woman to be a Master. This invitation had to be fulfilled otherwise, nobody will ever shop from them and they will be seen as an embarrassment.
Maia decided, since she was very good at this, to disguise as her brother Kenton Tamarin and go to the palace.
The emperor was young, just 23yo and he had to marry his rival daughter to keep the peace. The tailor position was to serve lady Sarnai, the shansen 's daughter who wasen't happy with this arrangement and felt that her father betraid her. To get the tailor position they had to pass 3 tasks.
Task 1- A shawl.
Durin this task Maia's shawl was damaged by someone from the team with tea. When she started to fix it and needed to use the scissors that she got from her father, it started to glow magically and the shawl ended up very beautifully.
Task 2- Slippers made from unusual materials: metals, glass or portelan.
During this task Maia befriended a maid from the kitchen called Ammi and got some spices for the dye.
During this task Edan, Lord Enchanter, tells Maia that he knows that she is pretending to be a boy, that she has the magic scissors and that their magic worked with only for people who had magic in them. He also said that he will help her win.
Task 3 - Jacket from paper.
At this task, one of the tailors started the fire that ruin others jackets and attacked Maia damaging her hand. After this incident the remaining contestants decided to give up since thier jackets were ruined and there wasen't time to fix it.
Norbu was the most evil tailor of them, who ruin Maia shawl at their first task, took the guys out to drinks late so they will be tierd to work, and now he started the fire and attacked Maia.
Edan tried to help healing Maia's hand, then she started to fix the jacket.
The next day when they had to show the jackets, the Emperor decided to give another bonus task, because of the incident.
Task 4 - Create something for the Empress to saw her beauty.
Lady Sarnai called Maia for the measurements and asked to spy on Edan, telling her that she wants a solder and a tailor.
Norbu finds out that Maia was pretending to be her brother. On the presentation day Sarnai chooses Norbu, because he must agreed on spying for her, because Maia dress was much better. Maia tried to exposed Norbu for using magic on the dress color. But Norbu revealed Maia's identity.
She was sentence to be beaten and hanged. Edan saved Maia, and the Emperor decided that his Enchantment will make everyone forget about this incident and keep Maia pretending to be a man, and as the winner tailor because of her magic scissors.
Part II - The Journey
As the new tailor, Lady Sarnai said that as a wedding gift she wants the 3 magical dresses, one woven with the laughter of the sun, the second embroidered with the tears of the moon and the last painted with the blood of the stars, and she give 3 months to complete the task.
As Lady Sarnai know this was an impossible task, she hoped her new tailor will not succeed.
Edan decided to leave with Maia, even he shouln't be leaving the Emperor side, to get the materials.
The ingredients were found in: Sun- Halakmarat desert, Moon - Rainmaker’s Peak and Stars - Forgotten Isles of lapzur. Each task was a trial of body, mind and soul.
Edan ability was limited, since he couln'd actually help Maia due to the Emperor command. Maia finds out that Edan is bound to the Emperor, because of his amulet that needed to have a master and the enchanter to obei him.When he was away from his master his powers were week and at night he turned in a hawl.
Durin their travels they fall in love.
In their last task, Maia gets marked by a demon and to escape Edan promises to take his place once Maia is secure back at the palace.
Part III - The Oath
At the palace she founds out that Godess Amana who received the dresses originally give the scissors to the tailor who succeeded. The same scissors she received from her father. Maia also finds out that the legend said that Amana will grand a wish for who succeeds in creating the dresses.
When Maia finished the magical dresses, she wised that Edan will be free from his oath and accepted the consequences, she will become a demon.
The Emperor accepted the dresses and exposed Maia true identity.
The next day she tells Edan the wish she made and tells him to run for now.
She decided to go home to visit baba and Kenton were she gives them a special tea from Edan, for happiness and leaves without telling them the truth.
"I had been afraid to tell them the truth, that my homecoming was not the end of my story.
But a new terrible beginning.”
Short summary for book 2 Unravel the Dusk
For me the first book was much betteer then the second one.
In the second book she transforms in demon, she saves lady Sarnai and her lover, the emperor dies and lady Sarnei defeats her father with Maia and Edens help.
It ends with Sarnei as empress, and Maia returns to normal and is with Eden.
Note: Some pieces of information are left out of the book.
Get the full experience by reading it! ❤