This book has been on my TBR for a while, but I somehow never realized that it and Six Crimson Cranes were written by the same author. So, when I did realize this, I ran to the library to pick this one up.
Maia has hopes of becoming a master tailor someday, despite being a girl in a world where girls are not allowed to hold such positions. When the opportunity arises to compete to become the Emperor’s tailor, then, Maia disguises herself as her brother and heads to court. Here, a journey of magic and romance ensues for her.
Lim’s writing style is really enjoyable, and I can see that across both of her duologies. I really got sucked into Maia’s story from the beginning as she talks about her brothers and her talent for tailoring.
The competition aspect was also super exciting. The book was pitched as a Fashion Runway type book, and I really enjoyed seeing Maia use her talent. This might have been just an issue with my expectations, but I wish the book had more of a focus on the competition instead of going off on a second journey. I didn’t feel that the story flowed very well in this way. The romance also felt a bit rushed and just kind of inserted into the story in the second half. I loved Edan and his banter with Maia, but their relationship developed a little too quickly for the story.
The story and characters were also just a little too underdeveloped for my liking. I didn’t feel a very strong connection to anyone, including Maia even with how much I liked her. While the story had development and pacing issues, it was definitely a solid fantasy, and I’m still debating on whether I’ll go on to read the second book.
Have you read this series? Let me know what you thought!