Spinning Silver

Naomi Novik
Spinning Silver
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Del Rey
Release Date
July 2018
Fantasy Romance

A fresh and imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale from the bestselling author of Uprooted, which was hailed as "a very enjoyable fantasy with the air of a modern classic" by The New York Times Book Review.

With the Nebula Award–winning Uprooted, Naomi Novik opened a brilliant new chapter in an already acclaimed career, delving into the magic of fairy tales to craft a love story that was both timeless and utterly of the now. Spinning Silver draws readers deeper into this glittering realm of fantasy, where the boundary between wonder and terror is thinner than a breath, and safety can be stolen as quickly as a kiss.

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father's inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty—until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, the young woman sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold.

When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk—grim fey creatures who seem more ice than flesh—Miryem's fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered. Set an impossible challenge by the nameless king, Miryem unwittingly spins a web that draws in a peasant girl, Wanda, and the unhappy daughter of a local lord who plots to wed his child to the dashing young tsar.

But Tsar Mirnatius is not what he seems. And the secret he hides threatens to consume the lands of humans and Staryk alike. Torn between deadly choices, Miryem and her two unlikely allies embark on a desperate quest that will take them to the limits of sacrifice, power, and love.

Channeling the vibrant heart of myth and fairy tale, Spinning Silver weaves a multilayered, magical tapestry that readers will want to return to again and again.

Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Aug 16, 2018   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
54 people found the following review helpful
SPINNING SILVER is a captivating fantasy read. I couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting.

Basically, it's a retelling of Rumpeltstiltskin, with Miryem as the heroine who can spin silver into gold, whether in our world or the world of the Staryk (kinda like fairies, only more dangerous and bad). But as you read on, you'll see hints of other fairy tales, like the tsar who was so enamored of his own beauty that he could've gone among his people without clothes that aren't worthy of his beauty. Or the magic of the number 3, as we see a number of things happening in 3's, like Irina (the duke's daughter) being given 3 dresses by her father and 3 betrothals in a night.

Yet, much as I had fun identifying fairy tales, I was more amazed at the story that Naomi Novik wove, a rich, magical tapestry that is more than the original fairy tale and which brought together three heroines who with their wit and courage and sense of honor fought for their future as well as that of those they love. There were layers to their character and the story that I uncover with delight, certainly a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin that I never could've imagined. I thoroughly enjoyed this fairy tale retelling and wished there could be more! Like maybe an epilogue or something. Although the ending was already pretty great and gives us a closure on the situations of each of our heroines.

Oh, one more thing. I wish there was more romance, i.e. more scenes of romantic development between each pair. I'm hard pressed, for example, to believe that the tsar is suddenly in love with the tsarina, although I'm pretty sure she can make him do that, too, with time. I thought it was more of gratitude there toward the end. Irina is quite a surprise to me, I must say, because when she was under her father's thumb, she didn't seem to have a voice, but she bloomed when she came into power.

If you haven't read any Naomi Novik books yet, you may certainly start here. But once you're done, do go and read Uprooted. You won't regret it.
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