Spinning Silver: A Novel by Naomi Novik

Book Summary

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders... but her father isn't a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife's dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty--until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers' pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed--and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it's worth--especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.

Book Details

Spinning Silver: A Novel by Naomi Novik
Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Fairytale
Expected publication on July 10th 2018 by Del Rey
Hardcover,  pages 480
Source: Publisher
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars


Book Review

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik is an enchanting fairytale inspired story loosely based on Rumplestiltskin. Set in a world beset by Winter's own lord of the fairies when a dangerous bargain leads three heroines on separate quests in order to free their realm from an everlasting Winter and the Staryk's cold rule.

Dark magic, dangerous bargains, and gorgeous folklore fill the pages of SPINNING SILVER making it a wonderful addition to the fairytale enthusiasts library.

Uprooted remains one of my favorite retellings and Spinning Silver follows close behind. Novik excels in creating a world touched with historical details where the enchantment of magic lies right alongside it. Pastoral life mingles with the frosty world of the magical Staryk. 

What I love about this story is its strong themes of sistership, family, and empowerment. When I originally picked up the story, I thought it was about one heroine, but with Novik, we get three wonderfully rounded heroines. 

Miryem, Wanda, and Irinushka are linked to each other in a powerful way in a tale that weaves together strands of silver and gold, of frost and fire, and of bargains made and bargains met. Each walks a different path and I found all their stories captivating. 

Novik also writes beautiful details of Miryem's Jewish family roots and traditions, bringing together a story rich in lore which plays an integral part in the intermingling plot threads—perfect for readers wanting an authentic and diversified voice in literature.

My one complaint is the many viewpoints beyond Miryem, Wanda, and Irina seem to convolute the already complicated plot threads. 

In the End

For fairytale and folklore enthusiast, SPINNING SILVER has so many great elements that readers look for. A world that feels real with bits and pieces of fairytale lore usually found in the classics and a strong message to take away from it.

Highly Recommended

For readers of Novik's work and those who enjoy literature rich in folklore and fairytale elements. Strong themes of female empowerment, Jewish traditions, and strength of family make this a keeper.