Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Published by: Del Ray
Pub Date: July 10, 2018
Format: ebook | Source: library
Genres: adult, fantasy, retelling
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.
I will read any fairy tale Naomi Novik decides to write, and I hope she’s planning on many more. Her writing is so lush and timeless, filled with a magic of its own. I loved the slow build into that incredible conclusion, how the characters and threads bound together. I guessed/hoped for a few of those connections and I was glad to be right! It was fascinating to me that this somewhat, somehow takes place in our world- it made my heart happy to see Judaism and Jewish culture as such an integral part of the story. I really loved Miryem’s character: her straightforwardness, her quiet strength, her fierce love of her family, the way she bargained without fear- it reminded me a little of Belle in Beast’s castle.
The way Naomi Novik twisted the Rumplestiltskin story was perfection, although I am not over that last line!! Witches, demons, ice magic, and regular human evil all formed to create an incredible story. My favorite sorts of characters are always ones like Irina and Wanda who seem inconsequential at first but have more power, strength, and importance than they are given credit for. The many POVs and how they were switched between was well done; I was always eager to get back to the POV I had just finished but immediately pulled into the one I was reading. It seems I can also never resist a fantasy novel with ice and fire magic. Simply splendid.
Have you read Spinning Silver or its predecessor Uprooted? What sorts of fantasy novels do you enjoy? Let me know!