Adult · Books · Fantasy

Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

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My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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.

In last week’s First Impression Friday post, I mentioned that Spinning Silver was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I absolutely adored Uprooted back when I read it and I couldn’t wait to see what Novik came up with this time around. Having finished it, I am very happy to report that Spinning Silver did, indeed, live up to my expectations.

For those unaware, Spinning Silver, is an adaptation on the Rumplestiltskin story. I hate to even phrase it that way, because a lot of people will roll their eyes and say “Oh great, another fairy tale re-telling.” This book, like Uprooted, is incredibly unique in its interpretation and is a much looser re-telling than a lot of the counterparts out there. The story and characters the author has created can stand entirely on their own as a modern fairy tale.

The story is steeped with Jewish history and lore, fiercely strong characters, and gorgeous imagery. I loved the three women that the story followed: Miryem for her ruthlessness, Wanda for her strong will, and Irinia for her bravery. I loved the way the three women’s stories wove together, despite all the unexpected curves thrown at them.

Spinning Silver is more than a fairy tale re-telling, it’s a beautiful story about perseverance, family bonds, and things more valuable than gold.

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