Spinning Silver

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Sep 2018

Member Reviews

Oh my.....this was an amazing read. I loved it just as much as Unwritten. This book has left me completely satisfied. Definitely the best book I have read this year. 
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book, which I voluntarily chose to review.
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Spinning Silver was a gorgeous novel. There were so many layers and so many different plot lines that wove together almost like magic. I loved the characters, and each POV brought a different battle and a different strength of will. Naomi Novik writes stunning imagery and I found it so easy to picture the winter kingdom around me as I read. I loved the nods to classic fairytales and the harshness of some of the characters. Their sharp edges made them much more real to me, no one was perfect and many owned their flaws. The relationships were heartfelt, though the focus is more on familial than romance and my icy heart melted again and again. Overall, Spinning Silver is a stunning and vivid novel that will be a favorite of any fantasy lover.
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A fantastic read! Novik does an incredible job bringing a simple fairy tale to beautiful, resplendent life. Her intricate plotting and deft characterizations make her books a pleasure to read!
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I wasn't a huge fan of Uprooted, so I was a little concerned going into Spinning Silver, but what a pleasant surprise this book turned out to be.
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Thank you for the ARC in exchange for feedback. I was particularly excited for this ARC because I have read Naomi Novik's past work (Uprooted) and I enjoyed it immensely, so naturally I assumed this would be much of the same. I'm happy to say that this assumption was correct! I love Naomi's skill in character building and the main character's introspection. They are are so fleshed out and full of life that you feel so immersed in their world, I genuinely felt a shift when I was reading and when I would "come up for air" so to speak. Consider me a fan for life of Naomi and will jump on any chance to read her works in the future.
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I read the short novella Spinning Silver in the [book:The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales|27370017] collection. It was awesome and the only reason I bought the the book. I was so thrilled when I heard that Spinning Silver would be fleshed out and be a full length novel. 

This is lovely braid of several fairytales. The original Rumpelstiltskin retelling, with the additions a noblewoman marrying a tsar possessed by a fire demon, and a poor farm girl and her brother running away from a crime. Then there's the whole tale of the ice king and answering three questions every night. I really adored the Rumpelstiltskin part of the retelling, those were my favorite parts.

So a big part of the story is about debt and how we try to get out of paying it. There was also the Jewish moneylenders, which in stories are mostly the villains so it was wonderful to see them  in a different light. 

I will admit I got a bit confused the first time the pov switched.  It ended up being okay but sometimes the transitions didn't fell as smooth. 

Overall I loved it.
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Naomi Novik has done it again! Much like Uprooted, Spinning Silver is set in a fantastical Eastern Europe/Russia, and builds on fairytales to create something rich and new. The characters resonate while the plot builds and builds, rushing you along through their perspectives and experiences. Spinning Silver is of my favorite books of the year, and possibly ever. I will be recommending this book to advanced readers who want fantasy with strong, flawed women.
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Naomi Novik is without a doubt one of my favs. I loved Uprooted and I can honestly say that I loved this one too. Definitely 5/5 for me.
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Spinning Silver was a retelling of Rumplestiltskin.  One of the things I liked most about this book was that the main emphasis was on something other than romance.  It was a story of honor, of friendship, of family, and of paying your debts.  This is the first book by Novik I've ever read.  Definitely checking out Uprooted!
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Naomi Novik is a magician, her previous novel Uprooted is one of my favorites. I didn't find this one as immersive, but it was still very enchanting. 
Told by alternating points of view and at first a little hard for me to get into, but ultimately, became what I loved most about this. Three different women, each the perfect balance of strength and love. While there were some plot points that I would have liked her to develop a bit more, I love Novik's modern day fairy tales for tackling tough topics, and creating heroines who save themselves.
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Naomi Novik does it again with a wonderful retelling of a classic fairy tale.  Ms. Novik does a great job in taking the basic premise of something and reworking it into something new and fresh.  There were some parts of the book that lagged and the descriptions became a bit cumbersome but overall, I really enjoyed the story.  The characters had depth and surprised me with some of their actions but I felt they stayed genuine to who they were at their core.

Would I recommend this book?  Absolutely.

I look forward to more books by Naomi Novik.
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Like many others who read this, I closed the book with mixed feelings. For the most part, I really enjoyed this book, and Novik's writing was simply genius at times. Novik wrote this book in several 1st person point of views, and transitioned between them with only a break and symbol to give you a heads up. The first couple of chapters were very hard to understand that, but by half way through the book, you could glean information of who the speaker was within a couple of paragraphs. I thought that that was really cool and well done, to be able to give such different voices to each character in such recognizable ways. 

I don't think this was as good as Uprooted, but I don't know that it would be fair to compare the two. Uprooted had a more straightforward plot with straightforward themes, whereas Spinning Silver seemed more complex. Between the switching POVs throughout, the themes of debts (when you pay and when you owe) was a little more difficult to follow. (But, I'm going to put most of that "blame" on me and not reading this book in large chunks at a time.)

If you're *barely* patiently waiting for the next Winternight triliogy book, this might be a good book to hold you over. 

(originally posted on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37168303-spinning-silver)
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Spinning Silver is the second book I have read by Naomi Novik, and once again I fell in love with her characters and storytelling. You guys, I spent weeks savoring this book because I did not want it to end. Naomi Novik’s gift of writing is enchanting, mesmerizing, and overall, purely a magical experience. 

Told in multiple points-of-view, Spinning Silver weaves together the fairy-tale features of “Rumpelstiltskin” with a new tale of female empowerment. Multiple characters provide details of their surroundings but their narratives are intricately bounded and immersed into one main story. At times the storytelling can become so complex and dense that you have to pay attention to detail to acknowledge whose point of view you are reading. But overall the pacing is executed so well, which allows the narration to mirror a theatrical experience. 

In the end, I highly recommend that if you love fantastical fairy-tale retellings, you have to read Spinning Silver. I loved that there are multiple villains in this novel, and both of them are just as sharp and biting as the wintery setting. I admired the idea that romance and relationships are not taken lightly in this book; the fierce female characters make sure that love and respect are earned. Overall, Spinning Silver is a slow-burning fantasy that interweaves rich magic, cunning and bold female protagonists, and antagonists that teeter on being morally gray, and in all honestly, this book was a delectable morsel to read.
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I had a hard time starting this novel than I had for any other of the author's books. The beginning was a slow start. I found that I could not really get into the book until page 100. I am not sure if it was because I had just finished a nonfiction book before and had to switch mental gears, or if it was the book itself. However, once I started the book I go into the book it was very entertaining and endearing. The characters are well rounded, easy to relate too, and the connection between characters are delightful.  The idea of exploitation, greed, and family are driving forces of the book.
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A daughter from a Jewish moneylending family, Miryem is resourceful, tenacious, creative, and persistent. While the Rumpelstiltskin-retelling at the core of the novel is compelling, Spinning Silver is also a powerful story about a series of important alliances made between women. After rebuilding her father’s failing money lending business, Miryem hires Wanda, a poor local girl, to help with her bookkeeping and collections. This act transforms Wanda’s life and she explains, “Miryem had given me silver for my work. She had put her hand out to me and taken mine, like I was someone who could make a bargain for myself, instead of just someone stealing from my father.” Likewise, the alliance between Miryem, Wanda, and Irina, the plain daughter of duke turned tsarina, ultimately defeats a hungry fire demon, a proud ice king, and saves two kingdoms and countless lives. Throughout the novel, there is a clear message: women do not belong to men. Women are not passive actors and they are not pawns to be used for financial gain or political advancement. Women are stronger when they help each other. When she is finally triumphant, Miryem negotiates for peace, but, specifically, calls for an end to the Staryk practice of stealing and raping human women. She demands that the Staryk king promise that they “shall take no woman unwilling who has refused her hand.”
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If you haven't already fallen in love with Naomi Novik because of her Temeraire series and "Uprooted," there's not much hope for you. As with "Uprooted," "Spinning Silver" is a powerful re-envisioning of an old folk tale, with inflections of the fey and a fierce embrace of everything positive and empowering about feminism. You're not going to like this book if you like your women meek and lacking agency; you will definitely like this book if you have a social conscience and a taste for mostly heteronormative fantasy adventure. The story underpinning "Spinning Silver" is perhaps less widely known in the West than that underpinning "Uprooted," but both take the historical story and mash it up with a whole pleasurable mélange of tales and archetypes, then subvert them in fun and whimsical ways. That said, readers will recognize hints of Rumpelstiltskin here and there, if Rumpelstiltskin was a White Walker from that *other* popular fantasy series right now. There's not a lot that's new or revelatory in the concept, but there's much to treasure and value in the execution.
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I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

This was my first book by Naomi Novik and I thought it was very good but it had some flaws that stopped me from rating it a 5 star book. The story itself was beautiful and a fantastic take on a fairy tale but I felt it dragged at points. I also wanted more from the ending [ in particular the romance. I wanted wayyyy more from that. I also wanted to know what happened with Irina and the king??? (hide spoiler)] I felt like this whole long story led up to the ending but there wasn't enough of it.
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A beautiful sequel to Naomi Novik's "Uprooted", it tells the tale of a moneylender's daughter, Miryem, who has to shoulder the weight of her father's debts. Armed with a sharp wit and a quick cleverness, she takes matters into her own hands and collects the money that her father has not. She also dons the reputation of being able to turn silver into gold, hearkening back to Rumpelstiltskin.  But her voice is not the only one present in this book, there are several other key characters whose points of view all come together to weave a tale about the delicate balance between what is "good" and what is "right", as well as how far one will go and to what lengths in order to save a loved one. I would define this as a coming of age novel, but also a really good journey, one that constantly has the readers wondering what is the right thing to do. These characters mirror common flaws in all of us, giving us a chance to be on this quest with Miryem and her family.
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I had to read this novel because I loved Uprooted, also by Ms. Novik.  Like Uprooted, this novel is fantasy as well and has the Slavik, eastern European setting, which I love.  It's the story of two women and their families.  

Miryem's father loans money to people of their town, but he is so kind that he cannot force people to pay him back, which is why Miryem steps in and becomes the moneylender after her mother becomes ill.  Miryem doesn't like that people borrow money and buy things while her family barely gets by, often being hungry or sick without affording medicine.  She isn't mean when she collects funds, but she is firm.  She also takes trade as payment.  Her maternal grandfather is the moneylender in a much larger city.  He gives Miryem silver, which she returns as gold.  She is as talented as her grandfather, so he continually gives her advice.  The town Miryem lives in lies next to a forest where the Staryk live.  The Staryk hear of her abilities and bring her silver to turn into gold.  She's clever, but can she meet this challenge?  The Staryk are not known for being kind.  Each time they come to her, there's danger.

Wanda is the young girl Miryem hires to help in their household.  She has a horrible home life, and she doesn't want her father to know that she is making money or he'll take it to buy drinks.  She worries about her brothers.  They all talk to mom who is buried beneath the tree.  Miryem begins to teach Wanda how to collect  and record payments in the record book.  Only Wanda and Miryem realizez the Staryk are visiting.  Even if people see them, they quickly forget and have no recollection.   Wanda replaces  Miryem when she's with the Staryk.  

This novel has a lot of perspectives.  I'm just mentioning two.  The lives of the king and his wife intersect with Miryem as the Staryk must fight the dark evil.  For fear of giving too much away, I'm stopping there.  This novel is very vivid in my mind.  I wrote a review when I finished the novel eons ago, but I can't find it!!!  I'm doing everything from memory, so names are hazy but the images the novel paints in my mind are clear.  Images of cold, fire, journeys, opulence, a simple village, and a magical forest permeate my mind.  The ending was powerful, as the characters and various stories all come together. The novel is complex and interesting.  I honestly didn't like is as well as Uprooted, but I still really enjoyed this novel.
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My library has already purchased this book.  My students love Naomi Novik, especially her Temeraire series.  This is a bit of a slower read than Uprooted, but still an interesting twist on a familiar tale.  Good for those who liked Cinder or The Girl in the Tower.
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