Spinning Silver

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Sep 2018

Member Reviews

This was such an excellent story that brings so many elements together to create an excellent and powerful ending. It's overwhelming to describe, if I'm being honest.
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I loved "Uprooted" as did many other readers and was excited about Naomi Novik's next novel. Unfortunately, the e-book did not correctly format and I was unable to read it before it was published. While this review is long past the book's publish date and not particularly helpful, I just hope it gives the publisher and NetGalley a heads up about the formatting.
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This book was as good as Uprooted and it is hard to match one of my favorite reads. The character dynamic and struggles were relatable while keeping the story in a fantasy setting that is just magical! I highly recommend this series.
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While it did not live up to Uprooted, Spinning Silver did have some charm. The ending was satisfying but didn't tie up enough ends for my liking. While I would read it again, it might not be for quite some time.
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With this beautiful twist on a classic tale, Novik weaves adventure, love, and a thrilling plot in this novel for both older teens and adults. The complex characters and lovely writing will keep readers hooked.
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I think I adored this book more than Uprooted and I really loved Uprooted. The narrative of Spinning Silver was built carefully and with great detail, and it was magnificent! I loved these characters and felt that the ending was one of the most satisfying endings I have read in a fantasy novel in a long time.
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Spinning Silver is a beautiful and clever book intertwining the stories of several different characters in a very loose retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. Actually, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a retelling necessarily, as there is no one character that embodies the tale specifically, but rather various elements of the tale pop up here and there in really clever ways. I loved this, as it created an unpredictability to the tale, and people familiar with Rumpelstiltskin will delight in the small nods to the folktale, as I did!

We follow three characters, all women. Miryem is the daughter of Jewish moneylenders, hardened by her neighbors prejudice and disrespect, until she takes over her father’s moneylending business and does it better than he does. Eventually, her skill making gold coins out of silver attracts the Staryk king, who desires gold more than anything. Miryem’s story highlights a lot of hardships Jewish people endured in Europe, and it’s sparked my interest in the history of Jewish folks as moneylenders. The second character, Wanda, the daughter of a poor and abusive man, ends up working for Miryem to pay off her father’s debt, but becomes more entangled with her family than she imagined. Finally, Irina is the daughter of a duke who doubts her value until she marries well. All of their stories wind up beautifully intertwined.

The story is told through first-person multiple perspectives. Usually I dislike this, because it’s difficult to tell characters apart, but Novik does a spectacular job differentiating each character’s voice. Simple, straightforward Wanda sounds nothing like clever and quiet Irina or brittle and resilient Miryem. I loved all of them, though I was definitely partial to Miryem and Irina. The characterization of these three women is the highlight of this book for me; it is beautifully written and compulsively readable, but it is the strength of these characters on which it stands.

I also loved the antagonists, the Staryk king and the tsar. Both are at first presented as cruel, but Novik slowly peels back their layers to help us understand them better, and eventually both become rather sympathetic. In particular, the tsar I found a delightful character, and his perspective was hilarious. I wish I could read more about him and Irina interacting; my one qualm about their story is that we didn’t really get the closure I wanted!

This book is so beautiful; it’s steeped in winter and folklore. There’s something so self-contained about it, but not in a claustrophobic way; rather, it feels cozy and atmospheric. Despite how slow it is, it was never dull; I couldn’t put it down at all. I was drawn to the pastoral atmosphere and the characters and the leisurely plot. This is such a well-crafted book in so many ways.
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This is a book that grows on you. The cast starts small, but new main characters are introduced during the tale which broadens the sweep of the story. Miryem is the daughter of a poor Jewish moneylender in a fantastical Russia where elves called Staryk come in the cold to steal gold. And when the Staryk overhear that Miryem can spin silver into gold, they come a calling. Irinushka is a Duke's daughter who is given a necklace and crown made with Starykan silver that enchants the Tsar. But this is were more trouble enters the story since the Tsar is possessed by a demon who is more interested in eating his wife than mating with her. Miryem and Irinushka work out a plan to bring the two forces together to try to cause mutual destruction. However, a new deal is worked out wth the Staryk king that is advantageous to all but the demon. And as in all Novik books the fun is in the details. Do read an enjoy!
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I LOVE Uprooted by Naomi Novik, so I was super excited for this sequel. I honestly never thought that a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin would interest me AT ALL, but Ms. Novik is such a fantastic writer that I was hooked! Her characters are built beautifully!
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Whimsical and breathtaking. Novik spins a beautiful tale that makes a fairy tale lover’s heart beat. Highly recommend this one for all those who love fantasy, a dash of romance, and fairytale retellings.
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I really enjoyed this book. Even though I had to stop and restart it a couple times, it was always fairly easy to jump back into and the story was compelling and pulled me along. I found the characters intriguing and even when new characters were introduced and new parts of the story were told from their POV, I didn't have too much issue with getting confused or annoyed as I usually would with a similarly structured book, so bravo Naomi Novik for handling that so well (the audiobook narrator also did a very good job with keeping characters' voices differentiated enough that it was fairly easy to tell people apart so that probably helped, too). Normally it would be risky to introduce a new POV later in a book, but it was handled with such aplomb in this story that even though I was briefly surprised, I just went with it and thoroughly enjoyed every new POV section. 

The plot itself with its many twists and turns and interweavings was interesting and and very different from what I was expecting going into the book initially. In a good way. I think I was expecting more of a YA fantasy but this story tended to skew more adult classic fantasy even though several of the main characters were teenagers. It just felt like such a subtle, smart, balanced modern version of a fairy tale and I really enjoyed that aspect of it.

This definitely made me want to go pick up more books by Novik, especially if they have this kind of fantasy, fairy tale-esque bent. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me access to an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
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A great twist on an old favorite. Nothing is quite what you expect in this exciting retelling of the Snow Queen. A must have for your library shelf.
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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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