Cover Image: Spinning Silver

Spinning Silver

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Member Reviews

A perfect choice for someone who likes high/dark fantasy, with alien worlds and demon terrors work alongside smart girls who don’t give up. I’m a sucker for enemies to lovers tropes so I would’ve enjoyed a little more romance at the end, but overall that was my only issue.
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I am very surprised that I forgot to review this one. Novik is a strong fantasy writer and one that I frequently recommend to fantasy readers -- Spinning Silver was a delight and has been at the top of my recommendation list event two years later.
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Once again a Naomi Novik novel captured me and brought me into her own magical world. I fell in love with the three female protagonists and rooted for them all the way through. They were strong, independent and relentless, that alone made me love the book. But once the heavy fantasy stuff started happening, I couldn't put the book down!
Such a great read, especially for the winter months, where one might feel like the Staryk king is wandering about, bringing the cold weather with him from his frozen kingdom.
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Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, a fantastic retelling of a fairy tale into a story for adults. Novik continues to draw you into her world with believable problems and relatable people. Can't wait for more from her pen.
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Novik's fairy tales retold are so beautiful. This is a loose retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, though much more involved and detailed. It's pastoral in its setting - lots of green fields and forests and countryside - and for me that holds a lot of appeal. Where else would evil little imps (of one type or another) be able to cavort about and poke into people's lives without being stopped?

This is a really smart book, as well. It spins away from the traditional tale of Rumpelstiltskin (you'll have to read to find out why), and does really great work to examine and combat ethnic stereotypes in an amazing way.
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Spinning Silver was an excellent read and I am sad that it took me so long to start reading it. The characters were amazing, the setting enchanting, and the storytelling was magical. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, Russian folklore, and the retelling of fairy tales. Also, to anyone who enjoyed the Bear and the Nightingale series by Katherine Arden.
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Novik writes such marvelous fairy tales. This one builds on what I found in Uprooted but gives us more storylines to follow and more fabulously flawed heroines to root for. There was also something lovely about reading such a cold book in the summer months - the atmosphere of the book is wonderfully rendered and truly draws the reader into its world and its story.
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I always think of fantasies as cozy reads, perfect for winter time, so the fact that this book was actually set in winter just made it even cozier for me! I love the characters and Naomi's beautiful writing, but I'm not sure I'll ever be a fan of multiple points of view. I found the characters very hard to connect with because there were so many points of view. I've never enjoyed Rumpelstiltskin, so I didn't go into this with the highest of expectations, but I liked how she kept true to the story as well as made it her own in ways. If not for the writing, I would have rated this as a 2.
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Overall, I found this interesting story. Novik built a world that was equal parts mixture and real world. I started hearing about tsars and my ears just pricked up (I'm a huge fan of tsarist Russian history, particularly 19th century). I think my biggest issue is I was expecting this to be a little more of a direct retelling of a certain  fairy tale. It seemed very Rumpelstiltskin in some ways, but then not so much. I found myself, as I listened to some of this having trouble at times keeping up with the narration. That can be hard when you are telling the story through multiple character's POV. It was a beautifully built world with some good characters. I don't know if I would read it again though.
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The library has already purchased it for its fantasy collection and it is well-written - the fact that I am not a fan is a personal opinion.
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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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