Cover Image: Spinning Silver

Spinning Silver

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Member Reviews

*This book was provided to me by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review*

From my understanding, this book is supposed to be a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. I would say that the plot of this book veers too far away from the story of Rumpelstiltskin to be a true retelling, though it does nod to the original story. This is a fantasy book that mainly follow three characters; Miriem, the daughter of a moneylender; Wanda, a poor girl living with her abusive father and two brothers; and Irina, the daughter of a Duke. The story is mainly told from the point of view of those three characters. Naomi Novik's writing is absolutely beautiful. Her writing is atmospheric and beautifully descriptive. This book has some similarities to The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. If you enjoyed one you will most likely enjoy the other. Both authors have similar writing styles and both stories are set in similar places during similar time periods, as well both featuring themes inspired by Slavic folklore.

Firstly, I am obsessed with this book. Thankfully, it is a stand alone so if you didn't read Uprooted you can read this and follow the plot easily. I will 100% be picking up Uprooted ASAP! The writing was outstanding, the story was engaging, the characters were dynamic. What more could a reader ask for!? There is nothing about this book that I can say I didn't like. I would most definitely recommend this to people who enjoy fantasy, especially for those who are not fans of very long and complicated fantasy books. This plot was very easy to follow with an interesting and unique magic system that revolves around the Staryk who are a Fae race. So basically, Fae, magic, bad ass female protagonist, awesome writing. This book is a YES!
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Uprooted is one of my all-time favorite books. I've been looking forward to Naomi Novik's next new book ever since I read it...and yet I worried that she couldn't live up to the magic of the first one. I didn't need to worry. Spinning Silver is just as beautiful, just as fantastical, as Uprooted. It was sometimes difficult to keep track of the large cast of characters and it started a little bit slower than many other books, but the buildup was worth it. Spinning Silver is a gorgeous work, and I cannot wait for Novik's next book. 

Thanks to Random House via Netgalley for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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An absolutely stunning novel. Loved it. Will recommend both professionally and personally.
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This book is magic.

Miryem is the daughter of a moneylender who is soft-hearted and bad at his job. Furious at the village folk for taking advantage of her family, Miryem starts collecting debts in his place. In time, she becomes so good at lending and investing that shedevelops a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold - a reputation that gets her kidnapped by the King of the Staryk, the winter people, to be his bride. Her story becomes connected with that of Irina, the daughter of a Duke, and Wanda, a poor girl from her village.
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"Spinning Silver" is another stellar fairy tale based novel from Naomi Novik. The story is once again grounded in Eastern European story traditions (drawing heavily from the tale of Rumpelstiltskin), although this time with a stronger grounding in the historical setting. The story is told from three main viewpoints, with three less extensive viewpoints introduced later in the book. Much like "Uprooted" this is a beautifully written fairy tale, full of complex characters.

The first main character that we are introduced to is Miryem, the daughter of a Jewish moneylender (though not a very successful one). Miryem takes over the family business when it becomes clear that her father doesn't have the personality necessary to demand the payments due to him from his neighbors. Her abilities in this area bring her to the attention of the Staryk King, ruler of some sort of faerie court that is obsessed with gold. Miryem's profession also brings her into contact with our other two main characters: Wanda, oldest child of a drunken and abusive father, and Irina, a young noblewoman whose perceived value increases astonishingly when she is suddenly engaged to the Tsar.

I don't want to talk too much about the plot details because they are best discovered as you read the story. As much as "Uprooted" came with a palpable feeling of menace from the cursed wood, "Spinning Silver" is full of ice and fire. The middle third of the book dragged a little bit for me, but overall it was a beautiful and satisfying read.

I do want to touch on one thing in this book that I almost never see in fantasy: the very obvious and important part that being Jewish plays in the story of Miryem and her family. There is always an awareness of this aspect of her character, and the story frequently touches on the precariousness of her family's position. There are several mentions of the fact that Miryem and her family are fully aware that the town (which tolerates their presence uneasily) could turn on them in a second if provoked. Even Miryem's Uncle, a wealthy and well respected city man, has plans and secret exits for leaving the city in a hurry if necessary. I have never seen this much attention paid to the daily lives of Jewish families in this era, and it was a nice thing to see. It also made parts of the book slightly uncomfortable for me to get through, just because it is once again becoming less safe to be openly Jewish these days and Miryem's story often felt just a bit too real to me.

"Spinning Silver" is a worthy successor to "Uprooted" (although the two do not share any characters or settings), and I hope the Naomi Novik continues to write such lovely fairy tale novels in the future.
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*This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

When I first heard about this book, I was so excited. Every since I managed to get my hands on Uprooted, I was glad I managed to find this author. Uprooted has managed to become one of my favorite books of all time and once she announced that she was coming out with this one, I knew I had to find a way to get my hands on it. I honestly don’t know what I was expecting for this book. It certainly wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. Whenever I come across a book told in multiple first person point of views, I can never fully immerse myself in them. I didn’t have that problem with this book.

The transitions were done so nicely and so easily, that I found that I didn’t mind how many characters were telling the story. At first, it was a little confusing, because the switch in characters wasn’t marked by that characters name, but rather an image. However, after a bit, it was easy to distinguish who was who. I thought this story was going to be more about Miryem and the Winter King, but I should have known better. Just like with Uprooted, there was so much more that the Synopsis doesn’t even hint at and I loved it all the more for that.

Over all, Miryem was probably my favorite character over all, though I did enjoy reading all of their points of view. I wish there was more to this book, just because I feel like there so much more to be explored about this world. The ending also left me wanting more. It was one of those where there definitely could be a continuation of this book. Overall I loved it, and I see myself easily picking this up to read again.
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Not a fan.  A retelling of Rupelskilstin.  However, I thought the book was disjointed and did not make sense.  For example, I didn't understand why Myriam would marry Staryk at the end of the book? He kidnapped her and forced her to work for him and then she falls in love?
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Spinning Silver is a remarkable fantasy book that at once seems so familiar and yet so foreign. Loosely inspired by Rumpelstiltskin, this adventure goes far beyond the traditional story and delves into a world so richly built that you never want to put the book down. This book absorbed me entire. The writing is as clever as the characters. This is a must-have for any fantasy collection.
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I loved Uprooted, so when I saw that Naomi Novak had written another fairy tail-esque novel I got pretty excited. And I'm pleased to say that I was not disappointed in Spinning Silver at all. Spinning Silver and Uprooted are not set in the same world, though they have a similar feel. Spinning Silver is set in a Slavic-type world with Russian style mythos and a Jewish community. Spinning Silver takes the story of Rumpelstiltskin and runs away with it. T

he book starts out with a prologue about how the story as we know it isn't true. How the story originated from the miller's daughter accusing the Jewish moneylender of being a witch and getting out of her debts. Thus begins the tale of Spinning Silver. Miryem's father is a moneylender. But not a very good one. So while the town prospers, her family suffers. Until Miryem has enough. She becomes cold enough to do what her father cannot- collect the town's debts and turn her silver into gold. In doing so, she attracts the attention of the Staryk, ice fae, who's never ending winter is encroaching on her world.
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Novik is dazzling once again with this title. I had not expected the gift of so many courageous heroines, but Novik certainly offered them to me, open-handed. I was captivated from page one, as if magical forces had enthralled me; Even now I can't stop smiling. Please do yourself a favor and read this book! Highly Recommended.
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My birthday weekend treat to myself was to read my ARC of this book, which isn’t out until July, and honestly I could not have picked a BETTER birthday weekend treat for myself, because this book had just about everything I loved in it! It’s set in the same universe as Novik's Uprooted, I believe, but doesn’t seem to be related to that book otherwise, except that it is also an interesting mishmash of Western and Eastern European folklore (and Jewish!!). The main character is a young Jewish girl, the daughter of a moneylender, but eventually several other POV characters comes into play, particularly the daughter of a local Duke and a young girl who comes to work for the moneylender's daughter. There are so many great women in here, learning accounting, knitting, fighting demons—you know, the usual stuff. Anyway, I don’t want to give much away, but this book was moving and funny and action-packed, and had so much good family and friendship stuff. I just really loved it. A.
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I tore through this in a single day, flipped back to the beginning, and read it straight through again. I loved Uprooted but I think Spinning Silver might be even better. In some ways it's also very similar to The Bear and the Nightingale (fantasy Russia setting, human girl pulled into the war between mythological creatures), but Spinning Silver is completely rooted in Jewish heritage and traditions and it's both tremendously powerful and really unique. Novik manages to balance an initial three different narrators (Miryem, the Jewish daughter of a moneylender who is challenged by the fairy king to turn silver into gold, Wanda, a peasant girl who sees indentured servitude to Miryem's family as an opportunity to escape her abusive father, and Irina, the plain daughter of a politically astute lord who becomes an unwilling tsarina with the help of a magical crown) with the late addition of three more (Irina's nurse, Wanda's brother, and the demon-ridden tsar) and every time the book jumped from one person's head to another's, I was completely absorbed within a few paragraphs even though I was dying to find out what happened to the character we had just left. Fantasy fans, you have a treat waiting for you in July.
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Simply excellent! One of those books where, the moment you finish, you rush off to buy everything else the author has ever written.
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More than a worthy successor to Uprooted, Spinning Silver is a beautifully crafted novel. Novik skillfully braids together the plots of three women who use their wits and their will to create something out of the difficult circumstances of their lives. Novik's inclusion of Russian and Jewish culture gives the tale a grounded element that makes the fairy tale even more believable.
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This is such a beautiful, well written book. The plot is well thought. Naomi Novik doesn't leave anything behind. The characters are fully dimensional even the ones who are first introduced as stock characters are fleshed out.
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I adored the characters and their complexity, but I can't put into words how much I loved having such clever, ambitious heroines taking charge of the plot. They had real agency, and found ways to put themselves in positions of power despite their circumstances and it was magnificent. I loved how Jewish culture was such a strong part of this novel and in the end saved the Staryk.  The way the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale was woven into this story was incredibly clever and kept me guessing even though I thought I knew what was going to happen.
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I loved Uprooted by Naomi Novik, so I was thrilled that she was tackling another fairy tale. While readable, Spinning Silver didn't captivate me like Uprooted did. It might be that the switching P.O.V between six characters left me not particularly invested in any of them. However, it was an interesting read and I'll certainly be buying it for my library's collection.
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