SPOILER FREE REVIEW: SPINNING SILVER BY NAOMI NOVIK❄️


Title: SPINNING SILVER

Author: NAOMI NOVAK

Pub. Date: July 10th. 2018

Genre: Adult Fantasy/Re-telling

Publisher: DEL REY

Pages: 448

Content Warning: Anti-antisemitism, alcohol abuse, physical abuse, death of a family member, and violence

*HUGE thanks to Del Rey for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion

    

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I’m not quick to say I have a type when it comes to books or anything for that matter however, this slower paced wintry read seems to fall in line with some of my favorites (think The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden or The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco). Spinning Silver is a Rumpelstiltskin retelling, an adult fantasy that takes on real life hard hitting issues (please see Content Warnings above) while weaving a tale about debts owed and the relentless winter that is plaguing the land. A tale about three daughters left to pay the price of bad decisions made by their fathers. Their lives intertwined–Miryem, Wanda, and Irinushka have every odd set against them in a world that would soon rather have them married and birthing children than in a position of power.

Told through multiple points of view, we start off with ❄Miryem❄ who loves her father for the good man that he is but recognizes how terrible he is as a money lender. Miryem and her family are struggling in poverty while those in the village that have borrowed from her father continue to prosper whilst not paying their debts. Money lending runs in the family & just like her grandfather Miryem has a knack for collecting from those that owe her. She sets out to settle the books and quickly makes a turnaround of their fate. However, she also manages to capture the attention of the Staryk King aka Lord Winter himself. The Staryk believes Miryem may have the power to transform silver into gold and promises her his hand in marriage if after his 3 visits, she has made into gold all of the silver he brings her. Each load he drops off being impossibly larger than the last because deep down inside, this Staryk King doesn’t see Miryem as a worthy Queen. Meanwhile, Miryem’s “Cold” approach seems to match the Satryk King quite well IMO 😂

❄Wanda❄ works for Miryem’s family tending to the house-chores and any manual labor. Miryem teaches Wanda her #’s and takes her long when collecting monies owed. In Miryem’s home, Wanda learns what love looks like and it isn’t the daily beatings she gets at the hands of her alcoholic father. Sort of an adoptive daughter, Wanda finds herself looking after Miryem’s parents and plays an important role later on in the story. I really love Wanda’s character, she’s someone who if shown even a little love to, will honestly go hard for you. We see this play out with her own brothers which made her scenes so heartfelt 💓

Irinushka❄ daughter of royals, Irinushka’s father has already promised her hand to a Tsar as a way to gain political favor. The Tsar has a deep dark secret he’s keeping & is the reason for which he has yet married and produced an heir. There’s a ton of pressure on Irinushka & instead of succumbing to it, we see an intellectual rise up and make some interesting power plays. Irinushka is a natural at politics 😉

❄There are also a slew of supporting characters that come in throughout the story. Many are memorable like Irinushka’s Nana of sorts who raised her and only wants to see her happy. We also travel a bit with Wanda’s brothers. In the Staryk King’s world we meet a different kind of people who at first come off as cold hearted but end up being quite the opposite❄

There are very few books I’ve come across with the power to transport me from the very first page. Usually it takes some settling in and getting to know the world a bit. Spinning Silver however is already set-up and literally feels like opening the door in the back of the closet that leads you to Narnia. These make for some of my favorite reads and linger behind even after I’ve closed the book. At times this book was heavy on the heart with scenes of violence in Wanda’s home. Seeing her & her siblings being physically hurt mercilessly and the fear they carried was tough to get through. Paired with the very different home life of Miryem and the love her family has for one another made for a deeper connection to these characters lives. We see a village deeply rooted in antisemitism, Miryem is Jewish and is seen honoring the Sabbath even in the most undesirable circumstances. In the background we have the threat of an endless Winter and we see the effects it takes on the people. I only docked it half a star because we get so many POV’s throughout & although it was written in a way so as to not make it overwhelming, it still felt like I could do without some. I found myself wanting to get back to certain fave characters quicker than others but that is not unheard of in a multi-POV story. Overall, I highly reccomend this spell-binding tale over a cup of hot Cocoa or Tea ❄


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16 thoughts on “SPOILER FREE REVIEW: SPINNING SILVER BY NAOMI NOVIK❄️”

  1. Great review for this book Lilly, and I’m so glad you enjoyed Spinning Silver as well. 🙂 Naomi Novik is one of my favourite authors when it comes to fairytale retellings/inspired stories and I loved Spinning Silver even more than Uprooted. I agree this book has some tough scenes to read but I thought the character growth was incredible, I especially loved Wanda’s character and watching her relationship with her brothers develop. Everything was so well written in my opinion, especially the world building, that was probably my favourite part of this book. 🙂
    Again great review! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beth! I have yet to read Uprooted but I do own a copy that I’m now excited to finally have the motivation to get to 😂 Wanda was also my favorite character in this book and the character development was right up there with the A+ world building! 💜 I’m glad to see you also enjoyed this one and thank you again for sharing your thoughts ☺️💓

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right, and oh in that case I hope you love Uprooted as much as you did this one. 🙂
        Yeah I mean don’t get me wrong I loved all the characters but Wanda was just a step ahead of the others. 🙂
        That’s all right! 😀 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think that’s the case with most slow paced books. I just happen to not mind them lol, but it is a beautifully written story 💙 I hope you enjoy the read when you get around to it Tammy ☺️

      Like

    1. Ive heard this from a few other Bookworms and it worries me 🙈 I may have to give Uprooted a shot soon to settle my doubts. They aren’t related at all and those that have disliked Uprooted, are mostly enjoying Spinning Silver 👀 might be worth you giving it a shot when you’re in the mood for a slower paced book ☺️💕

      Liked by 1 person

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