This was one of the most anticipated releases of the year for me! I really loved Novik's fairy-tale fantasy ‘Uprooted’ and was so excited when I found out Spinning Silver was being released this year. And when I saw the cover I decided I had to read it straight away! Absolutely beautiful!
This Rumpelstiltskin-inspired novel starts off following Miryem, the daughter of the towns reluctant moneylender. He has loaned out too much and fails to collect on debts owed. Out of starvation and desperation, Miryem takes over and becomes the new moneylender, collecting all her father's owed debts. She becomes quite the talented book-keeper and starts to make quite a lot of money, changing silver into gold. However a dark magical king has heard of her ability to turn silver into gold, and she is now fighting for her survival, and that of the whole kingdom.
Spinning Silver has a great premise! It is a completely original idea loosely inspired by the fairy tale, and had me hooked the whole way through. Especially the beginning. There was something great about the beginning, and how she set up the scene. The characters and setting were absolutely fantastic! Unfortunately I found the second half slightly lacking. But it was still an entertaining read. It was fantastic to just forget about the world around you and get utterly lost in magic for hours!
It had a similar feel to it as Uprooted. Dark and dismal, yet magical and captivating. You get sucked into the fantasy world and it is really fun to start off blind and learn as you go about the world/s and the characters.
Most books in this genre tend to be in a series. And I get why. The stories can go on and on, in this direction and that, and I understand how people love that. But there is something wonderful about a stand alone fairy-tale fantasy that actually ends. It has a finality about it that I enjoy and appreciate. Having said that, I wasn't the biggest fan of the ending itself. I found it a bit abrupt and wanted a more thorough conclusion for all the characters.
The only real problems I had with it was at times it had a slightly slow moving pace, and I was expecting more romance! There are quite a few characters that it jumps back to and I found it a bit distracting and confusing at times.
Would I recommend Spinning Silver?
If you enjoy Fairy Tale retelling's and wonderful characterisations I would recommend you give this a try. I did find that I enjoyed Uprooted more, but it was still a good read!
And did I mention how beautiful the cover was??
I purchased Spinning Silver at my own expense.
Novik has created something that deserves to be a sure fire hit - a tale that's ancient, contemporary, traditional and yet forward thinking -- The Bookbag, 5 Stars Novik outdoes herself in Spinning Silver... A fairy tale in the most epic of ways, but one with a strong, proud and beautiful heart at the centre of it -- The Bookbag, 5 Stars A remarkable achievement... Confirms a huge step forward for Novik -- SFX Magazine, 5 Stars This gorgeous, complex, and magical novel...rises well above a mere modern re-imagining of classic tales...Novik probes the edges between the everyday and the extraordinary, balancing moods of wonder and of inevitability. Her work inspires deep musings about love, wealth, and commitment, and embodies the best of the timeless fairy-tale aesthetic...This is the kind of book that one might wish to inhabit forever -- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review Uprooted has everything I love: a great heroine, new takes on old myths and legends, and surprising twists and turns. A delight -- Cassandra Clare on Uprooted The magic in Uprooted, with its realistic moral dimension, is so vividly believable that it almost seems you could work the spells. But the book will do that for you -- Ursula K. Le Guin on Uprooted I didn't know how much I wanted to read a book like this until it was already in my hands. Uprooted has everything I love about Novik's writing style, with the added bonus of some old world magic and the flavor of a dark faerie story -- Patrick Rothfuss on Uprooted Enchanting, in every sense of that fine old word. A charming and inviting story that looks unflinchingly at the strangling roots of hurt and revenge -- Robin Hobb on Uprooted Lovely, intricate and strong. A gorgeous read. The sort of book one reads again and again -- Genevieve Cogman Dauntless women, cruel lords and wayward fairies come together in a beautifully realised world. Brimming over with fairy-tale magic, SPINNING SILVER proves Naomi Novik to be a master fantasist at the top of her game -- Zen Cho A book as cool and mysterious as a winter's night, with two marvelous heroines at its heart. Spinning Silver pits the cold of endless winter against the fires of duty, love and sacrifice. I couldn't put it down -- Katherine Arden Cool and clever and warm and satisfying and dire and wonderful; I loved this book so much -- Laini Taylor
A fresh take on a classic fairy tale, by the author of the multiple-award-winning Uprooted.