3.5 Stars 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!
I really liked the story and the characters. Naomi has the talent to write children voices as if they were really kids, simple, honest, uncomplicated. This book is not like any other one, it has its charm and was a perfect winter read. I grew sympathy to the jew family quite a lot because they showed that hard labor brings sweet fruit at the end. Enchanting in every chapter and gives hope that good will be rewarded and win over evil traits. Recommend to read if you like tales and fantasy.
Fabulously engrossing fairy tale - or is it? Quite a wise allegorical tale, unputdownable. As a Jewish woman from a European heritage, holcaust survivor for a mother, I found it deeply moving. Brilliantly written, an impossible to put down.
Novik does not disapoint. I wasn't neccessarily a fan of Uprooted (although I adore the Temeraire series) but I found Spinning Silver surpassed my expectations. Masterful story pace and an interesting plot make me want to reread it already!