Review: Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver CoverSynopsis:  Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders… but her father isn’t a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife’s dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty – until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers’ pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed–and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it’s worth – especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.

Title: Spinning Silver
Author: Naomi Novik
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pub Date: 12th July 2018
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9781509899012


I read an ARC received from Pan Macmillan via Netgalley.

“Thrice you shall turn silver to gold for me, or be changed to ice yourself.”

Sometimes, there is an author whose books you know you need to read. An author who has been recommended by countless friends; whose books are some of the most well-known amongst fantasy readers and normal readers alike.

Naomi Novik is one of those authors. I have had Uprooted on my shelves for I’m not quite sure how long. Yet Spinning Silver was the first of Novik’s work that I’ve read.

And to say I devoured it is a slight understatement.

It was gone in a day. I didn’t bother with lunchtime gym sessions, after work drinks – even saying hi to my housemate. I went to work reading, came home reading, and carried on till it was done. I just couldn’t help it – it was so good!

Imagine the story of Rumpelstiltskin, but set in a wintery country with elf Lords, money lenders, and fiery demons. The general themes are there – the importance of names, turning ordinary things into gold – but there is so much more to this story than a simple retelling.

Novik’s writing is, for lack of a better term, immense. It has all the heart, family, and magic you could ask for, and her pacing will make you desperate to turn the page yet horrified at the concept of finishing the book.

 “Blue shadows stretched out over the snow, cast by a pale thin light shining somewhere behind me, and as my breath rose in quick clouds around my face, the snow crunched: some large creature, picking its way toward the sleigh.”

My only tiny issue is the ending. It was too well wrapped for me. But that’s a completely personal preference and only because I’m dead inside.

All in all, an absolute brilliant book and comes highly recommended. I think Uprooted just made its way to the top of my TBR!

2 thoughts on “Review: Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik

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