Tuesday 10 July 2018

Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Title: Spinning Silver
Author: Naomi Novik
Pan Macmillan Australia

Publication Date: 10 July 2018
ARC from Publisher


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.

Wow! What a wonderful book. I read Spinning Silver over four nights, and struggled to put it down each time, resulting in tired eyes the next morning. Novik weaves an entrancing world that draws on the Rumplestiltskin fairytale without being bound to it, and which also incorporates a lot of other folklore and myth. Although I found the changing narrative perspectives, marked only with small images, a little distracting at first, I soon got into the rhythm of the book. The characters were all well drawn and engaging; although, the Staryk lord was by far my favourite, and I was really anxious for him at one point. However, like all good fairytales, good triumphs in the end. This is my first time reading Novik's work, but I would definitely like to go back and read Uprooted too. Her prose style is easygoing, her world building fantastic, and all in all, Spinning Silver is a magical read. If you enjoy fairytale retellings, you will want to give this book your time. I was utterly enchanted from start to finish.

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