With the Nebula Award–winning Uprooted, Naomi Novik opened a brilliant new chapter in an already acclaimed career, delving into the magic of fairy tales to craft a love story that was both timeless and utterly of the now. Spinning Silver draws readers deeper into this glittering realm of fantasy, where the boundary between wonder and terror is thinner than a breath, and safety can be stolen as quickly as a kiss.
Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty—until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, the young woman sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk—grim fey creatures who seem more ice than flesh—Miryem’s fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered. She will face an impossible challenge and, along with two unlikely allies, uncover a secret that threatens to consume the lands of humans and Staryk alike.
Amazon Link: Spinning Silver
Author: Naomi Novik
Genre: YA High Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Rating: 5/5 stars
This is a multilayered story for a fairy tale retelling and very unique. It’s based on Rumpelstiltskin with several characters, including three young women who are strong in different ways and all trying to make their own place in the world. The setting doesn’t pull any punches with the poor treatment of Jewish people in Tsarist Russia, and there is Slavic folklore as well.
Although it was long, every part of the story felt necessary to weave the tale, and I couldn’t put it down. There were many twists and surprises that were overall satisfying to read and well-crafted. This is the kind of fairy tale that I love to read and sends shivers up my spine. It has mystery, family, love, magic, clever solutions, and humans who figure out how to deal with the troublesome Fae. The ending was even a happily ever after that fit all the characters’ different needs.
I highly recommend it to fans of fairy tale retellings and Slavic folklore, especially if you like your fairy tales to have more bite than sweet romance.
Here is the book in my reading journal: