Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
I’ve never been a fan of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale. It’s too multiplicative and involves riddles, which I’m terrible at. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik takes the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale and turns it on its head. It’s a thrilling and compelling retelling that enhances the lessons of the fairy tale to a new high.
First, we get to hear the story through three smart, lead characters. Miryem is a wickedly clever lady who takes her father’s moneylending business and finally begins to bring prosperity to her family. Miryem ends up hiring Wanda to help out the family, and to help Wanda’s drunk father pay off his debt. Wanda is quiet but strong. She soon becomes a vital part of Miryem’s family and manages to help her brothers escape their abusive father. Finally, Irina is a political mastermind who manages to help her country and fight demons at the same time. Each woman has a compelling individual story, but woven together by the author into something more. I absolutely loved reading about each character and watching them grow and change.
Second, let’s talk about the world building. The author spins a tale in not one but two magical worlds. The characters mostly live in a northern country that sounds a bit like Russia. The woods and villages are described in rich detail on every page. You get to experience the rural and urban life of these people through the different perspectives. The second magical world is the Winter fairy kingdom of the Staryk. Here snow and ice keep the people safe. Magical acts and truth telling are vital to the culture here. The Staryk seek safety through ever more possession of gold. Now take these two worlds and unite them through magical metals, mirrors, and a mystical cabin in the woods. Readers will love the ease in which the worlds in this novel live and interact with each other.
Fairytale lovers rejoice; Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver will bring joy and excitement to your Summer Reading. I suppose I’m a little biased, though, as I read this during the first 90 degree day of the Summer and kept cool reading about the magical Winter featured in this thrilling story! lol
This book comes out on July 10, 2018. I was provided a free, advance reader copy by Absolutely Fiction Books in exchange for a honest review.