Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Title: Spinning Silver
Author: Naomi Novik
Publication Date: 10th July 2018

Synopsis: "Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father is not a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has left his family on the edge of poverty - until Miryem intercedes. Hardening her heart, she sets out to retrieve what is owed, and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. But when an ill-advised boast brings her to the attention of the cold creatures who haunt the wood, nothing will be the same again. For words have power, and the fate of a kingdom will be forever altered by the challenge she is issued.

Channelling the heart of the original fairy tale, Naomi Novik deftly interweaves six distinct narrative voices - each learning valuable lessons about sacrifice, power and love - into a rich multi-layered fantasy."

My thoughts: Naomi Novik seems to be able to weave really amazing fantasy stories that feel like original fairy tales, but with a wonderful, needed feminist outlook. Her female characters are so real to me, and still manage to show their flaws while they take control of their situations as best they can.

Miryem was probably my favourite character out of the bunch, but I was fascinated by every character that was introduced in this story - at the start, I couldn't quite imagine how they would cross paths, but Novik manages to do it seamlessly, so you hardly even notice that they are coming together.

And the setting! It's Winter here in Australia, so it isn't hard for me to be feeling the cold, but when Novik describes a snow-laden glade, or a frozen river, I felt the chill of it in my bones. When she describes a temporary haven with a roaring fire and hot food ready to devour, I felt warmed and cozy. This is truly a wonderful fantasy book to curl up with and forget how many hours you've been reading - you get that caught up in the tale.

I'm finding it hard to write this review without just making every sentence 'please, just go read it!' so I think I will leave off here, and just say: please. Go read it.

{I received a review copy of this book from Pan Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!}

A favourite line from the book: "A bitter cold was radiating out of the wood; if you knelt down and put out your bare hand, you could feel the chill creeping along the ground as though breathed out faintly by some distant giant, and the air had a thick strong smell of broken pine branches. The forest was deep in snow, but it felt too cold for nature even so.

You would like this book if: You have read Uprooted by Naomi Novik and enjoyed it; you love fairytale retellings; you like darkly atmospheric fantasy books with amazing and strong female characters.

Tea to drink while reading this book: Better make it something hot and hearty, to restore you from the bitter cold in this book. Perhaps some chai for a spicy kick?


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