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Spinning Silver: A Novel by Naomi Novik
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Spinning Silver: A Novel

by Naomi Novik

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,6811037,131 (4.22)163
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. Set an impossible challenge by the nameless king, Miryem unwittingly spins a web that draws in a peasant girl, Wanda, and the unhappy daughter of a local lord who plots to wed his child to the dashing young tsar. But Tsar Mirnatius is not what he seems. And the secret he hides threatens to consume the lands of humans and Staryk alike. Torn between deadly choices, Miryem and her two unlikely allies embark on a desperate quest that will take them to the limits of sacrifice, power, and love.… (more)

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» See also 163 mentions

English (102)  Dutch (1)  All languages (103)
Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
A lot of these retellings of old myths and fairy tales are hit or miss with me, but I come to you today to tell you that this was not a miss. :) Indeed, nothing was amiss.

The combination of several different old fairy tales and the new-norm for Russian-style fantasy hit all the right buttons for me. There was nothing simple about this tale even though we learn, slowly, that the world is not all about hard poverty and abuse and little towns and harsh Czars. That jews aren't necessarily cracked up to fit their stereotypes.

But one thing is true. The Winter King can be cruel and harsh, the stakes are often hidden but quite vast, and simple, if powerful, magics are never enough when a Great Working is desperately needed.

At least two big stories are interwoven here, between a seamstress who marries the Czar and the moneylender's daughter who gets carried away by the Winter King. No spoilers, but there's a ton of discoveries to be had in each realm and the clash between them is something quite wonderful and amazing, even for someone who has read a ton of fantasy.

I can honestly say that Novik outdid herself here. This is a quality myth, newly-owned and told fresh. Do I like it better than Uprooted?

Yes.

I may have liked the other one better for its subject matter, but this one had a much tighter plot and a more satisfying end. More than this will be getting into deep spoiler territory.

Suffice to say, I loved it. :)

( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
A good, hard read

This is not an easy flowing novel. This is an old-fashioned tale that hits every point on the road. The despair is palpable. Just remember, it is always darkest before the dawn.

I will buy anything Ms Novik writes. Quality workmanship, every time. ( )
  wildwily | May 28, 2020 |
A good, hard read

This is not an easy flowing novel. This is an old-fashioned tale that hits every point on the road. The despair is palpable. Just remember, it is always darkest before the dawn.

I will buy anything Ms Novik writes. Quality workmanship, every time. ( )
  wildwily | May 28, 2020 |
This follows 3 women on a journey to better themselves and change their fates. 1 is a young jewish woman who is the daughter of an unsuccessful money lender who doesn't insist that those who borrow from him pay him back. When her mother gets sick she starts going after them to pay for a doctor. The 2nd woman is a victim of a drunken abusive father and she accepts the job as assistant to the money lender. the 3rd is a noble woman slated to marry an abusive prince. Unbeknownst to all of them their decisions and courage will decide the fate of 2 worlds.

This is well written with several surprises in store. Intelligence and courage are rewarded as is forgiveness. ( )
  karidrgn | May 21, 2020 |
A wonderful, slow-building tale of not just a girl, but a family, chosen through birth and circumstance. ( )
  Pascale1812 | Apr 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
[A] book of not very comforting stories, a big and meaty novel, rich in both ideas and people, with the vastness of Tolkien and the empathy and joy in daily life of Le Guin.
added by melmore | editNew York Times, Choire Sicha (Aug 3, 2018)
 
Spinning Silver follows in the tradition set by Robin McKinley of fairy-tale worlds populated by fairy-tale characters who feel like real people, and of princesses with strength and agency. But it moves the tradition forward. It’s a bright new installment from an author who’s poised to become one of the definitive YA voices of her era.
added by melmore | editVox, Constance Grady (Jul 20, 2018)
 
In spare prose of great clarity Novik weaves in and out of multiple first-person narratives in sometimes-illuminating, sometimes-disconcerting or confusing ways, exploring human and alien social structures and ethnic prejudices, fathers and daughters, damaged relationships and hidden agendas, wringing unexpected consequences from seemingly simple choices.
added by melmore | editKirkus Reivews (Jul 10, 2018)
 
This gorgeous, complex, and magical novel, grounded in Germanic, Russian, and Jewish folklore but richly overlaid with a cohesive, creative story of its own, rises well above a mere modern re- imagining of classic tales.
added by melmore | editPublisher's Weekly (Jul 1, 2018)
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Naomi Novikprimary authorall editionscalculated
Flanagan, LisaNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delort, NicolasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Metsch, Jo AnneDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Shea, TaraIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sobey, KatyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, David G.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Webb, KarolinaPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The real story isn't half as pretty as the one you've heard.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This novel was expanded from a short story also entitled "Spinning Silver" which was published in the anthology "The Starlit Wood"
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Book description
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.
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Naomi Novik is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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