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Spinning Silver: A Novel by Naomi Novik
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Spinning Silver: A Novel (edition 2018)

by Naomi Novik (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,5471484,508 (4.23)214
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)
Member:Kheiman1
Title:Spinning Silver: A Novel
Authors:Naomi Novik (Author)
Info:Del Rey (2018), Edition: First Edition, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work Information

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

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» See also 214 mentions

English (147)  Dutch (1)  All languages (148)
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
This was such an ingenious take on the Rumpelstiltskin tale!

Miryem is the daughter of an ineffectual moneylender who decides to take business into her own hands in order to raise her family out of poverty. She gains a reputation for spinning silver into gold, which soon attracts the attention of the Staryk — fey people who draw strength from the winter.

Tasked with proving her ability, Miryem must find a way to save herself and her people from an impossible situation, drawing in help from Wanda, a poor girl from a troubled home, and Irina, the daughter of a wealthy lord who hopes to marry her to the tsar. All three women find themselves in desperate circumstances but refuse to give in without fighting to create their own fate.

I absolutely loved this one! Novik weaves such a clever web of magic and bargains and truth and deception. I loved the very practical method Miryem came up with to “spin” silver into gold. I loved how the paths of each of the characters converged and impacted each other. I loved how all the women were smart and brave and crafty and bold in their own way and in different circumstances.

After hearing so many good things about this author, I’m so glad she lived up to my expectations, and I cannot wait to read Uprooted! ( )
  vvbooklady | Jan 10, 2022 |
My favorite part of Novik's Uprooted was the validity and empowerment given to Agnieszka's magic style, and how it made the Dragon's magic even stronger. Novik took that theme and multiplied it by three incredible characters in Spinning Silver. All three women kicked ass, not in a literal sword-fighting way, but by knowing their strengths, taking confidence from that, and using it to navigate the obstacles in their way, even when--especially when--others didn't see or didn't value those strengths. Having Jewish characters on the page, especially in fantasy, means so much to me, and in a respectful way that doesn't ignore Jewish hardships but doesn't make them, like so many other books, the go-to source of conflict. The only very minor criticisms I have are that some of the POVs seemed unnecessary, and I would have liked a bit more of Irina's ending fleshed out, but neither of these detracted from the overall experience of the story. This book is probably my favorite read of the year so far. ( )
  hissingpotatoes | Dec 28, 2021 |
I loved the story. Such a great fairy tale. Parts of it reminded me of other fairy tales, of course, but then it is no secret that Naomi Novik uses elements from well-known fairy tales and spins fantastic tales with those. What an apt title, the author is spinning silver indeed.

Katy Sobey's narration is fine, but there is no vocal distinction between the various characters, making it hard to know when there is a change of perspective in the story.
Now, admittedly, three of the characters are young women of about the same age, and one is a small boy, so naturally, they'll sound similar, but then I think maybe the narrator could have used slightly different accents to help the listener know who is telling what.
Or the author could have titled the paragraphs to let us know...
I think this audio book would have profited from either a cast of narrators, or a narrator who can give each character a distinctive voice.
Having the same voice range for all characters throughout the book was a bit of a pity, imo.

Still, I enjoyed the story, and the narration on the whole. ( )
  Belana | Dec 15, 2021 |
I wasn’t planning to read this one because I hated Uprooted so much, but I’m glad I gave it a go. Absolutely spectacular storytelling. ( )
  readingjag | Nov 29, 2021 |
This book was recommended to me by my step sister and I am so glad I read it! I enjoyed how the author would introduce characters early on and would later give each of them a narrative role. It is on the lighter side of fantasy, meaning the reader does not have to struggle with learning everything about an alternate world. Instead, the book reads like a normal fiction book. The characters are very interesting and the story was captivating. It was definitely one of those books that I didn't want to end. I recommend this book to anyone interested in fantasy, strong female characters, mystery, twists and turns, family and friendship. ( )
  kathrynwithak7 | Nov 24, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 147 (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)
 
I'm in awe of how Novik spins moldy, hateful straw into warm and glimmering gold.
added by aspirit | editNPR Books, Amal El-Mohtar (Jul 17, 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 (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Novik, Naomiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Delort, NicolasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flanagan, LisaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flanagan, LisaNarratorsecondary 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
Wolfswinkel, GerdaTranslatorsecondary 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.)
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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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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.

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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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