Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
|Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik|
|Reviewer: Luke Marlowe|
|Summary: A powerful fairy tale that blends the fantastical with themes that closely reflect the world around us, author Naomi Novik looks to age old stories to create something new, compelling, and utterly captivating.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 480||Date: July 2018|
|External links: Author's website|
Miryem comes from a long line of moneylenders – but her Father isn't very good at it at all. Lending freely and rarely collecting, he leaves the family on the edge of poverty, until Miryem must step in. Hardening her heart and collecting what is owed from local villagers, she becomes a person of great interest when she borrows a pouch of silver pennies from her Grandfather and returns it full of gold, soon becoming entangled with an array of strange creatures, from the dark beings that haunt the wood through to a King who's eager to exploit Miryem's talents – she soon becomes aware that her skills may be more trouble than they're worth…
Naomi Novik is an American writer – likely best known for her Temeraire series in which Dragons roam the skies during an alternate version of the Napoleonic Wars. Novik first entered the world of fairy tales in 2015 with Uprooted – a beautiful and spellbinding tale that blended a compelling and well thought out plot with a brilliantly strong protagonist. Here, Novik returns to the world of fairy tales in this story that, whilst not directly a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, certainly touches upon some of the plot points and issues raised in that tale.
The best part of Uprooted for me was the strong female lead – and Novik outdoes herself in Spinning Silver by creating three strong, interesting, and completely different female leads in Miryem, Wanda and Irina. Add those to some fascinating thoughts about the nature of good and bad, an exploration of Jewish culture, and creatures who add a real fantasy element to proceedings – this is a fairy tale in the most epic of ways, but one with a strong, proud and beautiful heart at the centre of it.
Blending the dark centre and life lessons of ancient fairy tales, blending them with the fire, passion and social commentary of Angela Carter, then adding a lightness of touch that'll appeal to the Young Adult fiction market – and Novik has created something that deserves to be a sure fire hit – a tale that's ancient, contemporary, traditional and yet forward thinking.
Many thanks to the publishers for the copy, and for further reading I strongly suggest reading Novik's first fairy tale – Uprooted.
You can read more book reviews or buy Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.