Miryem was brought up in a snowbound village, on the edge of a charmed forest. She comes from a family of moneylenders, but her kind father shirks his work. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, his family faces poverty – until Miryem intercedes. Hardening her heart, she sets out to retrieve what’s owed, and her neighbours soon whisper that she can turn silver into gold. Then an ill-advised boast attracts the cold creatures that haunt the wood. Nothing will be the same again, for words have power. And the challenge she’s issued will change the fate of a kingdom.
Channelling the spirit of the original Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale, Naomi Novik has written a rich, multi-layered fantasy about sacrifice, power and love that is a joy to read.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Expanding upon the richly imagined world she created for Uprooted, Naomi Novik pulls us into a story of foreboding forests, wintery magic and tenacious female characters. The novel centres on Miryem, a moneylender who can transform silver into gold, and explores themes of ethnic prejudice, family legacies and secret agendas. A dark fairy tale that's both relatable and mythic, Spinning Silver draws inspiration from Eastern European folklore. Like the best storytellers, Novik spins unexpected consequences from seemingly simple choices and builds towards a satisfying ending—and the perfect final sentence.
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. Novik (Uprooted) begins the story through the eyes of Miryem, a Jewish moneylender's daughter, whose pride in her ability to wring payments from borrowers draws the demanding attention of the terrifying, otherworldly, and rules-bound Staryk, who are ruled by a wintry, gold-loving king. Secondary characters a peasant boy, a duke's daughter, a tsar eventually become narrators, weaving interconnections that feel simultaneously intimate and mythic. Novik probes the edges between the everyday and the extraordinary, balancing moods of wonder and of inevitability. Her work inspires deep musings about love, wealth, and commitment, and embodies the best of the timeless fairy-tale aesthetic. Readers will be impressed by the way Novik ties the myriad threads of her story together by the end, and, despite the book's length, they will be sad to walk away from its deeply immersive setting. This is the kind of book that one might wish to inhabit forever.
Customer ReviewsSee All
i loved this story so much! an elegantly told re-working of classic fairy tale folklore, woven together with an abundance of heart. the beautiful writing draws you in and holds you captive. 5 stars.
Fairy tale retelling at its finest
An enchanting reworking of the Rumpelstiltskin tale that has you turning the pages to find out what happens. Such a unique take on the myth and a wonderful and clever ending!