NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “One of the year’s strongest fantasy novels” (NPR), an imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale from the bestselling author of Uprooted.
NEBULA AND HUGO AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • NPR • Time • Tordotcom • Popsugar • Vox • Vulture • Paste • Bustle • Library Journal
With the Nebula Award–winning Uprooted, Naomi Novik opened a brilliant new chapter in an already acclaimed career, delving into the magic of fairy tales to craft a love story that was both timeless and utterly of the now. Spinning Silver draws readers deeper into this glittering realm of fantasy, where the boundary between wonder and terror is thinner than a breath, and safety can be stolen as quickly as a kiss.
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. She will face an impossible challenge and, along with two unlikely allies, uncover a secret that threatens to consume the lands of humans and Staryk alike.
Praise for Spinning Silver
“A perfect tale . . . 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.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Gorgeous, complex, and magical . . . This is the kind of book that one might wish to inhabit forever.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Cool and clever and . . . dire and wonderful.”—Laini Taylor, author of Strange the Dreamer
“The Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale has never been as captivating. . . . Spinning Silver further cements [Novik’s] place as one of the genre greats.”—Paste
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Expanding on 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 centers 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 toward 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
Mystic Fable of the Lifetime
Spinning Silver has made me see the beauty in folklore long lost. Traveling throughout the tale these three brave young women all face different dangers. Each handling the obstacles in manners of magic, intelligence, bravery and hope.
This is the true definition of an amazing novel with every part fantasy, action and love.
The writing here is just delicious.
I don’t know of a better way to put it. There is no way to properly praise this book without spoilering it. I’ll just say that each of the characters is vivid and alive and human. The relationships are complex and beautifully drawn. The story is engaging. I was happily in tears at the end. Can’t recommend this enough.
Longboard and drawn out
Decent story line, but lengthy for what is was; could have been condensed a bit more. many of the storylines within the book did not seem necessary and I could not get into them or really understand the relevance of having a few by the end of the book.