Saturday, September 28, 2019

Review: Spinning Silver

Author: Naomi Novik
Started reading: August 13th 2019
Finished the book: September 14th 2019
Pages: 466
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling
Published: July 12th 2018
Source: Received as a gift
Goodreads score: 4.25
My score:
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.

My thoughts
Thanks to Arjen for doing this buddyread with me. I love me a good retelling and Rumpelstiltskin is my FAVE fairytale ever. It was enchanting to read how Naomi Novik was able to write this magical story out of that good old fairytale. If you love retellings, you'll love this book.

  • POVs: I love it when a book has a good way of switching POVs, but it can also become a con very easily with me. I just NEED a book where it's crystal clear that I know which POV I'm reading and that the characters are distinguishable. In this book it was AMAZINGLY done. The different POVs didn't even have names above it. The author made sure in the first few sentences in the new chapter that you could easily tell which POV you were reading. Something that was so cool is that the book kept getting more POVs, and that way the story kept getting more and more layers. I think this book had the most creative and unique way of telling a story in different POVs that I've ever seen.
  • Slowly unfolding: The story is slowly unfolding, and while it was a bit too slow for me at some point, I still loved how everything came together at a certain point. You're really reading the story as 3 different paths in the beginning, and at the end it is all coming together in one big road. 
  • No predictions: I could not predict anything in this book. It was always different from what I was thinking. I remember liking that about Uprooted as well, and Novik proved with this book that she is a master in keeping you in the dark.
  • Retelling: The way the retelling is written was absolutely fabulous. Finally a retelling for my favorite fairytale; Rumpelstiltskin. I love how names in this story are very important, just like the fairytale. And especially the ENDING, in terms of names... I was a bit mad, with a big smirk on my face.

  • Slow: The story felt so slow to me. I'm glad that this was a buddyread, because that way I was just reading one or two chapters at a time. This book just didn't grip me and I wasn't in a rush to finish it. The fact that it felt so slow, made me take 1 star from the rating.
A retelling from (in my opinion) the best fairytale out there. Amazing how this author is able to switch POVs and make sure that you know who the chapter is about. Novik is also outstanding in keeping you in the dark. The ending for this book was so well done, it needs guts from an author to end books that way. Definitely worth reading if you like fairytales and retellings.

Other opinions on this book
"Gorgeous, complex, and magical... This is the kind of book that one might wish to inhabit forever."
- Publishers Weekly

"A book as cool and mysterious as a winter's night, with two marvelous heroines at its heart, Spinning Silver pits the cold of endless winter against the fires of duty, love and sacrifice. I couldn't put it down."
- Katherine Arden

Memorable quotes from this book
"But it was all the same choice, every time. The choice between the one death and all the little ones."

"He would only shrug and look at me expectantly again, waiting for high magic: magic that came only when you made some larger version of yourself with words and promises, and then stepped inside and somehow grew to fill it."

Thank you for reading!
I'd love to talk books; please let me know what you think about this book/review.


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~ Esther