Spinning Silver

Spinning Silver

A Novel

eBook - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A fresh and imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale from the bestselling author of Uprooted, which was hailed as "a very enjoyable fantasy with the air of a modern classic" by The New York Times Book Review. 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. 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. Channeling the vibrant heart of myth and fairy tale, Spinning Silver weaves a multilayered, magical tapestry that readers will want to return to again and again.Advance praise for Spinning Silver"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, New York Times bestselling author of The Bear and the Nightingale "Naomi Novik knows how to weave words into magic, and Spinning Silver enchants the reader from the first page. This magnificent tale of three courageous young women who find the power to change their fates will catch you in its spell and linger long after the last chapter is read."—Christina Henry, nationally bestselling author of The Mermaid
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Random House Publishing Group, 2018
ISBN: 9780399181009
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 15, 2019

One of the best books I've ever had the pleasure to read. An absolutely magical fairy tale that deserves to be a classic one day.

Jan 11, 2019

I personally loved this book and I would disagree, all the characters are extremely fleshed out. Particularly the female characters. Though for some reason, the editors of this book made the criminal mistake of not labeling the POV switches. Because it is written in 1st person, it is very confusing when there is a switch as you have to figure out who is talking.

Over all the plot was very well structured and the ending is a surprise! A refreshing twist in the genre of re imagined fairy tales.

Jan 10, 2019

I read this for the "The Name Of A Color In The Title" part of my 2019 reading challenge. It started out with a lot of potential, but then it lost me half way through. I didn't like the POV changing every chapter, and more characters being added in. It did pick up at the end though and finished satisfactorily.

JessicaGma Jan 10, 2019

Another excellent fairy tale by Naomi Novik where three women must save their kingdom and their loved ones from awful fates. I really liked all the viewpoints (once I figured out who was what) and how there were elements taken from many tales, not just the obvious Rumpelstiltskin tale as suggested by the title. Really good.

OatmealThunder Dec 18, 2018

Naomi Novik does it again! A beautiful, vibrantly built world and narratives and plot points that seamlessly weave together to create the best fantasy novel of 2018.

Dec 13, 2018

As a fan of Uprooted, which also twisted the familiar fairy tales I was disappointed by this novel. I expected richer characters, which fell flat for me and I was expecting a more intricate rewriting of the traditional fairy tale. I felt it relied too much on the original, while at the same time not adding anything interesting

IndyPL_SteveB Nov 23, 2018

A masterpiece of fantasy and an immediate classic. A brilliant storyteller weaves the world's fairy tales into an original tapestry. There are bits of Rumplestiltskin, Cinderella, The Snow Queen, Persephone, and many other stories, but flipped in unexpected ways. The stories are mostly told from the points of view of three women in a medieval kingdom, women under the sway of brutish men - the poor daughter of a drunken father, a Jewish money lender in thrall to an enigmatic non-human king who believes she can turn silver into gold, and a duke's daughter suddenly married to a tsar infested with a demon of fire. Three strong-minded young women, not looking for romance, but simply trying to survive in two brutal worlds where they appear to be pawns.

It’s a female-oriented book, but not an allegory or a political tract. The non-human Staryk world is as deeply worked out as the human one, with not just a different culture but with very different notions of pride, honor, and bargaining. And the human world has several levels of culture: the small village, the bigger city run by a Duke but with a Jewish quarter carefully separated from the rest of the city, and the capital city with nobility and its dangerous young tsar. Surprises and depth of thought at every twist of the plot.

The audio book reading by Lisa Flanagan is near perfect, emotionally deep, and constantly absorbing, even through the several points of view.

Nov 06, 2018

A fairy tale for adults, the story includes Jews and Gentiles, hot and cold, rich and poor, men and women. The story line about how the daughter of a poor Jewish moneylender, the daughter of a duke and an illiterate strong and brave daughter of a vicious, miserly farmer save their kingdom from being torn apart by a demon who lives in fire and a winter king who is destroying the kingdom by bringing winter to it year-round is satisfying reading.

SnoIsleLib_LindseyA Nov 02, 2018

This is a tremendous feat of storytelling. It's magical and dangerous and atmospheric, everything I've come to expect from a Naomi Novik fairy tale. Her achievements in world-building, the seamless blend of fantasy and history, just amaze me. The multiple perspectives were confusing at times, as they were all written in first person, not broken up by chapter, but this is a minor quibble. Lisa Flanagan did an excellent job with the audiobook narration as well, offering slight variations on a similar accent for different characters.

Oct 30, 2018

Too many POV disrupted the story but it was otherwise ok. I enjoyed the Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden better.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at MARINet

To Top