Why this book?
Spinning Silver is a riff on Rumpelstiltskin set in medieval Russia. Naomi Novik goes lighter on the history here than she did in her Napoleonic-era Temeraire series, but Spinning Silver is still threaded with authentic details. The prejudice the Jewish protagonist and her family experience feels particularly real—and relevant. I also liked that she and the other female leads aren’t beauties (a common trope in fantasy). Instead, they’re resourceful and brave, facing down men and demons alike.
I’m less high on the rotating first-person point of view. But I loved Spinning Silver anyway. If you like historical fantasy, you probably will too. Novik is one of the best in the business.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
Following her award-winning novel Uprooted, Naomi Novik has once again been influenced by classic folktales. Taking Rumpelstiltskin as her starting point, Spinning Silver is rich, original and a joy to read.
Will dark magic claim their home?
Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father's too kind-hearted to collect his debts. They face poverty, until Miryem hardens her own heart and takes up his work in their village. Her success creates rumours she can turn silver into gold, which attract the fairy king of winter himself. He sets her an impossible challenge - and if she fails,…