I am ashamed to say that I had the honour of receiving this book back in 2018, but despite trying to read it several times, my reading slump of last year kept making me put it back down. But January 2019, was the right time for me to read this book, and I have to admit it was the perfect book to read in the British Winter that we were experiencing.
Naomi Novik is the author of another retelling, Uprooted, and that is certainly a book I would recommend that you go and pick up; but this post is about her latest, Spinning Silver. A fairy tale retelling that is dark, emotional and oh so magical. It felt so real, and yet set in such a magical word; I would honestly feel the cold in myself (and not just because of the weather), because each word was so believable. That is absolutely the best kind of fantasy novels, when you can forget what the real world is.
‘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’
High fantasy worlds can be super confusing and tough to follow. Learning the political world and the magic system, you can easily get yourself mixed up and not understand why things are happening, or what the effects events will have. Naomi Novik creates these amazingly magical and beautiful worlds, and yet you feel as if you have lived in them your whole life. You catch on to everything that makes the world work so quickly and so easily, that its as if the world isn’t new to you after all.
One of my favourite aspects of this novel was just how little romance there was involved. Alright, there is a few marriages, but they are definitely more on the political scale rather than romantic. The relationships that take precedence in this book are the relationships between family. Between child and parents to be specific, in three different family situations. Its so refreshing to read a Young Adult book that has the centre on relationships within families, one that almost everybody can relate to. That being said, there is a very gentle slow growing romance that develops- more at the end of the book- but I personally don’t feel like it takes over the book.
This book is an easy five star read for me, its truly amazing and magical, and beautiful to dive into during these cold months. If you have not already then you really should get yourself a copy and let the story whisk you away. Despite its size, you can finish it in just a few days. Until her next release I am going to have to jump to a reread of Uprooted.