“Anger was a fire in a grate, and I’d never had any wood to burn. Until now, it seemed.”
Miryem comes from a family of money lenders, but her father isn’t a very good one. When her family is on the edge of poverty, she steps in. Hardening her heart, she saves her family and builds up quite a reputation as a girl who can turn silver to gold. But having such a reputation can be lethal if the wrong people are listening..
About two years ago I picked up Uprooted in a bookstore, and I completely fell in love with Naomi Novik. I was really, very excited to hear there would be a new book based on a fairytale, and boy did I love this book. It’s nothing at all like Uprooted, so don’t go into it expecting that. But it’s more than worth your time and just as goo as Uprooted – if not better – just different.
It’s told in different perspectives, which at first is quite confusing because it’s never said what character is telling now, you have to figure that out for yourself. But once you get used to it, it just adds an extra layer to the story. It gives this sense of that all the characters are bound together, long before they’ve ever met each other, and that in a way they’re all on the same path, at least for a while. That their fates are all woven together. You follow multiple characters, but the three girls are the main characters, each with a different story and difficulties and story arcs.
Where Uprooted was more of an adventure/action story (especially to the end) Spinning Silver is much more of a slow burn, and full of depths and complexities – while also still being sort of an adventure story. Actually, this book reminds me a lot of The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, in the way how it burns slowly, has these complex characters and multiple POV’s (although, of course it’s still a completely different book).
And I need to address how amazing the villain is in this book. This is such an interesting take on being evil and the people behind evil deeds. And the redemption arc is strong. In general I think the villain is the most interesting character (even though all of the characters are amazingly complex and realistic) because he’s set down so differently from other fantasy villains. His is such a complex story full of grief and so good to read.
The story itself is so intricate and so full of more story and more story. Everything about it is so complex and rich and so, I’ll say it again, full of story. But never to the point that it’s too much. I’d like to say more, but I don’t want to spoil anything at all. It works best if you don’t know too much, I think. I went into this expecting something completely different, and reading it felt like uncovering more and more layers of a chocolate cake, so I don’t want to spoil that for anyone.
A beautiful fairytale about the cold and magic and learning to trust your own abilities.