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Spinning Silver

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  102,932 ratings  ·  15,144 reviews
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 atten
Kindle Edition, 465 pages
Published July 10th 2018 by Del Rey
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Bea Honeywell I follow Naomi on twitter. While I was at Phoenix Comic-Fest, she posted that free copies were being given away at the Del Ray booth and you could get…moreI follow Naomi on twitter. While I was at Phoenix Comic-Fest, she posted that free copies were being given away at the Del Ray booth and you could get one if you mentioned the tweet. I followed the instructions to the letter, telling the nice lady manning booth the secret code. She gave me a wink, then ducked under the table and pulled out a Not-For-Sale, For-Promotional-Use-Only, Do-Not-Publish-Quotes, This-Is-Not-Final copy.

Follow Naomi on twitter and watch out for giveaways. I happened to be at the right place at the right time. (less)

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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  102,932 ratings  ·  15,144 reviews

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Emily May
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, fairy-tales, arc
Because that's what the story is really about: getting out of paying your debts.

There is just something about Novik's fairy tales. Something magical, atmospheric and utterly charming. I didn't like Spinning Silver quite as much as my beloved Uprooted - and I'll explain why a bit later - but it still kept me captivated from start to finish.

Spinning Silver is a loose retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. I say "loose" because you will recognise certain elements from the original - turning things into
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read all year. Maybe THE best.

Good language. Excellent take on traditional faerie tale tropes. Brilliant storytelling. Amazing characterization.

There's nothing not to like here, honestly. And I'm going to be buying several copies as Christmas gifts for sure.
chai ♡
I've decided I'm officially giving up on having a career so I can sit on sun-warm patches of moss in the moors and perennially recite really mediocre poetry about how good this book is.

ARC provided by Dey Rey in exchange for an honest review.

“Bring me the winter king, and I will make you a summer queen.”

Spinning Silver is one of the best books I’ve read all year. I loved this story with every fiber of my being. And Naomi Novik is a master at storytelling and interweaving stories together. You all know that this is a very loose reimaging of Rumpelstiltskin but I’d say it’s more of an empowering tale of three girls, all on three different paths, all promised to three
Jan 05, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Petrik by: Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Shelves: favorites
4.5/5 stars

If Uprooted is my Hell, then Spinning Silver is my Heaven.

Five years. It’s been exactly five years since I’ve read Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Honestly speaking, I never intended to read Spinning Silver. I consider Uprooted one of the worst fantasy novels I’ve read, and I had no motivation in trying out more of Novik’s works for five years. However, after hearing from many readers—one of them being my friend, Elliot Brooks—who disliked Uprooted that Spinning Silver worked wonderfully for
Sean Barrs
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This novel is pure escapism; it is enchanting, mystical and, most importantly, it's a fantastic piece of writing. I loved it. Go read it!

I’m a critic but I found nothing to critique here. And for me that says a lot. I often find it hard just to sit back and enjoy a story without pulling it apart and dissecting all the elements of the book. It’s just want happens when you’re and English student. You consider the characters, the themes and everything the writing is trying to convey. With this, how
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
2020 reread for my IRL book club. We had an excellent discussion and I have a pretty good Powerpoint on this book that I made for our book club meeting if anyone ever needs it, lol. And I still think this book is marvelous.

All the stars!! One of my favorite fantasies ever ... I think it's officially part of my desert island collection. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

It’s not often that I end a novel in awe of characters, the world-building, and the depth and complexity of the themes,
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Spinning Silver is a tale of hope and magic, with brave maidens and scary monsters, set against the harshest conditions in the cold and brutal winters of Lithuania. I'm not sure what I was expecting going in, but this book blew me away. It was charming and mesmerizing, sweeping me into the story right from the first page.

Nothing makes me love a book more than a strong female character, and this book has three! Our heroines are clever, courageous, and spirited. Each has been dealt a crappy hand b
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ok. This is a retelling of Rumplestiltskin...but not.
What I mean is, Novik really took the idea of spinning straw to gold and the importance of a name, and just made that shit her own new story.
*tips hat*


So, in this fairytale Eastern Europeanish setting, there's this spunky little Jewish girl named Miryem that kicks ass and takes names. She ends up with not only all the normal problems an ambitious female minority would have, but also the extra (and quite HUGE) problem of doing impossible thing
Hannah Greendale
Novik introduces three daring female protagonists in this clever re-imagining of Rumpelstiltskin. Here is a realm of magic and mysticism, of cruelty and heartbreak, fringed with glittering ice and populated with creatures carved from the wildest corners of the imagination. The initial chapters titillate with high stakes, compelling characters, and enchanting descriptions of warm food and a forest cloaked in snow, but the narrative is soon bogged down by several ruinous flaws.

Despite encounterin
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

Update: After finishing Uprooted, I know that Naomi's style is just not for me!!

DNF @25%

I was so excited for this book because I wanted to read a book by Naomi for so long now. Uprooted is one of the oldest books in my TBR. I didn't know the tale of Rumpelstiltskin so I read it before this out in preparation for this. Then I saw that this was a big book and I didn't know how the author is going to retell such a short s
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
4.5 stars

I’m. Just. SO. Happy.


This is completely different from UPROOTED. Kind of. It’s still a fairytale-like story, but it’s wholly unrelated to the Dragon and Agnieszka. There are no awesome tree people. There’s no wooden Kasia or royal orphans or upstart wizards.

There are awesome some-other-kind-of-people who may or may not be wintery in origin. And a not-so-awesome demon. And not one, not two, but THREE new heroines, all hampered by expectations, all saying, EFF that, RAWRRR.


Full RTC.
Helena Paris
“I am not your subject or your servant, and if you want a cowering mouse for a wife, go find someone else who can turn silver to gold for you.” 


This was a buddy read with my elvish friend, Maica! I’m so glad that we decided to read this together! <3

Confession Time: I was a bit scared going into this because I loved Uprooted so bloody much. And how on Earth could Naomi Novik possibly improve upon that pure and utter perfection, which included wizards, royals, tree people, and all sorts of other f
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I’ve had Naomi Novik’s work on my reading list for a long time, but this was my first time picking up anything by her. I loved the Rumpelstiltskin story as a child, so when I heard that she was writing a retelling of it, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy—and now, it made me wonder how I ever lived without the incredible worlds of magic and fantasy she crafts.

I wasn’t sorry they didn’t like me, I wasn’t sorry I had been hard to them. I was glad, fiercely glad.

The story alternates perspec
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2019, e-book
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik is a 2018 Del Rey publication.

I need more stories like this one in my life!

I rarely grab a fantasy novel, although, I am often tempted by them. I respect the genre immensely because of the thoughtfulness and work required for world building and the huge imaginations of fantasy writers. However, no matter how badly I might want to dive into a high fantasy, I always manage to talk myself out of it. My first excuse usually has to with the heft of the book, and the
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
No one freak out, but I just thoroughly enjoyed a fantasy book 😍 this was so immersive and well written and I liked it a heckin’ ton!
Elle (ellexamines)
But the world I wanted wasn't the world I lived in, and if I would do nothing until I could repair every terrible thing at once, I would do nothing forever.

Spinning Silver is a masterful tapestry of interwoven stories. Containing some of the best lady protagonists of recent fantasy literature, a fantastic narrative around cultural Jewishness, and such diverse fairy tales inspirations as Rumplestiltskin, Hansel & Gretel, A Thousand And One Arabian Nights, and Hades & Persephone, this
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Novik has the golden touch—there is richness of writing, richness of setting and richness of characterisation.

Spinning Silver was vividly evocative—an artful rendering of snow swirling ghostlike against slate-smeared skies, of crimson flames licking hungrily at the winter air. And there was something about it that was so irresistibly beguiling, thawing my cynical adult heart.
I admired Miryem, Wanda and Irina—all of whom, despite the burden of their circumstance, rose up and raised their heads h
Ok, so I’m officially impressed?

I was feeling a bit wary about picking this book up when I first heard about it. I head read Naomi Novik’s other book, Uprooted, a book that had was nominated for both the Nebula and Hugo awards for best fantasy, and even won the Nebula. And you know what? I hated it.

So, as you can imagine, I wasn’t too sure about this one. Then on a whim, I got it as my Book of the Month, and I decided to read it. Now, all I have to say is that Naomi Novik has found herself a new
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
the only thing that has been spun is my never ending boredom.

while the silver strands were loosely woven in the beginning and partially spooled by a few enchantingly charming chapters, my attention eventually tangled and frayed away.

as with uprooted, this unraveling of enjoyment is most likely my fault and not the storys. because again, this is actually quite a beautiful fantasy concept and a remarkably unique retelling of a classic story. but i just couldnt get into it, the writing, the chara
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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I loved SPINNING SILVER. And it's funny, because I only felt lukewarm about her previous book, UPROOTED. Don't get me wrong - UPROOTED wasn't a bad book, and I still occasionally have nightmares about heart-trees, but it didn't wow me the way I expected it to based on all the preliminary reviews, either.

SPINNING SILVER reads like Naomi Novik saw my review for UPROOTED, said to herself, "Aha," and then set about to write a story that pers
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/07/10/...

I know I’m in the minority here, but I didn’t love this book. Oh, I enjoyed it well enough, because it’s Naomi Novik and her prose is always excellent, and Spinning Silver was beautifully written. However, I’ve also had enough experience with work (especially with the Temeraire series) to know her books can be very hit or miss. Believe me, I was thrilled when she started writing fairy-tale-inspired fantasy novels, and I
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“So the fairy silver brought you a monster of fire for a husband, and me a monster of ice. We should put them in a room together and let them make us both widows.”

While the blurb focuses on the plot of two women, I would go further to say that this book focused on three women whose stories and lives interlace.

Miryem is tough and clever (and my favourite), the daughter of a moneylender but lives in poverty as her father's too-kind heart doesn't go out to collect the money from the indebte
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I feel like every month so far I have read a book and said it was my favorite book of the year. But y'all. This is my favorite book of the year ...more
Jun 19, 2021 rated it liked it
Sadly, this turned out to be another retelling that I forced myself to finish for the 2021 retelling reading challenge. I added Spinning Silver because I read that it’s a "Rumpelstiltskin" retelling, but it’s so loosely based on it, I’m not sure it was a good choice for the challenge.

It’s hard to believe I didn’t enjoy this book after how highly recommended it was. Most friends loved it or at least liked it, which set my expectations high, so I purchased it and also Uprooted. My biggest issue wi
Natalie Monroe
4.25 stars

“The real story isn’t half as pretty as the one you’ve heard.”

Do you know how long I’ve waited for a Rumpelstiltskin retelling?

It is the one fairy tale where the villain doesn’t deserve his comeuppance. He made a bargain with the miller’s daughter and she weaseled out of it. We don’t know for certain what he was going to do with that kid! Sure, he was dancing in front of a cauldron, but that evidence is circumstantial. He could have fed fine cuts of meat, sent it to the finest sch
I have a great many conflicting thoughts on this. Review to come on my channel and there will be much to discuss at the BookNet Fest Book Club panel for this book this year!
✨ A ✨
Novik impressed me with Uprooted but she blew me away with Spinning Silver. And just like Uprooted, Spinning Silver is a standalone fantasy set in Russia.

This was not just a Rumpelstiltskin retelling. The author incorporated other elements from old fairy tales as well — which, combined together, created a masterpiece of a story.

The writing was enchanting and had a nostalgic feeling to it. I love that even though the plot is simple, I still felt completely immersed in the story.

There isn’t any f
Natasha Polis
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wished it to be more romantic since it is an adult fantasy novel. Had to get the audiobook to finish it, but still very enjoyable as Naomi really knows how to create a sinister fairytale esque world. The main character is Jewish and her religion and customs is brought up many times which is something I greatly appreciated as it shows how your heritage and morals drives a person. Very smart and beautiful story, just wished for more elaboration on the romantic relationships.
Kevin Kuhn
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fantasy Fans
Shelves: fantasy
Naomi Novik published this book in 2018 and it won the 2019 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel. It was also nominated for 2019 Hugo Award for Best Novel. To me it is three things; a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, a mythic fable exploring mankind’s battle with winter, and the story of the powerless finding hope, strength and ultimately the power to overcome evil and subjugation. It is the third aspect that gave me the most enjoyment. I’m somehow fascinated with stories that deal with the underdog, ...more
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An avid reader of fantasy literature since age six, when she first made her way through The Lord of the Rings, Naomi Novik is also a history buff with a particular interest in the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O’Brian and Jane Austen. She studied English literature at Brown University, and did graduate work in computer science at Columbia University before leaving to partic ...more

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