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Night Spinner #1

Night Spinner

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Before the massacre at Nariin, Enebish was one of the greatest warriors in the Sky King’s Imperial Army: a rare and dangerous Night Spinner, blessed with the ability to control the threads of darkness. Now, she is known as Enebish the Destroyer―a monster and murderer, banished to a monastery for losing control of her power and annihilating a merchant caravan.

Guilt stricken and scarred, Enebish tries to be grateful for her sanctuary, until her adoptive sister, Imperial Army commander Ghoa, returns from the war front with a tantalizing offer. If Enebish can capture the notorious criminal, Temujin, whose band of rebels has been seizing army supply wagons, not only will her crimes be pardoned, she will be reinstated as a warrior.

Enebish eagerly accepts. But as she hunts Temujin across the tundra, she discovers the tides of war have shifted, and the supplies he’s stealing are the only thing keeping thousands of shepherds from starving. Torn between duty and conscience, Enebish must decide whether to put her trust in the charismatic rebel or her beloved sister. No matter who she chooses, an even greater enemy is advancing, ready to bring the empire to its knees.

391 pages, Hardcover

First published February 11, 2020

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About the author

Addie Thorley

6 books341 followers
Addie Thorley spent her childhood playing soccer, riding horses, and scribbling stories. After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in journalism, she decided “hard news” didn’t contain enough magic and kissing, so she flung herself into the land of fiction and never looked back.

She now lives in Princeton, New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and wolf dog, and when she’s not writing she can be found gallivanting in the woods or galloping around the barn where she works as a horse trainer and exercise rider.
AN AFFAIR OF POISONS is her debut novel.

You can find her online at www.addiethorley.com or on Twitter @addiethorley.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 324 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,302 reviews43.9k followers
May 8, 2020
Let’s take another fantastic journey to France for a mind blowing, incredible retelling of one of my favorite classics “Hunchback of Notre Dame”!

But this time Quasimodo is a girl, an ex-Kalima Warrior and now a convicted traitor named Enebish but people call her “Enebish the Destroyer”, a mentally and physically disfigured character, sequestered away in monastery to serve for her war crime. She has night spinning magic but when she loses the control of her power, she destroys a whole caravan and now she became a prisoner, trying to find a way out for her freedom.

Her adopter sister Goa comes with an offer she cannot refuse. It will give her the freedom she yearns but with a high price: she is going to have an undercover mission, working for rebels as a spy. Her dangerous journey starts as she takes the offer. But she has no one on her side to fully trust instead of Serik (I think he is the most adorable character of the book) because the rebels takes hostage to her friend force her work for them and her own sister is the reason for her conviction.

What I really liked so much about the book is breathtaking world building with remarkable writing with the combination of magic, nations, traditions, cultures, beliefs, never ending wars, raising and ending of kingdoms.

Enebish’s exciting, fast-paced, intriguing story captivates your attention from the beginning and you became a reading slave, book is glued into your hands, skipping all meals, begging your husband put a straw into your wine glass so you can take some sips when you resume reading kind of unputdownable book.

I liked the complex characterizations and relationship between the sisters. And I want to read more about what they’re holding behind. We’re so lucky there is a sequel because one book is definitely not enough for you.

I cannot wait to read the sequel and add the previous works of the writer.

Special thanks to NetGalley and Page Street Publishing to share this promising ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest review.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
March 17, 2020
did you know this story is inspired by 'the hunchback of notre dame?!?' no? neither did i, but the world is truly blessed because of it.

readers who are familiar with victor hugos novel (not the disney film) will be able to see the similarities and nods to the original story. but i also felt both 'flame in the mist' and grishaverse vibes with regard to plot and magic, respectively. so its a wonderful atmospheric blend and engaging action to read about.

i was impressed with the pacing, the world-building, the character complexities, and twists and turns i didnt see coming. reading this truly felt like a entertaining adventure and i am very much looking forward to seeing how the story/series continues!

4.5 stars
April 3, 2020

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DNF @ p.72

When I found out that NIGHT SPINNER was inspired by The Hunchback of Notre Dame I was so excited. It didn't even matter whether it was truer to the book by Victor Hugo or the Disney movie, I love them both for different reasons, and they're both so deliciously dark (with flawed, dark male leads-- my kryptonite). I also really enjoyed the other book of Addie Thorley's, AN AFFAIR OF THE POISONS, which I also received as an ARC earlier this year. How could this possibly go wrong?

There's a sub-genre of YA fantasy that I refer to as Basic Girl Fantasy, which become popularized by Sarah J. Maas, but also consists of authors like Renee Ahdieh and Maggie Stiefvater. It's young adult that doesn't have any substance. It's all flash in the pan. Once you peel back the pretty words and basic feminist characters, you're left with something that feels cheap and tawdry.That's how I felt about NIGHT SPINNER. It's fantasy that doesn't really deep dive into its world-building. The characters are all two dimensional and so kick butt... without any cause.

I actually found reading this to be so incredibly dull. In seventy pages, nothing of note happened. I don't think I've been this disappointed since I picked up Emily Duncan's WICKED SAINTS, another book that purported to be dark and Gothic fantasy and left me wanting more-- more of something else, that is, because that book obviously didn't cut it. I know a lot of these YA fantasy books aren't written for fantasy genre readers but giving them a free pass because of that doesn't give credit to the authors who do go the extra mile to write richly imagined worlds for their young audiences.

I'm sorry to say that this highly anticipated read was, for me, a major miss.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! 

1 star
Profile Image for Lucie V..
1,012 reviews2,050 followers
October 28, 2022
“I am not what they make of me, but what I make of me.”

✅ Action
✅ Characters
✅ Rebel group
✅ Special powers
✅ Betrayal and angst
✅🆗 Plot

I read some reviews saying that this book is a retelling of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (or at least that it was inspired by it), but It reminds me more of Flame in the Mist with the whole "main character joining a rebel group" vibe.

Enebish is a disgraced ex-Kalima warrior who was exiled to a temple and stripped from her powers after she lost control of her night spinning abilities and killed a whole caravan of merchants. After 2 years of feeling ashamed, and worthless, she has a unique chance to redeem herself. Ghoa, her adoptive sister and commandant of the Kalima forces, tasks her with infiltrating the rank of a rebel group as a spy so she can disclose the location of their hideout to Ghoa.

Obviously, things are not as simple as they seem. Enebish has to build back her confidence and as she learns more about what is really happening in the kingdom, she needs to figure out where she stands in the war. She wants to help the rebels and citizens that are suffering because of the Sky King and the endless war against Zemya, but at the same time, she craves redemption and forgiveness from her sister. I liked how Enebish grew in the book, and how she learned to trust herself and trust her power again, even though she ended up being betrayed more than once while doing so.

Even though he’s defending me, my heart still sinks into my gut. Because he’s right. I have already made a name for myself. One that comes with no accolades. One the people of Ashkar will never forget.
Enebish the Destroyer.

Talking about her sister, I have to say that I hate Ghoa! She is vain and proud and so selfish! I wanted to punch her in the face a few times while reading this book, but I guess it is a good thing, it means the author managed to create a truly despicable character. On the other hand, I adore Serik (Enebish's best friend). He is sweet, fierce, and determined, he never gives up on her, and I really hope to see more of him in the next book. Enebish is also a great main character, I greatly like how she grows and changes as the book progresses. She learns how to believe in herself again, and how to control her power and she gains confidence as she realizes that she can do good and have a real impact on the world around her because of her powers.

Darkness waits like a devil outside my window - curling its shadowy fingertips beneath the shutters, drawing its inky claws across the latch, raising every hair on my body as temptation trickles down my spine.

The world-building of Night Spinner is simple, but at the same time, it is a combination of many beliefs, traditions, and cultures coming from all the different territories that were conquered by the Sky King. The magic-system is also simple to understand but still has a certain complexity since each wielder can influence only one aspect of nature: fire/heat, ice/cold, night/starfire, etc. I really loved reading about this world and Enebish's adventure, and even though the concept and plot of Night Spinner are nothing new in YA, it is still a great read.

There is a lot of action in this book, many twists, and turns, deceptions, and betrayals. Up until the very end, I was not even sure who was lying and who was honest, or who was trying to use Enebish and who was a true friend. I especially enjoyed the whole backstabbing and angst part. Some events were unpredictable and because of that, I couldn't stop reading this book once I started it. It is fast-paced and I had to know what would happen next because I knew that it could be something really unexpected. I do not understand why this book is not more popular, I truly loved reading it and I can't wait to read the next one.

“You did what you thought was right with the information you had. That’s all any of us can do.”

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Profile Image for emma.
1,866 reviews54.3k followers
September 6, 2021
I have been known to have unpopular opinions, from time to time. In fact, I have a whole shelf of them. Most of the historically most popular posts on my blog (and all posts on my blog are historical because that site is so outdated it could be an archaeological dig site) are unpopular opinion-related.

But the thing is, all of that probably only represents a small selection of my actual unpopular opinions. Because sometimes I just don't know.

Here's one example: Is it an unpopular opinion to think all fantasy kind of...is the same in hindsight?

Don't get me wrong - I thought, in the moment, that a lot of this book was unique. I mean yes, there's the outcast, the person whose immense magical power turned her evil, the revolutionary group acting against a monarchy that our protagonist is realizing veryyyy slowwwwly may be corrupt, the twist, the who-can-you-trust, the love triangle made up of The Boy Who Represents Your Past versus The Boy Who Represents Your Future.

But while I was reading it, that wasn't the overwhelming sense I was getting from it.

Now, all this has faded in my memory into not just the hero's journey, but all of these very overdone modern YA clichés that occur so frequently it feels like another, newer hero's journey.

Still. For being the same as everything else, this isn't a bad entry.

Bottom line: Maybe I just don't like fantasy?


love to not realize a book is a retelling until i'm finished it.

really gives you the full experience.

review to come / 3.5 stars

tbr review

as far as made-up magical powers go, "night spinning" is a pretty cool-sounding one


challenging myself to read as many review copies as possible this month because i'm addicted to projects!

ARC 1: spaceman of bohemia
ARC 2: in search of us
ARC 3: aerialists
ARC 4: the sound of drowning
ARC 5: unleaving
ARC 6: the other side of luck
ARC 7: romanov
ARC 8: the storm keeper's island
ARC 9: gut check
ARC 10: when force meets fate
ARC 11: sisters in hate
ARC 12: before i disappear
ARC 13: big time
ARC 14: stolen science
ARC 15: have a little faith in me
ARC 16: invitation to a bonfire
ARC 17: the splendor
ARC 18: how to be luminous
ARC 19: the little women cookbook
ARC 20: while we were dating
ARC 21: the lost girls
ARC 22: wait for it
ARC 23: your life has been delayed
ARC 24: a million things
ARC 25: the royals next door
ARC 26: the love hypothesis
ARC 27: we light up the sky
ARC 28: the printed letter bookshop
ARC 29: on location
ARC 30: how rory thorne destroyed the multiverse
ARC 31: the map from here to there
ARC 32: the last chance library
ARC 33: on the way to birdland
ARC 34: things in jars
ARC 35: night spinner
Profile Image for Ari.
847 reviews183 followers
February 16, 2020
Blog | Amazon | B&N | Instagram | Twitter

This was wonderfully surprising, especially because when I dove for this book all I noticed was the synopsis. I completely missed the part stating that this is a retelling of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which is one of my favorite classics. So...bonus.

It took me a few chapters to really get into the swing of this book, but once it picked up, I was hooked. The story is interesting, with some intriguing characters and a driving plot.

I really enjoyed Enebish, and I tend to be really critical of female MC's. I usually find them lacking in some way or annoyingly overcompensating, but I greatly liked the way that her character shifts, grows, changes. The one time where I found this to falter was near the end of the story when Ghoa tricks her, captures her, and she's forced to betray Temujin. She went from someone who was making up her mind, gaining her strength, growing into her power, to such an easily manipulated and cheated person. On one hand, it makes sense, because Ghoa is a weakness for her, but on the other hand I thought that this could have been done a little better. Enebish could've fought that pull a little more, shown more struggle.

And Ghoa herself was a great antagonist. There was always something there, from the start, that had me mistrusting her. But you try to accept her, you try to look past peeks here and there of someone who is not what she claims to be. Her full reveal was not so much an eye-opener as it was a pleasure to behold—letting that wall down and allowing the reader to really see her for who she is. So damn good.

The plot twist took me by surprise. I was concentrating so hard on letting the story take me where it might, that I completely missed the hints of what was afoot. Who Temujin really is, who the Worm really is! Who so many others truly are. It does make sense, and it's such a greatly crafted plan, that I cannot wait to see how Enebish and Serik—whom I adored from the first glimpse of him; thank you Addie Thorley for writing a romantic interest which does not need to be the bad boy in the story...they're fun, but this is a nice change of pace—are going to pull out of this one and take the rest of the series from here.

I was very glad that Serik found his power (a power in a range of magic that I wish would have been explained and fleshed out more), and it's certainly going to come in handy, but I also found it a little too convenient. That always nags at me in novels, but, still...kudos to my boy.

So far, there's a lot of promise in this book. I can't wait to see what the second one has in store.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mel (Epic Reading).
917 reviews282 followers
August 31, 2020
The nice thing about going in with low expectations is you can be pleasantly surprised! While it took me a few chapters to really get into this; once I was in there was no getting out. If you think you know how this story might go because it’s a retelling then think again. There are twists and turns here I did not expect (or even see coming!). All of the plot points play well into the character personalities set-up (nothing cheap) and adhere to the constructs were given for this (somewhat gothic) fantasy universe.

A Creative Retelling
The biggest mistake here would be to expect the Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney or original) characters or story in anything more than on the surface. While the basic construct of the story is similar, our lead gal is obviously the hunchback, and many themes are picked up; Night Spinner has so much more to give. In fact I think it probably doesn’t give enough credit to Addie Thorley to say this is ‘just a retelling’. The last 100 pages took me by total surprise (which was great) and is where Thorley really makes this plot her own once and for all.

How many different essays could be written based on the themes, archetypes, and twisted plot of Night Spinner? Dozens at the very least! There’s so much to unpack here. Of course we have the major theme which is what makes someone a ‘monster’. Other themes include: desertion, morality, loyalty and betrayal, family versus blood, and finally treason. All these are globbed together in such a way that we feel every decision our main gal (and others) make.

This may be on the one place where Thorley could make some larger improvements; but given most YA fantasy literature out there these days I’m willing to give it a pass. Our characters are very clear archetypes at times and make decisions as expected (nothing cheap here). Some are a bit one dimensional at first; but all of them play key elements in the end. I love the way many characters who seem to be ‘unimportant’ at first become critical players in the end.

Coolest Magic!
I want our leading gals magic so bad! It’s different from most of the people in her land and seriously badass. The ability to gather darkness and surround yourself (or others) in it, so that you become almost invisible, is crazy cool and has a gothic feel I adore.

”...as soon as I flex my wrists, the ribbons of darkness wing from the forests like bats...”

Thorley uses this control of shadows and darkness in unique ways and ensures we are aware that the magic comes at a price and needs certain sources in order to work. Use of magic takes a massive physical toll on the user. Bringing me to one of my favourite elements of the novel, actual injuries and fatigue.

One of the constant themes in Night Spinner focuses on mortality. Although our characters are all from different areas, races and religions, they are all still human-like and mortal. And each of them is falliable and subject to injuries they can’t just ‘fight through’.
Even more surprising is while there is magic to essentially revive someone or bring them back from the brink (and yes it’s used); it didn’t feel cheap to me when used. Thorley is selective about using the magic and healing; instead generally defaulting to having characters that need actual rest and sleep to heal. It’s refreshing to not have characters that seem to be unbeatable and have an endless amount of energy. In fact our lead gal spends most of the story needing rest and pushing herself to accommodate and overcome her physical disabilities and it’s probably 50/50 whether she can find reserve strength or falters entirely.

What I have no doubt of is that Thorley has set us up with a beautifully constructed fantasy world. There is so much to explore still. This could be the type of series that runs past a trilogy if continuity is held up and advance thought out into the plot. Given how much happens in Night Spinner I don’t think plot or twists will be a problem for Thorley to continue to deliver on. As each time our characters do (almost) anything it’s subject to a morality test there are innumerable number of circumstances available.
My recommendation, get in now and be a part of what could very well be the next big YA fantasy series. I hope that even though this is with a smaller publisher it gets the marketing and attention it deserves. This gothic fantasy universe has so much more to give and I can’t wait to read more!

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Luca the Jellyfish Queen.
401 reviews7 followers
December 29, 2019
I... honestly don't know how to rate this book...

See, this was barely a 2.5-star read up until about 80%.
It wasn't even a bad book, I just didn't care at all. I didn't connect to any characters and I did not really care for the whole worldbuilding. The idea was great; I liked the way the Kalima powers worked (and how they weren't endless, like magic in other books often is), I just did not care about the people.
Enebish is a cool main character, I guess. Once a powerful soldier, now called Enebish the Destroyer (a dope nickname, tbh), she bides her time at this monestary. I do not know why everyone thought it was a good idea to let someone with that nickname walk freely among a bunch of monks (even when her superpowers are shut off, she still is a trained soldier), but plot gotta plot, I guess. I also think the author forgot at times that En is supposed to be phyically handicapped due to battle scars. At first, she limps everywhere, but later on she runs places without any staggering.

I did not care for the plot until sh*t really went down late in the second half, when all the strings came together. If the whole book had been written like those last 20%, this would've been a 4.5 star book.
But unfortunately, the rest was not that.
A 3 star rating it is.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC!
Profile Image for TheGeekishBrunette.
1,239 reviews30 followers
February 11, 2021
eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

(I also own two copies I bought!)

Edit: Reread it and enjoyed it just as much as the first time.

I was hesitant to start this one even though I was super excited to be approved for it. The cover and the synopsis were perfect. I was definitely curious to see what a Hunchback of Notre Dame retelling would entail. Luckily, even with a minor hiccup I fell in love with the world, magic, and characters this author created!

Enebish is a character who is very hard on herself for her past mistake. She dwells on what happened and can’t live life even just a bit because of it. Even when her long time friend Serik tries to help her move on from what was and gets her to live a little, the past is always haunting her every move. It was easy to feel bad for her and relate because we have all done something we aren’t proud of. We all are hard on ourselves and inflict our own punishments on ourselves because of it. Her character development throughout the book is wonderful and it will have you rooting for her until the end!

Now, let’s talk about Serik. When Enebish can’t see her worth, he can. I wasn’t sure how his character would play out at the beginning but by the end, I was smitten! He broke my heart and fixed it all in one book. That son of gun!

There are a handful of other characters that play major roles in the plot like Ghoa and Temujin. They are the driving force behind Enebish who has a hard time making decisions for herself and chooses to follow rather than being a leader. Temujin was the perfect morally gray character and even mentions how morally gray he is. I found myself being intrigued and pulled in by his charisma just like Enebish. Ghoa on the other hand can also be seen has morally gray throughout most of the book. It was hard to fully make a decision on whether I hated them or loved because they are just so stinking charismatic!

The plot was a bit slow in the beginning but when it picks up, it picks up! The plot twists deserve awards because I never saw them coming and had me shocked beyond belief. This book brought on so many emotions and had me crying by the end. I’m not even sure why but clearly it was just too good for words!

When it comes to the retelling part, there are similarities in the beginning but it definitely takes on a life of its own.

Overall, I loved this one and I can’t wait for others to read it and share in the excitement I have for this wonderful book. I literally read it in one night. It was that good. If it isn’t on your tbr, go add it! I will be over here anxiously waiting for book two.
Profile Image for Joyce.
112 reviews4 followers
January 11, 2021
Enebish the Destroyer? Noo, more like Enebish the Dramatic. I have literally never met a more dramatic character. So much wheezing and knees buckling and single tears dripping down her face. I can't.

Maybe it's just me, but I've been having bad luck with covers that are silhouettes. They just never end well for me. This book was so difficult for me to get through. It started slow and ended in a light brisk walking speed (so, still slow). No real action starts until the 25% mark and even then, it's all very underwhelming.

Enebish is given a mission to infiltrate the group that's been stealing supplies from her "side." Her adoptive sister is the leader and has asked her to find more information in exchange for Enebish's freedom from the monastery she's been locked up in due to a past event where Enebish killed a bunch of innocent merchants. Enebish literally does zero spying. She's suppose to inform her sister of what she learned every night, but she does it literally twice. It's as if the author forgot about that plot point and then tried to fill it in later with some bs excuse.

Enebish joins the rebels immediately with little convincing and.... that's it!! Nothing happens! She's suppose to help the rebel group break out soldiers who had been captured. These are children, remember that. So basically, what Enebish did was break these children out of one prisoner from one side to fight on the other side. Makes sense, right? "You're free! Just kidding! You have to fight for us now!"

Also, just the characters are so shallow and have no personality. Enebish's own personality fluctuates from scene to scene. One moment, she's quiet and shy and the next, she's feisty and sarcastic. Thorley tries to create a love triangle, but it's very shallow and there's just too much unnecessary tension. The only redeeming factor was the plot twist at the end. I genuinely did not see that coming and is honestly the only reason why this has two stars instead of one.
Profile Image for Joanna Meyer.
Author 5 books733 followers
February 15, 2020
Official comments:
From the very first page, Enebish’s story grips tight and doesn’t let go. The stunning world, complex characterization, and heart-pounding plot will have you cheering, crying, and screaming with every revelation. Gorgeous, twisty, addicting.
Profile Image for Sheila G.
506 reviews96 followers
February 16, 2020
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Page Street Publishing, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.


All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.

Content Warning: Death, Gore, Blood, Starvation, Torture, War

You don’t need a master, Enebish. Be your own hero. You can save yourself--and me--but only if you open your eyes.

Enebish has known a life of duty and battle her entire life. Having been known as one of the best warriors in the Sky King’s army, she created her identity around that. Also being a Night Spinner--a special Kalima power that allows one to have the ability to bend night within her grasp--she was an indispensable asset. Until, one day, she lost control and slaughtered a merchant caravan. Forced to quell her storm, her dearest friend and surrogate sister Ghoa had to maime her in order to get her under control.
Followers of the New Order attain exaltation by reporting the mistakes of others. The more grievous the infraction, the closer they come to rapture. And I, the most notorious criminal in the empire, am imprisoned in the heart of their den.

In the aftermath, Enebish becomes known as Enebish the Destroyer, and is branded a traitor to the kingdom. Ghoa, being the commander of the Sky King’s army, is able to secure her a spot hidden away in a monastery, where she will be looked after under strict supervision, instead of executed for her crime. A moonstone is placed into her chest in order to sever her connection with her magic, and secure the safety of others around her.
The sky doesn’t care that I am wicked and ugly. The clouds never rain down judgment for my crimes, and the moon shines without flinching on my injured limbs and scarred face. The majority of Ashkar may despise me, but the heavens will always embrace me in arms of frost and wrap me in a blanket of starlight. In the eyes of the Lady of the Sky and Father Guzan, I am accepted. Wanted.

Enebish, scorned and fallen from her pedestal, severed from her magic, crippled, and left without much purpose, is forced to create a new life for herself. She finds purpose in training the king’s eagles, but still flirts with the night when it comes around each evening. In a land where the Lady of the Night and Father Guzan are no longer worshipped as the Sky King had denounced their existence, Enebish finds herself yet another outcast, as her relationship to the night leaves no question that they are alive and real.

One day, Ghoa visits the monastery. It is the first time Enebish has seen her since her banishment. There to retrieve the king’s eagles, Ghoa gives Enebish leave along with Serik, a monk at the monastery, to see the eagles safely to the celebration. The excursion doesn’t go without a hitch, however, and Enebish finds herself at the center of ridicule. From out of nowhere, a group of rebels led by the notorious Temujin interfere and tell Enebish to seek them out.

When Ghoa learns about her interaction with Temujin, she offers Enebish a reward if she can hunt the criminal down. She would be reinstated to the army if she could infiltrate enemy lines and capture Temujin. Wanting her old life back more than anything, Enebish agrees, but underestimates the difficulty involved. The truth behind the ongoing war is also underestimated, as the empire’s situation is much more dire than she ever realized. Between the Sky King’s empire and the rebel forces, citizens are desperately in need. Enebish stretches herself to appease Ghoa, but finds that what she thought was the right path may end up being the wrong one.

Night Spinner’s main character Enebish certainly embodies many admirable traits. First, she’s a warrior, but this “past-life” is not a honed edge any longer, and allows fraying to occur at the sharpness in her character. She’s courageous, but also fearful due to being branded a traitor for a terrible crime. Humbleness mirrors pride knowing what her Kalima can do but now is unable to do anything with the night. It is in these attributes that The Hunchback of Notre Dame is visible. Other than this and her obvious disfigurement, I didn’t find much correlation between the two. To be honest, I haven’t read or watched The Hunchback of Notre Dame, so my memory may be jaded by time.

Full of unique mythology, culture, and magic, Night Spinner offers a rich setting for a probing tale of politics and betrayal. The beginning of this story is especially contextual, and gives the reader a fine sense of the world in which it is set. Several plot twists also hide themselves within the plot, but some I had guessed before the truth had been revealed, which was a little disappointing. Despite this, Night Spinner offers a familiar, yet unique story about a character that faces an impossible situation, only to rise above to face head-on yet another.

Vulgarity: Minimal.
Sexual content: Minimal.
Violence: Moderate, including graphic and torture scenes

My Rating: ★★★★

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Profile Image for Madison.
424 reviews5,117 followers
February 13, 2020
*ARC provided by Page Street Publishing in exchange for an honest review*

"You don't need a master, Enebish. Be your own hero. You can save yourself - and me - but only if you open your eyes"

A gender-bent retelling of The Hunchback of Notredame riddled with heartbreaking deceit and moral turmoil.

Enebish is a Night Spinner, a controller of the rarest Kalima magic. But after a horrifying massacre, Enebish is physically disfigured, cut-off from her powers, and sentenced to serve out the rest of her life in an isolated monastery.
After two years in isolation, Enebish's adoptive sister arrives with a chance for freedom: Capture the deserter turned rebel leader, Temujin, and reclaim her spot as a Kalima warrior. However, the world is not as she remembers and Enebish finds herself in the middle of a war that might not having a winning a side.

Let me start off by saying that I had no idea that this was the first book in a duology when I read it. I am normally someone who has a lot of issues with fantasy duologies because the first book always feels dragged out. Surprisingly, that was not the case here.

Enebish is broken. From page one you feel her sorrow at having been disconnected from her Night Spinner magic, something that was a part of her soul. Enebish is a heroine comprised of endless emotions and inner turmoil. She makes a lot of mistakes along the way but tries to follow her heart despite it all. Reading her journey was both fascinating and heart-wrenching because you experienced pain alongside side her. I cannot wait to see how her character will grow in the sequel.

My highest compliment for this book is its lyrical writing and beautiful world building. Thorley craftily blends mythical lore and political strife into a world plagued by war. Thorley truly has a talent in weaving words into your imagination because I could picture everywhere Enebish went. My favourite setting was Sagaan because I found myself shivering alongside Enebish as she was camped out on the frozen ground.

All of the characters had such complex personalities and the way in which they each played into the plot had be holding my breath until the final page. Throughout the novel you don't know who Enebish should trust and if anyone is really telling the truth. Just when you think you have the scenario all figured out, Thorley pitches another curveball. I was honestly stunned at how the novel ultimately progressed and even after finishing it, I have no clue what to expect in the sequel. (PS. protect Serik at all costs).

My main complaint is that the plot was very slow to start and so were the character connections. While that was remedied with beautiful world building, it is still something that hinders my overall experience. I wish that we had gotten a little more action early on, but this was still a fantastic beginning to the duology.

Overall, Addie Thorely did a phenomenal job, and I am itching for the sequel.
Profile Image for ⊹ Gabriela | asternyx ⊹.
517 reviews303 followers
November 22, 2021
Actual rating: 3.5🌟

• A Wicked King - War - Rebellion
• A powerful girl with rare abilities
• Love-triangle (childhood friend & the enemy)
• Interesting worldbuilding
• Story inspired by "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"
I have a few things to say about this one, and I'll write a more detailed review soon.
P.s. this gave me Grishaverse vibes 😂
Profile Image for Ceallaigh.
340 reviews20 followers
March 12, 2020
Blechhhh 😬

Ok so I wanted to read this for The Hunchback of Notre Dame retelling and the medieval Mongolian worldbuilding—and neither was worth it... at all... 😬

The HOND inspiration was superrr vague and didn’t really fit the choices the author made for the story... I’m not even sure why she bothered to include the like three references to HOND that she did... It made little sense for the story and felt very forced. (I am also assuming we’re talking about book-HOND and not Disney-HOND...🤦🏼‍♀️)

And there were barely *any* worldbuilding details at all. If I wasn’t already familiar with medieval Mongolian history I would have thought we were just in medieval Europe. I never felt like I was in a specific, easily imaginable setting at any point during the book. Just a lot of YA fantasy cliches piled on top of each other. At one point the city is described as “townhomes and feed shops and vegetable stands” (p 345) like seriously where even are we?

And ughhh can I just say that no one has ever just crumpled up parchment and tossed it aside if they don’t like a draft of a letter!!! Parchment is complicated and extremely expensive to make and if a mistake is made it is scraped clean not crumpled up and tossed away! Drafts are done on slate with chalk or wood panel with charcoal. Ffs. 🤦🏼‍♀️ I am officially DNFing any more books that mention piles of crumpled PARCHMENT. ALSO medieval Mongolia HAD 👏🏻 PAPER. 👏🏻 🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️

And the writing was just not great. It was on the cheesier side of YA fantasy lit writing and on top of that the romance, plot, and character development was far from believable and felt totally forced the whole time.

Finally, on top of *all* of this, one of the themes felt dangerously close to the whole “there are very good people on both sides” sort of thing and just struck me as being very problematic... especially with the ending going the way it did... 😬 Literally everything about this book was kiiind of the worst. And I kept reading it because I didn’t want to give up on a HOND retelling!! 😩 I have been taken advantage of. I will not forget, and I will *never* forgive. 💪🏻😠

Ok, lol, on to the next book! 😂

Profile Image for Shannon (It Starts At Midnight).
1,189 reviews1,017 followers
February 13, 2020
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight .

This book ended up being a lovely, pleasant surprise for me, for two notable reasons. First, I have been having kind of the worst time with fantasy lately, so I was wary when I started. I needn't have been. Second, there are birds. It's kind of a big deal. And yet, it didn't turn me off!

What I Liked:

Who on earth can be trusted? Heh I like when everyone's a mess and you're pretty sure that no one is the least bit trustworthy. I mean, our girl Enebish didn't always get that memo, but to be fair, I am trusting to a fault too, so I feel her pain.

This world is pretty dismal. Yes, I consider that a thing I like, okay? I mean my favorite show contains three apocalypses, so. Yeah so I guess it kind of is par for the course with all the lying, but things are not going great here. People are starving and killing each other and Idk even why completely, but I think it's just because this is what humans do sometimes. The point is, Enebish would probably rather be hanging out with her bird friends somewhere, but alas. Sometimes you have to try to fix things because god knows they can't get a whole lot worse.

Both Enebish and the side characters are very complex. Like, very much so. They all have reasons for their crappy acts, and while it doesn't always excuse them, it does make seem more sensical. I really enjoyed watching her relationships with various characters unfold, because with a lot of dreadful actions comes the consequences.

On that note, gray morality is clearly a factor here. I mean, what if doing evil things can help do away with evil? I feel like we can almost understand these questions in our current landscape: we may want to take the moral highground, but what if doing so lets the bad guys win? Lots of great questions are asked during this one!

What I Didn't:

Okay so I did kind of predict a lot of the stuff that was going to happen. I mean. This isn't a dealbreaker or anything, but it happened, so.

Bottom Line: Enjoyable, full of very complex characters, and asking a ton of thought-provoking questions. I will definitely pick up the sequel!
Profile Image for Josiah.
82 reviews2 followers
January 12, 2020
Night Spinner, a retelling of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, is a unique take on a typical YA fantasy plot concept (I find that many retellings do this instead of following the typical plot tropes). There were, however, many inspirations taken from YA fantasy characters and the later plot tropes. Think: Grishaverse. Which isn't necessarily a problem, if you love the Grisha trilogy. I actually really loved this book because I found none of the characters to be completely trustworthy (including the protagonist), which keeps you on the edge of your seat at all times. I put the fact that this book was a retelling out of my head and stopped trying to see the parallels, which made it all the more enjoyable, especially when it came to the twists and turns. It has pros and cons, but I think the world is unique and fascinating, the plot moves quickly, and the romance (because every female YA fantasy protagonist has one) doesn't take over.
Profile Image for Raven_Blake (dreamy addictions).
763 reviews222 followers
June 7, 2020
For More Book Reviews Check Out My Blog:Dreamy Addictions

Night Spinner is the first book in Addie Thorley’s new YA fantasy series. When I picked this up, I didn’t know what to expect from this book. I liked the idea of a flawed heroine who’s banished for losing control on her dangerous power. Well guys, this book didn’t work out for me. First of all, this book was freaking slow and nothing major happens until we get to the last part. My second issue was the secondary characters. They were dull and cliched. The romance seemed forced and there’s no chemistry between the characters. The only thing that made me continue till the end was the main character. I enjoyed the complex relationship between her and her sister. It was more interesting than the cliched romance. I predicted the major twist at the end. After reading so many YA fantasies, it was easy to predict some of the aspects. The world building was decent enough, but I wish the author provided more details. The magical aspect was interesting. The writing was pretty good for a debut. Overall, It was an okay-ish read for me. If it wasn’t for that last part, It would’ve been a two star read for me. I’m not going to continue the series because slow reads aren’t for me. If you are interested in this book, then definitely give it a shot because you might enjoy it more than I did.
Profile Image for Carly.
265 reviews15 followers
September 7, 2020
Where is everyone getting 4 and 5 stars from?!?!?
I was so bored. Everyone was boring. And I thought this girl was supposed to have these evil powers but she didn't do anything!
Profile Image for Leah.
64 reviews
April 14, 2020
It was worth staying up all night to read it.
Profile Image for Mara (marasfoldedpages).
139 reviews17 followers
June 11, 2021
Thank you so much to Manda Group and Page Street Publishing for this arc copy in exchange for honest review.

Reread June 2021*
I was hesitant to reread this one, solely because I was so excited to finally get into the sequel! But I decided to reread to make sure I remembered everything that happened, and man were there a lot of twists and turn in this one. Enebish really reminds me of Alina from Shadow and Bone, but in a fresh way.

This time reading didn't wreak me as much as the first time, only because I had an idea of what was coming and how it ended on a cliffhanger! The pacing was great, as soon as things start to slow down for Enebish, another major action plot point occurred to send her in another direction.

A major part that I loved about this novel, was the amount of growing and changing that Enebish went through. Not only within herself and how she sees herself, but how she sees herself in others eyes, and attempting to break those barriers. And did I mention she can WIELD THE NIGHT! I would read this again for the character development alone.

The characters are all nicely developed and intertwined in this story. There are many sides to this so called war and every side has their reasoning. I'm looking forward to learning more about the mysterious third party who are closing in fast. The beliefs and religion and powers in this world are all well thought out and intertwine a lot with the main plot. I also really love Serik, and all his sarcastic remarks.

Overall, another 5/5 stars after rereading over a year later. I really recommend this duology if you're on a Shadow and Bone fantasy kick and want to read more within the genre.

Read Sept 2019*

I am crying in despair as I write this review. How dare she end it there?! I NEED MORE! What happens next? How, what, why? ahhhh

END OF BOOK ONE? Are you trying to kill me? Also, why can’t they kiss already???

My feelings were definitely crushed multiple times by this novel. We follow Enebish, the once great warrior as she serves out her punishment for an uncontrolled outburst in her past. The once great warrior –soon to be leader –now spends her days being ridiculed, and being nothing more than an eagle trainer for the King.

This one is described as a Huntchback of Notre Dame retelling. But I also saw Robin Hood in this one, and it was honestly so enjoyable. All the characters motives, and the war, and the king(s) made this novel so easy to consume, I found myself loving this novel early on. The writing of the fantasy elements was amazing, and I wish I could wield Ice, or Fire, or Darkness like the main characters can.
Profile Image for Tressa (Wishful Endings).
1,731 reviews193 followers
February 15, 2020
NIGHT SPINNER is a story of deception and betrayal, friendship and family, with magic and war woven throughout, and a touch of romance. The fantasy world is intriguing and the characters well drawn, while the story will have readers turning pages as quickly as they can. Highly recommended to YA fantasy fans!

I loved how the characters and plot unfolded in this story! Enebish had to grow on me a bit. She was so gullible and from the beginning I knew that things were not as they appeared or as she had been told. But if you're like me and like stories with strong character development, you will not be disappointed here. She goes from a girl who tries to hide in herself and her grief to someone I will happily cheer on through the rest of the series. I loved her! Serik was this unpredictable spark in the story and I loved how full of life he was. I also loved that even though he's only in parts of the story, those parts were well played. Temujin was the ideal golden leader of a revolution and I'm curious how his story will unfold. Then there's Ghoa. She's a complex puzzle and I'm very curious as to how her story will unfold as well. There were villains who were all well hidden and it was never completely clear who could be trusted. The ending gives enough of a pause that it doesn't end on a complete cliffhanger, but also leads well into book two, which I am very much looking forward to!

In the end, was it what I wished for? I thoroughly enjoyed this one! The fantasy world is well drawn, the characters are underdogs who readers won't be able to help cheering on, and the story itself is intriguing, with the promise of more to come. Perfect for YA fantasy fans.

Content: Some violence, but clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through the Fantastic Flying Book Club, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for WondrousReads.
122 reviews22 followers
July 28, 2020
“Be humble, for you are made of earth. Be noble, for you are made of stars.” (This quote made me swoon...)
Addie Thorley is quickly becoming one of my favorite YA authors. And I'm really happy about it.
When I read her first book, An Affair of Poisons, I was blown away by how much I liked it. I really only picked it up because of the exciting premise and drop dead gorgeous cover (Night Spinner also has a gorgeous cover, I mean look at it!) And I got so much more than that.
Thorley's writing style is so easy to read and get through, and she has a way of writing plot twists that don't feel predictable, but exciting, which I usually find hard to do in YA.
This book was a hit for me. It was based off of 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo?!? And it was incredible?? Mix that in with some fantasy and magical elements and honey, I was done.
I really liked Enebish. I liked watching her come into her own, and realize that the bonds of family and blood are not always healthy and important. I loved watching her character develop, I saw real growth from her. All the descriptions of her actually night spinning were fun and engaging, and watching her gain confidence and growing back into her power was really satisfying to watch.
All of the side characters hit home for me too! Serik, Ghoa, Temujin, and especially Orbai :). All of the characters had depth and personality, no one felt two dimensional or there for convenience.
However, what really sold me on this book to give it such a high rating was the fantastic atmosphere that Thorley developed in this story. All of the elements of religion, culture, magical abilities, weaved together to form a world that I could clearly see in my minds eye. From the monastery, to the palace, everything was well thought out, described, and developed. Again, nothing felt out of place or simply there for plot convenience. I especially loved the religious traditions that Thorley included. It made the world seem more real, more plausible, and allowed me to sink into the story more deeply.
Overall, a gorgeous fantasy novel, with a gorgeous cover.
Profile Image for Salena.
157 reviews7 followers
January 9, 2020
What a rich book full of magic, a culture of gods and mythology. I was definitely interested from the beginning and only took two days to read this. I found it to be pretty well paced and was actually surprised in a couple parts. I totally called one of the plot twists from the beginning so when it happened I wasn't surprised. Only 20 or so pages later though I was completely blind sided by a big twist! I totally didn't see it coming and loved being surprised by what the author did.

Enebish is an interesting character. She is not the typical heroin we have been getting in books as she used to be a fierce warrior but was scarred and labeled and outcast for something terrible she did and now is an intimidated, scared girl just trying not to be noticed. She is trying to be a worthy and get back into the good graces of the king which leads her on a quest of truth and discovering the lies she has been believing about herself.

I really liked this and can't wait to read the next one!

Thank you NetGalley and Pages Street Publishing for the review copy!
Profile Image for Caden.
269 reviews7 followers
July 29, 2020
3/5 stars!

I was super excited to read this, and unfortunately, this book didn't reach those expectations. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy reading this book, but it just didn't wow me like I wanted it to. I did end up liking the first half a lot more than the second half. I think this is because the world building, to me, was kind of weak. I did really like the main character, Enebish. I loved watching her grow into her power and her own self-confidence. I also really loved some of the side characters and relationships in the story. I did, however, feel like the romance was really weak and not developed.

In the end, this book was okay, but not as good as I was hoping it would be.

Thanks for reading!
Profile Image for Morrighan Rose.
148 reviews26 followers
January 22, 2020
“𝙶𝚘𝚘𝚍 𝚒𝚜 𝚛𝚎𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚎. 𝚃𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚊 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚜𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚜𝚒𝚍𝚎𝚜 𝚝𝚘 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢 𝚜𝚝𝚘����𝚢. 𝙰 𝚖𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚜𝚑𝚊𝚍𝚎𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚐𝚛𝚎𝚢 𝚋𝚎𝚝𝚠𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚋𝚕𝚊𝚌𝚔 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚠𝚑𝚒𝚝𝚎.” —𝙽𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚂𝚙𝚒𝚗𝚗𝚎𝚛

What a wonderfully magickal story. I fell in love with the world from page one. In a magick touched, war-torn country, our main character, Enebish is a powerful Night Spinner. Her ability to wield tendrils of darkness is highly sought after, even by the Sky King.

Night Spinner is a wonderfully written, haunting tale of a powerful young woman, still trying to find herself and her place in the world. I fell in love with her strength, her power, and her flawed damnation of herself.

I cannot recommend picking this one up more. A hauntingly atmospheric tale, woven with threads of dangerous magick, and the age-old struggle between good and evil.
Profile Image for April Sarah.
541 reviews170 followers
February 10, 2020
*ARC received from #Netgalley in return for an honest review*
Video Review: https://youtu.be/87fthk0TW1o

This is a hunchback of Notre Dame inspired story. instead of your traditional Quasimodo, you have a wounded ex warrior who's dealing with a lot of fallout and PST from things that have happened war. It is set in this very rich, lush, landscape, of a completely new world with completely new rules. There's a magic system here that has been very thoroughly set up in some fairly interesting ways. People can spin the night, control fire, manipulate ice and different elements such as these.

I started this book not very sure of what I was getting into or if I really liked what was going on and where it was headed. But by the end of the book, I was invested. There were things going on both action-wise and politically that I need to know the end results of. Thorley created this very rich world with a lot of lore and a magical system that I don't fully understand it yet, I want to know more, but built on faith and I find that intriguing.

She also managed to develop a lot of character depth. In the beginning, I wasn't entirely sure about Enebish. I struggled with the fact that she was supposed to be this battle-hardened warrior but she was acting very meek and mild. She was invested in the war efforts but there were a lot of things that made her feel like she wasn't a true warrior. She wasn't acting like I expected a warrior to act. As the series progressed and started to understand that maybe because of everything that she has gone through and everything that was happening, this has changed her in ways and shifted her back into this very weak state. Throughout her journey, as she is starting to rely more on herself and starting to discover some of these truths, she started to grow and become more of what I would expect that this warrior was supposed to be at the very beginning. I like seeing that character arc. And with Enebish, you have her adopted sister Ghoa, adopted cousin Serik, and this whole band of criminals that also grow and morph and shift as different plot points happen in very unexpected ways.

I like it when I can read a story and start to try and guess where the plot is going but then it twists and morphs into something that I wasn't expecting. And this story does that very well. There were hints and bits and pieces of what the ending was going to be. And these little inklings of, maybe things aren't quite what you're expecting them to be, but it was hard to see how that actually was going to fall out until the very end. So I think Thorley did a very good job of giving enough of that anxiety to keep on pushing through and not being sure of anything. This coincides very well with everything that was going on with Enebish as she's struggling to decide who to help, how to help and what she is doing throughout this war.

There's a little bit of romance in it as well. There's a line within this story that just pinpoints how this romance goes and I liked it so much for it.
"This is no time for kissing."

I'm excited to see where all this finally wraps up.
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