By: Naomi Novik
Spinning Silver was one of my most anticipated books of the year and unfortunately, it was a bit of a let-down. I loved Uprooted (the authors last novel) but I think this one could have used another pass at editing.
There’s a lot going on in this story. Miryem is the daughter of a moneylender who steps in because her father is not very good at his job. She’s got a gift and soon attracts the attention of the Staryk King. He’s kind of like the mean old King of Winter Faeries. Meanwhile we also have Wanda (and her brothers) the abused daughter of a local drunk who works for Miryem and her family.
And lastly there’s Irina who links to Miryem through the Staryk silver and winds up married to the Tsar whose got a big old secret of his own that further links the two as Irina and Miryem must find a way to save their lives, their people and their land.
I thought this book was great with the atmosphere. I really loved the part Miryem and her families Judaism played in the story. It was maddening really the way people took money from them and treated them so horribly. I was totally with her. I also thought the descriptions were great of Miryem’s small family town, the larger city where Irina lives and the Staryk mountain.
There’s also some fun magic with mirrors and water and a cool cabin between two worlds that I think was really well written.
I also loved that Miryem and Irina were such bright and brave characters. Wanda too- but I’ll get to her in a moment. Once their stories actually got going I was very interested in them.
The beginning was a bit of a slog. I think I may have read a sampler or something because the first 100 or so pages I kept thinking, read it before. Read it before. Get to something new.
I also could not picture the Tsar as anyone but Kylo Ren! Daisy Ridley could work as Irina now that I think about it. Which is weird because I am completely against Reylo!
And I can’t help feel that everything with Wanda and her family were completely superfluous. Including a very long important part that was from the POV of her younger brother. I just could not bring myself to care about that part of the story maybe because the stakes for the other two were so large? I think you could have lost her and lost nothing from the story that another character couldn’t take over.
Also to each his own but I am seriously side-eyeing that decision Miryem makes at the end.
Recommend: 50/50 My issues with it aside Irina and Miryem’s stories are still fun rides and Novik is a great-detailed writer. I would say if you liked Uprooted pick this one up. If you want to give Novik a try pick up Uprooted!
15 thoughts on “Spinning Silver Needed Cuts”
Coincidentally looking for more reviews of this book! And you making it makes ot more AWESOME.
Okay, Reylo is a no from me too. But you putting it that way hmm. But then again with that decision made in the end makes me curiouser than ever.
If you read it let me know what you think! We can talk spoilers then 🙂
I definitely will!
I’ve been hearing such sad things about this book! I LOVED uprooted! I was so excited about this one, but EVERYONE has been saying the same thing as you. It needed to be edited or something. It just needed some more focus, and less un-needed description.
And a character like Kylo Ren? 😣 I HATE Kylo Ren. All I ever picture with Kylo Ren is the nerdy Matrix Whiny game designer from Grandma’s Boy (please, sit on my face! 😂😂) … If you don’t know the movie, that might be a really weird thing to say. Ha ha!
Definitely should have been further edited.
I don’t really have anything against Kylo but I hate the idea of Reylo so much every time they’re in the same scene together I’m just like, “nope, no. Stop go away one of you!”
Ha ha ha!!! I hear that!!! 😂😂
No Reylo! Just had to add my .02. 🙂 Okay on to this one. This one’s been getting a lot of buzz so it’s nice to see a more measured review. I don’t know if it’s for me but I have heard good things about Naomi Novik! I’ll have to try her books at some point.
Novik is a really good writer. She’s got a dragon series a friend of mine speaks highly of but I’d definitely start with Uprooted.
Uprooted is one of my favorite books and I was ridiculously excited for this book, but I didn’t love it either. I thought the ending was clever and really good but the rest of the book was just “meh” it took me forever to get into it 🙁 if it wasn’t for uprooted I prolly wouldn’t have finished it at all … great review tho 😀
Thanks! I really didn’t start to get into this one until we found out what was going on with the Tsar but it felt too long to get there!
I’m with you regarding the slow start and also, quite unnecessary POVs. I felt the pace of Uprooted as well as its building of dread and creepiness was marvelous and did not compare to Spinning Silver…. but… for me, the romance part in Uprooted didn’t work at all. I personally didn’t like Dragon’s character and that kind of spoiled it for me. So for that reason, I was relieved that Spinning Silver avoided that. 🙂
Great and fair review. 🙂 It’s an atmospheric read with some great ideas (Rumpelstiltskin being a female and Jewish) but sadly, would probably do with some editing touches as you mentioned. 🙂
Stepon seemed like a nice kid but all I could think was why is he getting a POV??? Do we need it? No. I wish they would have spent more time with Irina or with the Staryk King! No offense to Wanda 🙂
I haven’t read Uprooted yet but I was pretty much excited to read Spinning silver. It’s being praised everywhere!
Okay, How do you grade your books or movies?