Mini Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik #SpinningSilver #BookReview #RetellingReadingChallenge #Retelling

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Blurb: 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 attention of the king of the Staryk–grim fey creatures who seem more ice than flesh–Miryem’s fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered. Set an impossible challenge by the nameless king, Miryem unwittingly spins a web that draws in a peasant girl, Wanda, and the unhappy daughter of a local lord who plots to wed his child to the dashing young tsar.

But Tsar Mirnatius is not what he seems. And the secret he hides threatens to consume the lands of humans and Staryk alike. Torn between deadly choices, Miryem and her two unlikely allies embark on a desperate quest that will take them to the limits of sacrifice, power, and love.

Channeling the vibrant heart of myth and fairy tale, Spinning Silver weaves a multilayered, magical tapestry that readers will want to return to again and again.

My thoughts:

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 with this book is that even with the strong characters the author created, I couldn’t connect with any of them and remained unabsorbed. I didn’t feel any emotion or look forward to anything. The story would pick up for me and then slow down over and over. There was a lot of quick jumping around with perspectives and it just seemed like there was too much going on. It was just a meh read from beginning to end for me; however, the prose was very good. I did enjoy the magical elements and Russian fairytale feel to the story.

This simply isn’t a book for me. Uprooted is still on my list, and I will read other books by this author. I’m certainly not going to bash this book over my incapability to connect with it. Because this was well-written, atmospheric, and inventive–I’m going to give it three stars.

Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Del Rey; First Edition (July 10, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 480 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0399180982
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0399180989

This is book #10 for my 2021 Retelling Reading Challenge. If you’d like to see what I’ve read or my future reads for this challenge, you can click the image below.

Thanks for reading my review! Have you read this book or any other books by this author? Feel free to comment below in the comments section.


24 thoughts on “Mini Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik #SpinningSilver #BookReview #RetellingReadingChallenge #Retelling

  1. Pingback: 2021 Retellings Reading Challenge: #2021ReadingChallenge #FairyTales #RetellingsReadingChallenge #Retellings #Books – ReadRantRock&Roll

  2. I’m not a huge fan of retellings. For the most part I find they let me down, but paramount in any story is my connection/emotional bond to the characters. Sorry this one didn’t deliver that for you. On another note, the cover is gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting, Mae. I’m usually just the opposite, which is what’s been strange with a few of these. I’m definitely in the minority with this one. I do love the covers for both books! Thank you. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Retellings are always a dicey choice for me. I find that I don’t like very many of them. I thought this one was interesting. I don’t know that I was successfully pulled in but there were a few elements that kept my attention. I’ve gotten a new series by Novik that sounds completely different from Uprooted or Spinning Silver ( I rcvd the ARC of book 2 and bought book 1 so I could read them back to back). It’s called The Scholomance series. Wonderful review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, I’m going to have to look those up, Tessa. I did like her writing, but yeah, I definitely wasn’t pulled in with this story. In a way I wish I’d started with Uprooted, even though these aren’t connected. Hope you enjoy the new books! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Books don’t work for me if I can’t connect with any characters but, as you say, it doesn’t detract from the good points. It’s a personal thing. Sorry this one didn’t work for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does, doesn’t it? I believe that’s the series with dragons? I’ve seen some friends on GR rate that series highly too. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who’s in the minority. I’ll try Uprooted next and we’ll see how it goes. Thanks for sharing your experience. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m having my first experience with this author listening to A Deadly Education. I’d seen wonderful reviews for it and friends in my book club highly recommended it, but so far it’s just been an okay read for me. I read a fantastic retelling of Rumpelstiltskin a few years ago – The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine. Sorry this one didn’t work for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly how this one felt for me—okay at best. I don’t mind that, but I went in with such high expectations. It may just be that that ruined it for me.

      I’m going to check out that retelling now, Teri. Is that a standalone? I know it’s second in the series. Thanks for the rec! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Too bad this one didn’t work for you Jenn. I also saw a lot of great reviews and recommendations, but everyone connects differently with a book. I hope Uprooted is all you are hoping for.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: June Wrap-up 2021: #BookReviews #Books #Music – ReadRantRock&Roll

  8. Pingback: Final results! 2021 Retellings Reading Challenge: #2021ReadingChallenge #FairyTales #RetellingsReadingChallenge – ReadRantRock&Roll

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