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All booksFantasySpinning Silver
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver

by Naomi Novik

Quick take

Every Game of Thrones fan’s new favorite book.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Feminist


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Supernatural


Illustrated icon, Icon_Challenging_Indicator


  • Numerous characters
  • Complex and detailed world-building

Why I love it

Brooke Lee
BOTM Readers Committee

I love fairy tale retellings. Particularly those that stray from the original tale to give delightful (and sometimes horrifying) new twists to a beloved classic. Rumpelstiltskin might not seem the most obvious choice, but who isn’t here for clever female characters outsmarting terrifying ancient beings? Those are the very stories I live for.

The story begins in a rural village where our protagonist, Miryem, toughened by circumstance, sets out to collect the outstanding debts her moneylending father failed to claim. She's very good at her job and one day brags a little too loudly, catching the attention of the ice-creature king who haunts the forest. To save her family and her village, Miryem goes on an adventure that includes some of my favorite things—fire demons, daring women, and a slow-burn romance that will inspire fan fiction for years. And just when you think the book can't get any better, Spinning Silver drops a killer last line that—fair warning—will have you grinning your face off.

I love that Naomi Novik never takes her readers down expected, well-worn paths. Instead, surprises await these amazing characters (and us!) on each page. And in this summer heat, a magical snowy tale that leaves ice in your veins and a fire in your heart will be much appreciated, trust me. So choose a little magic and let’s flail together!

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Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders ... but her father isn't a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife's dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty—until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers' pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed—and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it's worth—especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.

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Member thoughts

All (6583)
All (6583)
Love (4104)
Like (1993)
Dislike (486)
6798 ratings
  • 60% Love
  • 29% Like
  • 7% Dislike
  • Coeur d Alene, ID

    I’ve always loved twisted fairy tales, and Spinning Silver is so far the best I’ve encountered. Compelling strong female leads and an exciting story woven from different POVs. Loved the ending! 5 ⭐️s.

  • Covington, LA

    I’m a sucker for the fantasy genre + this gem didn’t disappoint. SO FREAKING GOOD! You hate a character, then you love them-character development was on point. So many twists and fun discoveries ❤️

  • Duvall, WA

    Loved it! Loved Naomi’s other book, Uprooted, and this one did not let me down. My one complaint is that she leaves the ending to your imagination a bit. I wanted to experience it! Wasn’t ready to end

  • Floral, AR

    Ugh! I loved this book! The way it is written and how you follow all the different characters! My favorite book of 2018! Loved it so much that I had to read ‘UPROOTED’ by her as well! New fav author!

  • Prescott Valley , AZ

    I really liked this book. I’m not usually a fantasy book reader. Somewhat hard to read because of the many characters involved. Loved the strong women characters that stood their ground. Loved the end

  • Brooklyn, NY

    I selected this book as a push out of my usual reading genre, and am so glad I did! This book is quick and fun, but also complex, well-written and completely addicting. Love the strong female leads, too

  • Manchester, NH

    I loooved the strong females in this book. Showing you don’t need to depend on a husband. Loved this take on rumplestiltskin. Little murky in the middle but over all A+. Helps if you know Jewish terms

  • Yukon, OK

    From the second I read the first page to the moment I shut the book, I was in a trance. I couldn’t put this book down! Novik takes you on a journey unique and full of magic, leaving you wanting more.

  • Goose Creek , SC

    Novik’s ability to balance so many characters, while building such an intricate world is proof of just how talented she is. The female characters in this were incredible as well. 10/10 would recommend

  • Ridgecrest, CA

    One of the strongest female characters I've ever read about. I wish this book had no end. Not your typical fairytale and definitely not your typical fantasy book (vampire/werewolf/witch) book. Love it

  • Rancho Cucamonga, CA

    I loved this story spin on the old classics. I thought the story was incredibly interesting & loved seeing the strong female characters. Note: Could have used character names at the start of chapters.

  • Duarte, CA

    I love the new take on spinning for "gold", if you will. Naomi Novik already amazed and had me hooked with Uprooted, and this newest tale has me riveted! Read this new tale with a nice cup of cocoa!

  • Huntington, WV

    Spinning Silver has been my favorite BOTM this year. Detailed, strong characters, multiple perspectives allow the story to unfold from various social classes within the beautifully constructed world!

  • Chicago, IL

    I adored this book. I'm always looking for fresh fairytales and the realistic portrayals of three vastly different-though strong- heroines captivated me. There's also a bit of historical fiction vibe.

  • Groveland, MA

    I did not want this epic story to end. Easily one of the best books that I have ever read — rich in character, allegorical story line, suspense, strong women, and really culture, I just loved this.

  • Azusa, CA

    This book started off soooo slow but it was so worth continuing! I LOVED the strong female characters in this book and was so great to see them grow into their own (very strong character development)!

  • Palatine, IL

    It's not often I get so excited about a book I know little about, but I jumped on this as soon as it arrived and read it twice in a month. I love Naomi Novik's work, especially if it's not Temeraire.

  • Germantown, MD

    Normally twisted fairy tales don’t do it for me but normally people don’t twist tales with such gentle hands to not deform but instead mold and recreate. Amazing story and even a fairy tale ending

  • Amherst, MA

    This book was a great fantasy novel and has women as the main characters which really sold me. All the characters are dynamic and interesting while the world is both mythical and real. Fantastic book!

  • Lancaster, PA

    WONDERFUL! I've read Uprooted by Naomi Novik, and this next book in the same universe is EVEN BETTER! I loved the twist on the rumplestiltskin story, and all the secondary character stories were great

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