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Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Fantasy

Spinning Silver

by Naomi Novik

Excellent choice

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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

    Feminist

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Supernatural

    Supernatural

Synopsis

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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Why I love it

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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Member ratings (8,670)

  • Jade R.

    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.

  • Sarahy L.

    Chicago, IL

    I absolutely adored this book! And that ending! Oof! If you’re looking for a fairy tale retelling reminiscent of Howl’s Moving Castle, this is it. The world building and writing had me enraptured ❤️

  • Rebecca F.

    AUSTIN, TX

    Beautifully written with an intricately woven storyline filled with strong characters. SS is a riveting tale that blasts stereotypes and flips traditional gender roles upside-down. I loved it! ❤️❤️

  • Jourdana W.

    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 ❤️

  • Maryn S.

    Issaquah, 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

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