Book Review: “Spinning Silver” by Naomi Novak

I’m still waiting on The Last Graduate to come out, so in the meantime I’m finding every book by Novak in my local library and reading them to pass the time.

This book is a Rumpelstiltskin retelling in a Russia-inspired setting, where winter elves take the place of our creepy little goblin man that we know from the Grimm Brothers’ stories and the main character is a moneylender’s daughter who takes it upon herself to collect after she realizes her father is a weak man. She turns silver into gold, and that catches the attention of the Winter King, and thus our story really begins.

I don’t know if I mentioned it when I was reading Uprooted, but Novak seems to have a hard time figuring out what details need to go into a story and how much detail needs to go into a story, because by the time I was halfway through the book, it felt like we’d reached the end and then I realized there was still so much more to go. If your book feels over at the halfway point, sometimes it’s a struggle to keep reading. I am glad I kept reading, but I wish it had been a little more climax-y where it was supposed to be and a little less feels-like-an-ending.

All that said, the book was beautiful. The details that are there really help build out the world, and although I had a little bit of a hard time placing the time period, it all works out in the end. At some points things didn’t seem to make a lot of sense, but they came into play later in the book and then it all wrapped up well. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of Uprooted at the end of it (i.e., I wouldn’t buy it to put it on my shelf, mainly because I don’t like the character of the wizard and how the main character ended up with him at the end), I think Spinning Silver is absolutely worth a re-read, even if the main character develops a strong sense of Stockholm Syndrome after being kidnapped by the Winter King.

If you’re a fan of twisted fairy tales, this is absolutely a book for you. I’d give it an easy 4.5/5 stars, and I’d love to see a movie or a TV series made out of this one, because there’s so much lore in it. Someone hit up Netflix.

And as always, keep reading.

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