Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Miryem is from a family of moneylenders, but her father is a sympathetic man who will take any excuse when people cannot pay him. It has brought his family to the brink of poverty. Miryem decides to take matters into her own hands, she sets out into the village to claim what is owed to her family. She gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold.

When an ill-timed boast is overheard in the forest by the king of the Staryk, a magical race of creatures who seem more ice than human, she attracts his attention. She will forever alter the lives in two kingdoms. Miryem is given a seemingly impossible task, and her life becomes intertwined with a local peasant girl and the daughter of a local lord.


The was my first Naomi Novik novel and I wasn’t disappointed. I really enjoyed the blending of myths and fairy tales to create this stand alone adventure. Miryem is an interesting heroine, at times she is gold hungry and over confident which is what gets her into trouble, but her actions do feel justified and her arguments are valid. Our three heroines are all from different stations in life, and each have much different experiences with magic.

I do wish the book had been completely from these three viewpoints. Once she began to add in additional viewpoints I lost interest at times, and struggled to get through those chapters. There is always the risk taken when doing a story from multiple viewpoints. It just frustrated me, because I was flying through this book until the additional viewpoints were added about halfway through and then it really slowed me down.

Overall, I enjoyed Spinning Silver. It is a well written, well-paced fantasy novel. It makes me excited to check out other adventures written by Naomi Novik.

RATING: 8/10

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