Spinning Silver is a spiritual successor to Naomi Novik’s highly acclaimed Uprooted. It’s a rich and captivating retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.
Miryem’s family are moneylenders, but when her father fails to collect the money that he’s owed from the local villagers, she takes it upon herself to go in her fathers’ stead. It turns out that Miryem is a really good moneylender, and soon her family becomes prosperous. This leads her to make an unwise boast in the forest, which leads her being issued a challenge by the cold beings of the woods – turn their silver into gold.
The book isn’t just told from Miryem’s perspective though, it combines the narratives of other key characters:
* Wanda, a local girl trying to escape her father. She works for Miryem’s family to pay off her familys’ debts
* Irina, the daughter of a duke. She is descended from the beings in the wood.
* Marget, Irina’s former nurse.
* Stepon, Wanda’s youngest brother. He’s quite lonely.
* Mirnatius, the tsar. Not everything is as it seems for Mirnatius when he makes an offer for Irina’s hand.
All of the characters are connected, and all of them play an integral part in saving the land in which they live. Novik, seamlessly blends the views to show the different facets of the conflict. Characters that seem irredeemably horrible, like Mirnatius, had me rooting for them by the end.
And yes, there is romance, though it’s VERY slow-burn.
If you liked Uprooted, serious check it out. It’s amazing.