Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s inability tospinningsilver collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty—until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, the young woman sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold.

When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk—grim fey creatures who seem more ice than flesh—Miryem’s fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered. Set an impossible challenge by the nameless king, Miryem unwittingly spins a web that draws in a peasant girl, Wanda, and the unhappy daughter of a local lord who plots to wed his child to the dashing young tsar.

But Tsar Mirnatius is not what he seems. And the secret he hides threatens to consume the lands of humans and Staryk alike. Torn between deadly choices, Miryem and her two unlikely allies embark on a desperate quest that will take them to the limits of sacrifice, power, and love.

This was a case where my expectations were too high. I absolutely loved ‘Uprooted’ and this sounded just as great. I was convinced I would love it just the same.

And I did. In the start. I loved to read about Miryem and her life in a small & snowy village next to a spooky forest. It was suspenseful, magical and made me invested in Miryem and her family. I liked to see them go from ‘rags to riches’ and the mysterious Staryk were the icing on the cake. It reminded me a little bit of The Bear and the Nightingale. Small wintry villages in pseudo Russia with mysterious woods are a thing right now^^

It could have gone on like that. But it didn’t. We get introduced to a couple more pov characters and that’s where it started to drag for me. I did not think that either Wanda or Irina were interesting enough to warrant their own perspectives. Irina maybe. But not Wanda. She was so boring and only a spectator most of the time. I know that all 3 girls were needed to have pov chapters for the end to work, but I wouldn’t have minded to read less about Irina and Wanda. And I have no clue why we needed the perspective of Irina’s old nanny? She’s basically just knitting, spinning yarn and eating porridge.

I thought that some descriptions really didn’t need to be this long. Especially if nothing of note happens. I know Wanda and her brother are living in a little house in the woods but I really don’t need to read about every activity of theirs. It’s boring.

Even Miryem’s story, which I liked thus far, starts to drag on once she’s in the Staryk kingdom. She’s not doing anything.

It picks up again in the end though and I did like the ‘final showdown’ as well as how all storylines come together. It was very well done!

I just couldn’t warm up to most of the characters and thought that lots of parts were boring and not necessary for the story.

2.5 Stars

I WANTED to like it. But I couldn’t^^



  1. I think the perspective that bugged me the most was the little kid’s. While I rather enjoyed the book, I think that a lot of important things happened while reading from his perspective, so it was almost like the description of the events was dumbed down. :/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pity. It sounds like a good book, so it’s a shame that it wasn’t as well executed as it could have been. I might enjoy the bits from the nanny’s POV more than you did, though, since I really enjoy knitting and spinning yarn… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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