Spinning Silver

Naomi Novik. Del Rey, $28 (448p) ISBN 978-0-399-18098-9
This gorgeous, complex, and magical novel, grounded in Germanic, Russian, and Jewish folklore but richly overlaid with a cohesive, creative story of its own, rises well above a mere modern re- imagining of classic tales. Novik (Uprooted) begins the story through the eyes of Miryem, a Jewish moneylender’s daughter, whose pride in her ability to wring payments from borrowers draws the demanding attention of the terrifying, otherworldly, and rules-bound Staryk, who are ruled by a wintry, gold-loving king. Secondary characters—a peasant boy, a duke’s daughter, a tsar—eventually become narrators, weaving interconnections that feel simultaneously intimate and mythic. Novik probes the edges between the everyday and the extraordinary, balancing moods of wonder and of inevitability. Her work inspires deep musings about love, wealth, and commitment, and embodies the best of the timeless fairy-tale aesthetic. Readers will be impressed by the way Novik ties the myriad threads of her story together by the end, and, despite the book’s length, they will be sad to walk away from its deeply immersive setting. This is the kind of book that one might wish to inhabit forever. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/23/2018
Release date: 07/10/2018
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