Spinning Silver: Illumicrate Exclusive Edition

by Naomi Novik

4.2 of 5 stars 15 ratings • 6 reviews • 43 shelved
Book cover for Spinning Silver

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Spinning Silver: Illumicrate Exclusive Edition

by Naomi Novik

4.2 of 5 stars 15 ratings • 6 reviews • 43 shelved

Comes in hardback with the original UK cover, with exclusive: metallic sprayed edges, endpapers, embossing on the hardbacks and quotes on the spines, and have a bound-in author letter stamp signed with Naomi Novik’s signature. The book has a ribbon bookmark and comes inside a fully designed slipcase.


Naomi Novik has once again been influenced by classic folktales, following Uprooted. Taking Rumpelstiltskin as her starting point, Spinning Silver is rich, original and a joy to read.

Will dark magic claim their home?
Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father's too kind-hearted to collect his debts. They face poverty, until Miryem hardens her own heart and takes up his work in their village. Her success creates rumours she can turn silver into gold, which attract the fairy king of winter himself. He sets her an impossible challenge - and if she fails, she'll die. Yet if she triumphs, it may mean a fate worse than death. And in her desperate efforts to succeed, Miryem unwittingly spins a web which draws in the unhappy daughter of a lord.

Irina's father schemes to wed her to the tsar - he will pay any price to achieve this goal. However, the dashing tsar is not what he seems. And the secret he hides threatens to consume the lands of mortals and winter alike. Torn between deadly choices, Miryem and Irina embark on a quest that will take them to the limits of sacrifice, power and love.

'Dire and wonderful; I loved this book so much' - Laini Taylor, author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.

'Pits the cold of endless winter against the fires of duty, love and sacrifice. I couldn't put it down'- Katherine Arden, author of the Winternight trilogy.

  • Publish Date October 2020 (first published 10 July 2018)
  • Imprint Tor Books
  • Edition Illumicrate Exclusive Edition
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 480
  • Language English
  • Special Sprayed Edges


Avatar for leahrosereads

This was an absolutely stunning story as a whole, but once I started looking at individual components, I liked it a bit less.

I had the most issue with the pacing and wordiness of it all. This book genuinely felt 100 pages too long. If it had been edited down, it would have been more enjoyable.

I also wasn't a fan of all the POVs, especially since several of them felt unnecessary.

That said, this story was beautifully well written and took a well known fairytale and created something completely new out of it. And I find that to be a great accomplishment! I'll definitely continue picking up books by this author in the future.

Avatar for simplyadrift

Jordon 4 of 5 stars
I really liked this, I didn't like it as much as the first book but it was still really well written and drew me in. I read it within a week because I just wanted to know what happened. Naomi Novik has a way with story telling and building such well rounded characters.

I highly recommend reading this!

Avatar for jesstheaudiobookworm

4.5★⎮I adored Spinning Silver. Fairytale retellings are always sort of hit or miss with me. Most of them stick to closely to the source material and become predictable. However, Spinning Silver found the perfect balance. It paired fantasy with alternate reality to create something unique, yet subtly familiar.

It's a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin-- sort of. Perhaps retelling isn't the right word. It's about a young girl who can change pennies into gold, but not with magic. She is simply a good businesswoman capable of investing and turning a profit. I found Miryem extremely likable and I was most invested in her story. I appreciate resourcefulness so I found Miryem relatable and easy to root for.

Honestly, I would have been fine if there was nothing more to Miryem's story than this. I thought it was the ultimate swerve. A story that has been told so many times that it has been imbued with fantastical elements over the centuries to give it flair. It reminded me of the Drew Barrymore film Ever After, which is one of my all-time favorite movies. In Ever After, we learn the true story of Cinderella and that she really existed in 18th century France (sans magic). I thought Naomi Novik was going for a similar twist by making Miryem's family Jewish and incorporating real-world elements into her story and I was eating it up.

For the longest time, this was a five star audiobook for me. By the time the secondary POV character, Wanda, was introduced, I was already committed to this story. I didn't dislike Wanda, but she was no Miryem. As the story went on I did warm to her, but still preferred Miryem's chapters. However, I never got the point of Margareta's character or her POV. Not only did she seem useless to the overall story, I think she actually hurt it. Her inclusion did nothing but confuse me. Margareta is the main reason I can't give this five stars, even though I really want to! At a certain point, I decided to just ignore her all together and focus on Miryem and Wanda.

Then, Bam! Novik threw fantastical elements into the mix à la Once Upon A Time and I was swerved again. Luckily, I was able to hang onto my seat. The fantastical elements definitely complicated the story, but I didn't mind them too much. Novik's writing was so incredible that she could have thrown almost anything at me and I would've gone along with it. That's the mark of an amazing storyteller.

Narration review: I've had Naomi Novik's previous novel Uprooted on my TBR list for a while now, but I can never get into it because the narrator's accent is hard for me to understand. I was worried I might face a similar problem with Spinning Silver. Fortunately, that was not the case. Lisa Flanagan does an amazing Russian accent that is authentic, yet still intelligible. The more I listened, the easier it became to understand.

However, her narration did contribute to my confusion regarding the POV characters. There wasn't a lot of vocal distinction made between Miryem, Wanda, and Margareta. Additionally, there were no indicators given when the POV characters were being switched. The most frustrating thing about listening to Spinning Silver was that I was constantly confused about which POV character I was hearing. I'm torn about recommending this audiobook for that reason. In all other respects, Flanagan gave a wonderful performance and one that I genuinely enjoyed. However, reading the physical book would eliminate much of the POV confusion. ♣︎

Avatar for emruth13

emruth13 5 of 5 stars
My god, this was glorious. First, I LOVE Rumplestiltskin. So a retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales? YES PLEASE. And the retelling being by Naomi Novik? UM YES! ALL THE YES!
I loved all the different POVs and was able to quickly figure out whose eyes I was seeing through. I loved how the three main POVs were connected to each other even if they didn't yet realize it. I just loved this book SO MUCH! And that ending was the best thing ever. So much love.

Avatar for biblioholicbeth

Beth C. 4 of 5 stars
Wow. It's so beautifully written...Yes, it's a loose take on Rumpelstiltskin, but it is also so much more. This is the kind of book that when you finish, you sigh for the memory of having had that first read, knowing you will never have it again. It is just that gorgeous.

Only downside - maybe a nitpick on my part...multiple character viewpoints, with not really anything to distinguish which you are reading at first. They change at any given point, with only a bigger line break in between - no identifying information to be prepared.

However - obviously I kept reading. It's just that good.