When we think about retellings of fairy tales, we typically think that the rewoven story will have a similar spin to the original. That was not the case with Spinning Silver. In fact, the very first paragraph of Novik’s novel explains “the real story” – which “isn’t half as pretty as the one you’ve heard”.
With the lines between bad and good characters being drawn with a line too fuzzy to distinguish where it actually is, you might find yourself rooting for the ‘bad’ guys – or the ‘good’ guys might not be so good after all. Personally, I was rooting for the Staryk (which I cannot for the life of me pronounce), but if you fall for the realistic crafting of the moneylender’s daughter or the heart wrenching tale of Wanda, a peasant, then I wouldn’t blame you one bit. They were all so carefully depicted, that even the worst of all of the characters can find a soft place in your heart.
If Novik’s other works are even half as good as Spinning Silver was, then they are treasures to be kept and reread over and over again. Not only was Spinning Silver well written, but it gave closure at the end instead of leaving the reader hanging, waiting for another installment. That isn’t to say there couldn’t be, but that I, for one, was content with the ending.
Who Should Read:
Quite truthfully, I prefer Novik’s version to the original tale and found I was recommending it to others before even finishing it. I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves fairy tales, and anyone who loves to be drawn into a story so deeply that they cannot tell where one world begins and the other ends.
Novik will continue to have a place on my bookshelf and in my recommendations;
five out of five stars.