Book review by Aarene Storms: Spinning Silver

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Irinnna is a noblewoman, bound to marry whomever her father selects. Miryem is a money-lender from a family of Jewish moneylenders. Wanda is a peasant girl who desperately wants to escape her drunken father's house.

These three main characters become entangled into an intricate tale of magic, demons, loyalty, duty, and love, along with their friends and family. The story contains elements of Rumpelstiltskin and also the magic of Poland and Russia including the prince of the frozen lands and Chernobog the fire demon.

The alternating-point-of-view narration is the only piece that irritated me. Would it be so hard to label chapters with the narrator's name? Especially when the narrator is somebody other than one of the three central characters? Gahhh.

Highly recommended for readers who enjoy dark stories of challenge and redemption focused on smart, capable women.

Tactful oblique mentions of sexual situations (nothing on the page), no cussing, some drinking, some brawling, some violence (not gory), some bullying. Ages 12 to adult.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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