Written by Naomi Novik, Spinning Silver is a bit of a re-imagining of Rumpelstiltskin in the form of a Russian tale with a Jewish girl. Which is to say it isn’t like the tale of Rumpelstiltskin at all, other than changing something into gold.
Now, this is the first novel by Novik that I have actually read. I listened to Uprooted, and had to go back to my review to find out why I was so reluctant to read this book. It was because I hated the way it was read. Now, now I am thinking I should give it a second go. Even though I have heard that it isn’t the best novel, still, this book was so enjoyable I am willing to give it a shot.
The writing in this novel has a very Russian feel, by that I mean the prose and pacing remind me of The Bear and the Nightingale which is a fantastic novel. With at least 6 different narrators, the author did a great job of making sure they each have their own voice. Within the first paragraph of changing narrators you can tell whose perspective it is. The prose themselves were smooth and was written in such a way to give you enough details to built the world that you saw. An excessive amount of time wasn’t spent on telling us what everything looks like. The important things were described, and through the description you found out more about the characters you were dealing with.
The characters we subtle in their depths, which is to say they were well created characters. Even the non-human characters, who were meant to be more three dimensional, grew exactly when and how the author meant them to.
The Staryk are an interesting and rather fascinating people. The whole time, I couldn’t help but wonder how these people would be represented in a movie. They would be ever so interesting. What, you want more information? It would appear this is a spoiler free review.
The plot line its self was enjoyable and, while convoluted, worked given the basis. One of the biggest things I enjoyed was that this was about a Jewish family in Russia. A set up not common in American literature.
Who would enjoy this novel? Anyone who likes fantasy, adventure, and this is good for… okay, most ages. A 7 year old might have a few questions/not understand a few things. Those who don’t enjoy romances that are all about the physical will likely enjoy this.
If you want science, keep walking. If you want gushy romance, don’t read this.