Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Synopsis: Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, the young woman sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold.

When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk–grim fey creatures who seem more ice than flesh–Miryem’s fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered. Set an impossible challenge by the nameless king, Miryem unwittingly spins a web that draws in a peasant girl, Wanda, and the unhappy daughter of a local lord who plots to wed his child to the dashing young tsar.

But Tsar Mirnatius is not what he seems. And the secret he hides threatens to consume the lands of humans and Staryk alike. Torn between deadly choices, Miryem and her two unlikely allies embark on a desperate quest that will take them to the limits of sacrifice, power, and love.

Channeling the vibrant heart of myth and fairy tale, Spinning Silver weaves a multilayered, magical tapestry that readers will want to return to again and again.

Review: I had heard a lot of good things about the author’s previous novel and it’s true that when I saw that title on blogs when it came out, I was very curious to find out more about it.

Miryem is a young girl who takes over her father’s job as as a money lender. What’s the problem? She’s so talented, that she attracts the expectation of the Staryk, those beings made of ice that everyone tries to avoid. But then, by the same token, our heroine finds herself embroiled in a story that is completely beyond her.

If Miryem is the main character of the story, we also follow other equally interesting points of view and if I usually have trouble with that, I found that the author had mastered her subject well.

Naomi Novik offers us a rather dense, but also very interesting story. She wanted to highlight the Jewish religion in a fantasy novel, and I thought it was really well done. I followed with great pleasure all the characters and I was impatient to find out what was going to happen and I must say that I am very happy with the ending.

If you want something original and different, I highly recommend it!

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