Friday, May 4, 2018
Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
I shall try my best not to share spoilers in this review. But there are some things I need to talk about, with the characters and the romance and such. Nothing big, though, only a few small details. This book took me days to finish, because it was so slow to read and with tons of words, but was worth the time it took to finish it.
Though I must also say that I did not love the writing in this one. I felt connected to the world and the characters, and I loved that. But this writing was so messy. And it bothered me a whole lot of times. Many mistakes included, and just not written all that very good either. Hurt my head a little to read it all. Yet this book was pretty much magic, with the plot and the characters. And so it is still a four star for me. I'm not sure, though, that I would ever be able to re-read it. But it was good. And I am glad that I have read it. It's also all kinds of gorgeous looking. This is a story about three young women. Miryem and Wanda and Irina. The book is told from all of their point of views. A bit messy, and without knowing who's mind I'm in when their parts starts. A bit annoying.
We get to know these three girls a lot, though. Shall try my best to share a little bit about each of them. Though this book is long, and we get to know all of them pretty well, and there is so much to know about each of them. I shall not share even most of it. Though I will admit that I wanted to know even more about all of them, haha. And I wish that the ending had been longer. Felt like I deserved a longer ending, after having spent so long having read all of the book, lol. But it was good too. Just, could have been perfect.
Anyway. The first girl we get to know if Miryem. She lives with her mom and dad in a very small town. Her father is a moneylender. He has given money to everyone in town, and he has been letting them all get away with not paying him back. And so this small family is starving and freezing. Until Miryem decides she has had enough. So she starts going door to door, slowly getting their money back. The town may hate her for it, but she is doing what is fair, what they deserved. Oh, how I liked Miryem. She was great.
There is so much more to her story, though. Her story also involves fairies. The Staryk. They are a people living in their winter kingdom, and they are often in towns to steal gold. Their king ends up hearing about Miryem, how she can turn silver into gold. How she has been making her town pay her family back. And now he is at her door, demanding that she turn his silver into gold. And so she does. And her reward for doing so is pretty great. And awful. And all kinds of interesting and awesome. Loved it a lot, to be honest.
And yet there is more to her story. I'm not going to share much more of it. Her family is Jews, and that plays a bit part in this book too, and I liked that a lot. Her story features a lot of magic. And I loved that too. But mostly I loved the Staryk king who came to her. I loved reading about him. And I wish she had treated him a bit better at times. I mean, yeah, he was pretty cold and kind of awful at times. But I loved him, haha. And he was protecting his people. I wish there had been more romance. Sigh. I needed that.
Then there was Wanda. She was a girl who ended up working for Miryem in their small town. She helped her collect the money from those who had borrowed from her father. And oh, the story of Wanda ruined my heart a lot. She was such an amazing girl. But she had had such an awful life. Her mother died some years ago, and she has two brothers, Sergey and Stepon. Their father was a drunk and he beat them and abused them and oh, it was hard to read about. They were also poor. And my heart just ached for them.
There is not all that much to say about Wanda. She was so great to get to know. But she doesn't really have a big journey in this book. She is always there, but more as a background person. I loved her so, though. And I loved how she changed a little in this book. How she grew more confident. We see some point of view of her younger brother Stepon too. And that had a bunch of messy writing that bothered me. Sigh. But I did adore that boy. But I will admit that reading his chapters were simply painful to get through.
And then there was Irina. She is the daughter of a Duke in a town a little bit away from the other girls. She is not beautiful. And she does not think she will end up with a good life. But then Miryem is coming to this town with faerie silver that is getting melted down to jewellery for the duke. And this is a bit thing for Irina. Her future is changed; she is now to marry the Tsar. A boy only a little bit older than her. A boy that she believes is a sorcerer. So much happens with this. Both good and bad. And so exciting too. Loved all of it.
But gosh, I'm conflicted about how I felt about Irina. At times I loved her so much. But at other times she was a bit too cruel and treated the world a bit too harshly. I did not really approve of most of her choices. Ack. And getting to know the tsar she married, Mirnatius, was all kinds of awesome. I grew to love him so much. Yet she treats him badly, and never makes up for it, and ugh. Could have been such an amazing romance. But it was not, not on page. And I am very disappointed. He was such a complicated character.
This book a little bit dark. A little bit hopeful. And full of magic. I loved this world that was created a whole lot. And I loved reading about it. The story was interesting and exciting. I liked most of the characters a whole bunch. I loved how all of the characters were connected. Connected by magic too. There is so so much about this book that I have not shared. And I am not going to. Already written way more than I was going to, haha. I simply could not stop writing about all of these characters and my feelings for all of them.
But I did not like how the romance was. I was expecting there to be romance and love in this story. There was not. Not even kisses. I mean, there are two marriages early on. Yet no kissing. No sleeping together. Seriously? I am so tired of reading books where characters get married, historical time periods, yet they always cheat out of them sleeping together. So tired of that. And then there was just about zero romance as well. I did not approve. Sigh. I shipped them. Small hints. But nothing big. Nothing of what I wanted.
But even so. Spinning Silver was a stunning read. Exciting and beautiful, and filled with characters that I adored. But it also had some issues. And I did not love all of it. But I am glad that I read this book. Huge thank you to Penguin Random House International for sending me the free ARC copy of this book to read and review. I am so curious to know what the rest of you think of this book. You must let me know. This is also my second book by Naomi, I sadly did not like Uprooted all that much, years ago. Though many did.