Book Reviews

Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik


By Naomi Novik, read by Katy Sobey | Published July 2018

4 out of 5 stars

“Anger was a fire in a grate, and I’d never had any wood to burn. Until now, it seemed.”

Unhelpful One Sentence Summary: Three young women fight to save their people from beasts of fire and ice.

Thoughts on the cover: IT’S BEAUTIFUL!! I love how it matches my copy of Uprooted, though I’d love to see an edition that matches this one.

Note: I listened to Spinning Silver through Audible which really affected how I experienced the story. This is my absolute favourite audio book I’ve ever listened to.

Thing I Liked:

  • Katy Sobey was AMAZING as the voice of the story. She did such a great job differentiating each of the characters. She has a really comforting voice but she can also snap to ice cold at the drop of a hat.
  • Novik does magic in such an interesting way.
  • Each of the relationships between the girls and their families were so lovely and beautifully written. I particularly loved Wanda and the boys, the Mandelstam family, AND Vas & her Nurse. Which I know is all of them but they’re all really special.
  • I somehow went through the whole thinking imaging our lovely Tsar looking like Julian Devorak from the Arcana Game which is absolutely not a bad thing. Quite good, in fact.
  • It took me having read this book to realise that I’d never read a book with a Jewish MC before! Safe to say I am remedying that from here on out.
  • You’d be forgiven for not picking up that this is a retelling but I LOVED how this it was approached. It was so different from the original but there were enough elements included that I was able to pick it out.

Things I disliked:

  • I LOVED each of our heroines but I also feel like it could/should have been three different stories. Something like how The Glittering Court books approached telling the story. Maybe I just wanted more of every character. So, so much more. Every time I was listening to the character’s chapter, I was just itching to switch to one of the others, but as soon as it did, I wanted the last one back again! “Ok cool but I want to hear about Vass/Wanda/Miryem!!” This was great because they were all such interesting and wonderful characters, and I just wanted to hear more from each of them.
  • I didn’t enjoy having the major action and story pieces being narrated by secondary characters though I understand why it was done this way. It was as close as we got to a third person narration. This is probably just a personal thing.
  • Personally, I found I had a bit of trouble keeping track of whose perspective each section of the story was told from. Though Novik and Sobey did a great job differentiating character voices, I still found myself a bit lost without distinct character headings.

Recommended to: Fans of Uprooted (duh!), Dreamer’s Pool & Sorcerer to the Crown

Find it!

Goodreads | Book Depository

(Photo by Fabian Mardi on Unsplash)

2 thoughts on “Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik”

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