Friday, December 21, 2018

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Book Club Book #3

While it's deeper within the fantasy genre than what I'd normally gravitate toward, Spinning Silver is an entertaining (yet wordy) read. Truthfully, it could have kept its impact, and been just as good, minus about 150 pages.

The book focuses on three women experiencing very different lives in what I assume is feudal Russia. The area is lorded over by a Czar, cities are walled for protection, and everyone still gets around by horse and carriage. Interspersed within the mundane is the Staryk Road, which magically appears, bringing a frozen and icy race to the area who seem to trade in violence and aggression.

Into this world fate interlocks the lives of these women as they struggle to preserve their families and the people they care about. Miryem is the daughter of an ineffective moneylender who develops a talent for turning silver to gold. Wanda is the oldest of a poor family, helmed by an abusive father. Irina, the cunning daughter of a Duke, works to find her place being given a larger dose of brains than looks. Everyone eventually comes together to battle the encroaching winter, that's lasting too long, along with a surprising demon of fire hidden in plain site.

Fantastical elements aside, this book is a story about strong, brave, and resourceful women who take what life hands them and fights to become the heroines of their own stories. Visions of Rumpelstiltskin and Little Red Riding Hood are conjured as the story weaves its complicated tale.

At time slow and verbose, the book overall is very entertaining and exciting. It's definitely an appropriate winter book to read sitting beside the fire.