If you don’t already know, I am a HUGE fan of Rumplestiltskin retellings. I gushed over Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine a couple of years ago. I won’t say more because I’ll go on a rampage of compliments about it, so check out my previous blog post here!
Spinning Silver was a phenomenal retelling of a story I have loved for most of my life. It’s a feminist fairytale, and Novik really got that in this book. We follow three different girls seeking to overcome the male mistreatment in their lives–which we see in the original fairytale as well. Instead of just one girl in, though, we follow the daughter of a moneylender, farmer, and duke.
I think the moneylender aspect was my favorite part of this book. I had never really heard of this concept and getting to watch a family who really wasn’t meant to lend money attempt to survive was crushing. Miryem was my favorite of the girls because we would not accept her life–although the other girls don’t either–she puts everything into motion by putting her foot down. Her actions put everything into motion for the other girls as well.
I loved Miryem as well. She embraced a part of herself that was cold because she knew she had to save her family. She is cunning in a way I hadn’t seen before. She had regret for some actions, but deep down, she knew what she would do to survive. I really admired that.
Wanda is a wonderfully sweet character. Getting to see her grow and bring her family together was a joy. She has such a quiet strength will I loved getting to see in action. Watching her and her brothers become a close family was heartwarming, and I may or may not be tearing up right now.
[name] was super smart but in a different way from [M]. She knows politics and court. I also felt her Staark-ness really stood out in how she thought and acted. She was so bright, and I think I smirked through a lot of her portions of the book because she’s always a step ahead of the Tsar.
The Staark were SO intriguing! We get to know a lot about them in the book, but I could have read a whole other book about them. I loved the mystery of them and their rules they lived by. I loved how their names were incorporated into the story that reflected the original tale’s theme of names. This was high fae in a way that was fresh but also stuck the roots of what we love about high fae–at least in my opinion.
Overall, this is a profoundly enchanting and feminist tale. It’s a retelling of one of my favorite tales of all time, and I think I’ll have to reread it in the future so I can relive the magic of it all.