When you live in a land that the Staryk—faeries from a winter world—routinely raid for gold, it’s not exactly smart to boast that you can turn silver into gold. But that’s exactly what the moneylender Miryem does in Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver. Her boast attracts the Staryk Lord, who demands she use her gift for him thrice. Success means she’ll be his queen; failure means death. Having no real choice, Miryem succeeds and is whisked off to the Staryk lands where the only thing keeping her alive is her gift, which has turned into true magic in the winter world. I loved Novik’s Staryk characters; I do wish her narrative had been a bit tighter, though. The story follows four characters regularly, and adds a few scenes from several others that weren’t entirely necessary. But overall this is a great story that comes together beautifully in the end.
4 out of 5