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  • Spinning Silver

  • By: Naomi Novik
  • Narrated by: Katy Sobey
  • Length: 16 hrs and 10 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (761 ratings)

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Summary

Will dark magic claim their home?

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s too kindhearted to collect his debts. They face poverty until Miryem hardens her own heart and takes up his work in their village. Her success creates rumours she can turn silver into gold, which attract the fairy king of winter himself. He sets her an impossible challenge - and if she fails, she’ll die. Yet if she triumphs, it may mean a fate worse than death. And in her desperate efforts to succeed, Miryem unwittingly spins a web which draws in the unhappy daughter of a lord.

Irina’s father schemes to wed her to the tsar - he will pay any price to achieve this goal. However, the dashing tsar is not what he seems. And the secret he hides threatens to consume the lands of mortals and winter alike. Torn between deadly choices, Miryem and Irina embark on a quest that will take them to the limits of sacrifice, power and love.

New audio available from 24 July 2018.

©2018 Naomi Novik (P)2018 Penguin Random House LLC

What listeners say about Spinning Silver

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story. Confusing narration

The narrator does a similar voice for different points of view and there is no warning that the point of view has changed mid chapter! This might be ok in the book but it made me confused.

16 people found this helpful

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Spinning gold more like

This is fantastic. Better than Uprooted even, which I loved. What a clever retelling of old fairy tales. The language is moving, the plot fast-paced and the characters fully human (even the demons).

It took a chapter to warm to the narrator, but after that I was on board.

Highly recommended literary fantasy.

14 people found this helpful

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Original

Very interesting and original story. I really liked it a lot. The performance was also very good! One thing that I had troubled with at the beginning was to know who had the POW because it didn't say when it changed character and the the narrator still sounded very similar, but after a little while you got the hang of it.

I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy and strong characters. Naomi is incredibly skillfull with her writing and storytelling, and that's what makes her one of my favorite writers.

7 people found this helpful

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Fantastic!

I didn't enjoy the narration too much and struggled with who's point of view was who's a few times as they sounded very similar; that being said, this was such a fantastic story that compelled me to continue on. I really enjoyed Uprooted but this was even better.

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent full strength fairy tale

This will keep you guessing as you follow the three main characters through their adventures and dilemmas. The setting is fascinating, the challenges real and heart breaking. First class fantasy fiction from an author at the top of her game. I look forward to what Novik decides to write next.

4 people found this helpful

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Magical, with a great narrator

I absolutely loved this. The story was fantastic and the narrator did it full justice. Highly recommended

3 people found this helpful

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  • J
  • 31-07-18

Fantastic story but narration is confusing.

I really like this book, but this is written in 1st person and the points at which the changes in points of view are not clearly marked. The narrator should say the name of the character at the beginning of each section or use a different accent to make it clear to the listener who’s POV it is.

3 people found this helpful

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Refreshing story - poor narration

Loved this fairytale as a whole, but was frustrated by poor narration, specifically the inability of Katy Sobey to properly differentiate characters and what was, at first, a quite odd delivery, akin to an artificial voice at times. However, the storyline was compelling enough to keep going, if a little muddled in places. Good attempt at the genre, although lacking somewhat - I’d say it was a wee bit banal and over-worked in places, even though the essential ingredients had the potential to fully sparkle. The plot certainly resolved itself with almost full redemption, perhaps a wee bit overly cliché in the end. I did enjoy the alternate worldscape and characters and particularly the magic cottage device.

2 people found this helpful

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Five stars

Utterly delightful. I could barely stop listening for work or when I had to sleep. The characters and the world were rich and enchanting, and I loved every moment.

2 people found this helpful

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Magical tale

Superbly narrated, cleverly written, this is an amazing production. I found myself totally absorbed, not wanting it to end.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tish
  • 19-11-18

Excellent Russian Fairytale

This is as usual a great fairytale from Novik but the narrative changes POV often without saying the name of the person speaking or really indicating that anything has changed making it difficult to follow at times. I enjoyed it, but this might be easier to follow in print than audio.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-01-20

Make This for tv!

At first I thought it a bit ‘wordy’ but it is a true fairytale. Following the logic of the fairytale and giving us 3 strong female leads ready to change the world and give up everything they know.
At the end I shouted out loud that this must be put on some screen in some way. I woke up my boyfriend who got a long lecture on the value of non euro/usa-centered literature with strong female leads and a story where the story twists aren’t out of the blue but in par with the story’s own rules.
I love it and will force everyone I know to listen or read it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-08-19

Fell short

I found it hard to stay engaged with the story. The characters, plot and style were all a bit flat. It was good to pass the time, but nothing to write home about.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-09-22

Beautiful story

I just loved the story. the main characters were strong but had real life in them.
The only problem that I had was that this is a multiple pov's book but the different pov's don't have titles. so You don't always know which character is speaking now and for the main three female characters the narrator doesn't have a different enough narration to distinguish between them. it doesn't however becomes clear.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-05-22

Brilliant but for the reading

Although the narrator really reads beautifully, I always felt something was missing. Possibly someone who could have conveyed the culture better through accent/voices would have served the story better. That said, it really is a wonderful story and read very well.

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  • Victoria Thiele
  • 15-02-22

Engaging fairytale with charming weaknesses

A beautiful dark fairytale that really makes you care about the characters, even the less important ones - they seem a bit more real and less stereotypical than you might expect in a medieval fantasy setting. A few reviews mention the sudden shifts between characters - it's true, the speaker reads the three main roles quite similarly, but I was only confused the first one or two times. You quickly get the hang of it. The context is usually so different, it becomes clear within a sentence. And later on, more characters are added with more distinct voices - a child, an old woman, a man.

I loved the frosty setting, all the references to Eastern European fairytales, and the stories of the three women - especially Miriam with her moneylender family, which gave the author a chance to quite subtly weave in the prosecution of Jews throughout the centuries.

I gave four start because some parts of the story felt a bit too easy for the protagonists - especially Irina turned very quickly from passive daughter of a cunning Duke to politically adept badass pretty unimpressed by nasty demons. On the other hand, I just listened to the whole thing within three days and wasn't bored for a minute, so definitely a recommendation!

On a side note, I listened to Uprooted first. It's nice to see how the author manages to create a similarly magical and interesting setting while keeping the stories different - in Uprooted, everything goes horribly wrong a lot where in Spinning Silver, plans sometimes work out a bit too well. On the other hand, Spinning Silver skips some of the odd teenage erotic romance of Uprooted. And somehow, the weaknesses of both books pass as charming.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-11-21

Unique and beautiful

A story that is told with simplicity and creativity. It was a very pleasant read.

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  • Sharon
  • 24-10-21

An old fashioned fairy tale. Very Russian

This was excellent, it kept me engaged throughout. I cared about all the main characters, although the mother annoyed me. She was so... "simpering" and weak. I loved that the girls rose to the fore and said "No!".

There was a real "Russianness" to this tale. The Winters were long and hard. The people were hard and pessimistic. Drinking is what men do, and struggle is what women do.

Katy Sobey did a fine job. She brought the characters to life. There was good distinction between them without it being forced. She did not distract from the story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-04-21

Magical on so many DIFFERENT levels

First I have to say that *Katy Sobey* is amazing!! I had no issue distinguishing between the charecters, but I did sometimes forget that it was the same person reading! she gave them so much life, all of them: monsters, young ladies, farmer's daughters, men, old women... every one of them had a voice that felt like their own <3
And of course NN's storytelling along with the intrinsic values she conveys in the story and charecters are quit addictive, she is undoubtedly my new favourite writer!
(if you love a strong female lead this is for you)

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  • Jason V.
  • 20-10-20

Novik Spins Silver to Gold - Phenomenal!

This is a story of a girl who spins silver to gold but really it is a masterpiece of ‘silver’ folk tales Novik skilfully spins together into a ‘golden’ story. It is masterfully done and the narrator has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. She manages male and female voices alike without sounding fake. I was a bit confused a couple of times when the main female character changed quickly but soon got used to who was who. Highly recommend!