By Adrienne Proctor
One of my favorite read’s of 2019 is Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver. Yes, it came out in 2018, but I’m woefully behind on my reading, and when it came off hold at my library, I couldn’t wait to dive in. I’d enjoyed Uprooted, Novik’s previous fairytale-inspired story, but this fresh take on Rumpelstiltskin just grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.
It has all the elements that I look for. A realistic world that hints at magic below the surface? Check. A cunning, courageous heroine who saves the day? You bet, times three. An interesting, slow burn romantic thread that has me screaming, “please get together!” by the end? Heck. Yes.
What really makes this one of my favorites, though, is how beautiful and immersive the words, the world, and the characters are. The writing makes me feel the cold and fear and snow and magic of the intricately-built fairytale world that lives in the shadow of the ever-threatening wintery elves. Complex family dynamics are woven throughout, inform the twists and turns of the story, and pull at my heart strings. The three POV characters are each written so distinctively and fully-formed that I gladly would have kept reading their stories well past the conclusion. Even the villains have a depth that ends up drawing out some empathy.
Spinning Silver accomplishes what I aspire to accomplish as a writer, and I happily recommend it to any fantasy fan.
Adrienne Proctor is a fantasy writer working in Richmond, Virginia. When she’s not writing, she enjoys archery, playing board games with her kids, and taking care of her ragtag flock of chickens. You can follow her on Twitter @almccall or on Instagram @adrienneproctor.