Friday, May 10, 2019

Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

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BOOK review
Started on: 26 April 2019
Finished on: 4 May 2019

Title: Spinning Silver
Author: Naomi Novik
Publisher: Macmillan
Pages: 466 pages / 480 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2018
Price: Rp 266,000 (https://www.periplus.com/)

Rating: 3/5
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"But I had not known that I was strong enough to do any of those things until they were over and I had done them. I had to do the work first, not knowing."
Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father's too kind-hearted to collect his debts. Until one day, unable to stand poverty and her ill mother, Miryem decided to take up his work in their village collecting unpaid debts. Soon, the news of her success spreads and it creates rumors that she can turn silver into gold—which then piqued the interest of the Staryk King, the fairy king of winter, himself. Her fate will then intertwine with Irina, whose father will do anything so that she can wed the tsar. However, no one knows that the tsar is not what he seems. Both Miryem and Irina are torn between deathly choices. But they strive to save themselves and the people they love.

"But the world I wanted wasn't the world I lived in, and if I would do nothing until I could repair every terrible thing at once, I would do nothing forever."

I think this is one of the few times when a hyped book fail to meet my expectation. This book had an immensely high rating on Goodreads. As I'm writing this review, the average rating is currently at 4.29—so I thought I would most probably enjoy this book since a lot of people do. But turns out I was wrong 😂. I don't know if I wasn't it the right mood to read this kind of mood or something, but right from the start I was so confused with the world-building and the various characters that I am struggling to remember. The blurb said this novel is loosely based on the tale of Rumpelstiltskin—which I never knew about. Maybe that's why I had difficulty understanding the storyline 😂, I'm not sure. Anyways, I tried my best and kept on reading, hoping that things will get better along the way. It did get a little bit better halfway through the book. I was able to understand where the story going and stuff, but still I wasn't that invested in both the story and the characters. My reaction as I closed the book was just, "meh". 🤷
"But it was all the same choice, every time. The choice between the one death and all the little ones."
One of the most confusing parts of this book for me was the different point of views that changed so frequently 😂. If I'm not mistaken, there are at least 5 different point of views written in first person and without any indication at the start of the chapter or anything like that. At first it was very confusing, but as the story progress, there's always a hint at the beginning of the chapter indicating which character is currently narrating the story. Even though I had a lot of difficulties at first, I have to admit that it was handled really well.. At the beginning, each characters are introduced one by one, allowing the readers to know each of their background and stories. The three main characters are Miryem, Wanda, and Irinathree girls with completely different lives and whose fate will intertwine with one another. Miryem was a rather interesting character because she had to be the stronger one in the family since her parents both have a soft heart. I also really liked Wanda who has an abusive father and two younger brothers: Sergey and Stepon. Despite finding these characters interesting, I am not invested in this characters emotionally and didn't really care what's going to happen to them 🤔. That's why I'm not that eager to find out what's going to happen to them at the end. I just got to the end for the sake of finishing this book. I'm also really confused about the "villains" of the story 🤔. There's the Staryk King and there's also the tsar called Mirnatius who's possessed by a fiery demon. The truth is, most of the time I don't see them as "evil", and I'm not rooting for anyone at all. So.... basically I'm just confused 🤔.

If I'm going to point out a good thing about this book that made me gave it at least a 3 star rating is the existence of Miryem's parents, the Mandelstams. As I've said earlier, they both have a really soft heart, which makes Panov Mandelstam (Miryem's father) a really bad moneylender, because he doesn't get his money back after lending them. But I think they're the sweetest people in this book and there are several heartwarming moments that urged me to give this book at least a 3 because of them 😂. I especially adore their relationship with Wanda and her brotherswho dreams of having a caring and loving family that they never had. Panova Mandelstam (Miryem's mother) always gave them extra food to eat and cares for them just like her own children.💖
"My mother had enough magic to give me three blessings before she died,” I said, and he instinctively bent in to hear it. “The first was wit; the second beauty, and the third—that fools should recognize neither." 
"You were challenged beyond the bounds of what could be done, and found a path to make it true."
I'm sorry if this review is basically a rant 😂 but that's my honest feeling about this book. Not to say that this book is horrible, because I still managed to get to the end of it, but I'm just confused about a lot of things as I'm reading it. I feel really weird because usually I'm able to enjoy hyped books that a lot of people loved. However, I have to say this is not a really good introduction to Naomi Novik's writing. After reading this, I don't think I'll be picking up any more books by her in the future. It is very unfortunate that I wasn't able to enjoy this book as much as other people did 😥.
"Of course I was afraid. But I had learned to fear other things more: being despised, whittled down one small piece of myself at a time, smirked at and taken advantage of."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .
 

2 comments:

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