Monday, January 20, 2020

Spinning Silver

I've been using books for escapism since early December, if you can count Kim Stanley Robinson's Science in the Capital series and 2312 as escapism. Well, maybe it would be more accurate to say I've been reading fiction since early December, instead of my usual attempt to alternate one nonfiction book for every two fiction books.

I've just finished two unrelated fantasy novels by Naomi Novik that I received as Christmas gifts, first her Uprooted and then Spinning Silver. I liked them both but now that I'm done, I definitely think Spinning Silver is the better of the two, which is saying something since Uprooted won the 2016 Nebula and Locus awards for best novel.

I won't give away too much, but let's just say Spinning Silver is a Jewish nod to Rumpelstiltskin (though hardly recognizable as that story), mixed liberally with the Persephone myth, a bit of Tolkienish magic, and a critique of both Trumpism and toxic masculinity. Or at least that's how I read it. Plus, it has three strong young women characters at its core.

The book came out in 2019, so I won't be surprised to see it on award lists soon.

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