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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 members say

Average customer ratings

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

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Magical, with a great narrator

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Stunning fairy tale mashup

Beautiful voice. Clever storytelling. Couldn't stop listening! looking forward to hearing more of her work.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Persistence with rewards

It took some time to get into the book, regularly got lost which character the narrator was portraying at times which was frustrating but by the end I loved it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

story good, performance not so

I enjoyed this, however it's not a 5* story as it did drag in a few places. I would listen to it again in the future. I think it good as a Winter or early Spring book. It was however let down by a poor performance. All the female voices were identical. This was made more awkward as each chapter is from the view of a different 'subject, but there was no longer gap or pause between chapters. At the beginning it took me a while to work out the subject had changed, then I'd have to work out who the subject is, rewind, and relisten. Annoying and frustrating when in the car! A quick interim fix would be for Audible to add a longer pause between chapters.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-08-18

I think this could be one of my new favourites!!

Amazing northern European feel, with a wonderful Jewish main character. This story was just beautiful and told in the most charming way. The way it ended way perfect <3 Must read!