Pan Macmillan will publish a standalone novel from US fantasy author Naomi Novik inspired by ‘Rumpelstiltskin’.
Editorial director Bella Pagan acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to Spinning Silver from US publishers Del Rey. Spinning Silver will be published on 12th July 2018, to coincide with America.
It is billed as a “rich, multi-layered fantasy” inspired by the Brothers Grimm’s ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ fairy tale and “a powerful story of sacrifice, power and love and a joy to read”.
The novel focuses on Miryem who is brought up in the shadow of a snow-peaked mountain on the edge of a charmed forest, according to the blurb. Her family are moneylenders but are facing poverty themselves until Miryem taking action. Hardening her heart she sets out to retrieve what’s owed, and her fellow villagers soon whisper she can turn silver into gold. Then “an ill-advised boast attracts the cold creatures that haunt the wood… and nothing will be the same again”.
The novel is targeted at readers of Joanne Harris’ The Gospel of Loki (Gollancz), Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale (Del Rey Books) and Frances Hardinge’s A Skinful of Shadows (Pan Macmillan).
New York-based Novik is the acclaimed author of fantasy novel Uprooted (Del Rey), based on Polish folklore, and the Temeraire series (Harper Voyager). She won the John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the Locus Award for Best New Writer and the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel.
Novik said: “Spinning Silver is very close to my heart, as Uprooted was but where Uprooted was based largely in the experiences of my mother's side of the family, Spinning Silver is tied more to the stories of my father's side.”
She described Spinning Silver as “not a sequel to Uprooted” but revealed they were “emotionally connected”.
She added: “I'm so delighted to be working with Bella and Pan Macmillan to share it with readers in the UK and the Commonwealth.”
Pagan said: “I adored Uprooted and I knew I would love Spinning Silver. But this heartfelt, lyrical novel surpassed all my expectations. I’m so looking forward to publishing this – another triumph from Naomi Novik.”
The news follows other recent acquisitions of re-workings of fairy tales.
Jessie Burton’s first children’s book with Bloomsbury’s Children’s Books will be a feminist reimagining of the Grimms’ fairytale 'The Twelve Dancing Princesses', entitled The Restless Girls, to be published in September. Louise O’Neill also has a “dazzling” feminist retelling of 'The Little Mermaid' scheduled from Scholastic for May 2018. Meanwhile last month, it was revealed that September Publishing hasd signed mythologist and psychologist Sharon Blackie’s fictional collection of literary reworkings of myth and fairy tales.
‘Rumpelstiltskin’ was included in the 1812 edition of Children's and Household Tales by Brothers Grimm.