Hi everyone! I am excited to be one of today’s tour stops for the blog tour of Night Spinner by Addie Thorley, which is hosted by the lovely team at Fantastic Flying Book Club! You can check out the other amazing bloggers on the tour here.
Author: Addie Thorley
Publication Date: 11 February 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy – Retelling
Publisher: Page Street Kids
A must-read for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, transforming The Hunchback of Notre Dame into a powerful tundra-inspired epic.
Before the massacre at Nariin, Enebish was one of the greatest warriors in the Sky King’s Imperial Army: a rare and dangerous Night Spinner, blessed with the ability to control the threads of darkness. Now, she is known as Enebish the Destroyer―a monster and murderer, banished to a monastery for losing control of her power and annihilating a merchant caravan.
Guilt stricken and scarred, Enebish tries to be grateful for her sanctuary, until her adoptive sister, Imperial Army commander Ghoa, returns from the war front with a tantalizing offer. If Enebish can capture the notorious criminal, Temujin, whose band of rebels has been seizing army supply wagons, not only will her crimes be pardoned, she will be reinstated as a warrior.
Enebish eagerly accepts. But as she hunts Temujin across the tundra, she discovers the tides of war have shifted, and the supplies he’s stealing are the only thing keeping thousands of shepherds from starving. Torn between duty and conscience, Enebish must decide whether to put her trust in the charismatic rebel or her beloved sister. No matter who she chooses, an even greater enemy is advancing, ready to bring the empire to its knees.
I never knew I needed a gender bent Hunch Back of Notre Dame retelling until Night Spinner.
Following the massacre at Nariin where Enebish lost control of her night spinner abilities resulting in the slaughter of innocent people, Enebish is now an ex-Kalima warrior and convicted traitor. As if the scars that have left her deformed both mentally and physically aren’t enough, she’s now referred to as Enebish the Destroyer and hides away at a monastery where she serves time for her war crimes. Enebish is broken in more ways than one and her despair is palpable.
Enebish’s adopted sister Ghoa is the leader of the Kalima warriors, the most trusted council to the Sky King, and an ice herald (can turn a beautiful summer day into a full own winter tundra in seconds). Ghoa was able to spare Enebish a certain death following her traitorous act, but Enebish hates being a prisoner because of the isolation. When Ghoa presents Enebish with the opportunity of a lifetime, which includes Enebish’s freedom and reinstatement as a Kalima warrior, she accepts knowing that her mission is dangerous and includes infiltrating a known group of traitors as a spy.
The world building and the magic system in this story were utterly breathtaking. I was absolutely fascinating by night spinners (manipulate darkness), ice heralds (command ice/cold), and sun stokers (command fire). I absolutely loved Enebish. She’s broken yet strong, cautious yet fierce, weak yet impenetrable. I couldn’t help but fall in love with her character and root from her since the first few pages. The hardships that she endured were heartbreaking yet she refused to let them break her spirit.
The plot is a bit slow at first at the magic system is being explained and we wrap our heads around why Enebish was banished in the first place, but vigor seeps into the pages once Enebish set out on her mission. All of the characters in this story are complex and fully developed. Even if you don’t agree with their decisions, it’s difficult to not sympathize with Ghoa, Serik, and Temujin at various points.
Overall, Night Spinner is an incredible start to this duology, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Thank you to Page Street Kids for my review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
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Addie Thorley is the author of An Affair of Poisons, a YA historical fantasy, which
was chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and is a
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee. Her forthcoming novel, Night
Spinner, will be released on February 11, 2020.
She spent her childhood playing soccer, riding horses, and scribbling stories. After
graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in journalism, Addie decided “hard news” didn’t contain enough magic and kissing, so she flung herself into the land of fiction and never looked back. She now lives in Princeton, New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and wolf dog. When she’s not writing she can be found gallivanting in the woods or galloping around the barn where she works as a horse trainer and exercise rider.