When the night first comes, we're fearful of the darkness. The inky tendrils reminds us of what we most want to forget and of a past we wish we could outrun in our waking hours.
Enebish was once heralded as a great warrior in the Sky King's Imperial Army where she served alongside her adopted sister, Ghoa. As a rare Night Spinner, Enebish holds the ability to control darkness and use it for the Imperial Army's war against the enemies at their borders.
Until the night that the darkness decided to rage beyond Enebish's control.
After the massacre of an innocent caravan, Enebish is no longer revered as an esteemed warrior. Now she is Enebish the Destroyer.
Seen as a monster by all, Enebish was sent to a monastery where she can keep her powers at bay and live a life of repentance for what she did. While she is accompanied by her childhood friend, Serik, a caged bird still yearns to spread their wings. Even though Enebish tries to fight it, the darkness still calls to her.
At last the day comes when Ghoa offers Enebish the chance to redeem herself when she is sent on a mission to discover the hideaway of the notorious Temujin who is leading a rebel faction against the Imperial Army. Eager to regain a semblance of her old life, Enebish accepts and embarks on the mission with the vow to do whatever it takes to bring Temujin and his rebels to the Imperial swords.
Yet the world is not just parted by night and day.
Easy smiles can hide cunning intentions in the same manner that traitorous actions can lead to the salvation of others.
After seeing the horrors of the war, Enebish struggles to follow her own conviction and what she believes is the best for the citizens of her nation. The only way to do so is to embrace the darkness.
When I first read that a story is inspired by a classic, I admit that I enter warily because of previous experiences. Most of the time, there is a common 'problematic' factor that presents itself in the process of interpreting the work and I believe it is that oftentimes, the heart of the story isn't really captured beyond the aesthetic nature of the work.
In her latest work, Addie Thorley wrote an epic that was based upon Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The first thought that struck me after reading the first fifty pages of Addie Thorley's Night Spinner, was that this was an author who got the story. Thorley understood Hugo's element of pain and wove it beautifully into Enebish's power of night and the struggle of holding onto your free will when the world tries to convince you otherwise. By harnessing the core of Hugo's work, Thorley was able to transport readers to a world where justice and injustice wear the same face and a young woman does everything that's in her to regain her sense of self.
Night Spinner was a work that I paced myself to read because I wanted to enjoy each chapter that chronicled Enebish's journey as much as possible. Throughout this work, Thorley wove an extraordinary amount of night and stardust into each character that demonstrated her ability to turn words into people and emotions that make a great impression on you.
Altogether, I found this to be a modern classic that reminds us: "Be humble, for you are made of earth. Be noble, for you are made of stars." This is a work that will take you through the corners of the night and, instead of being something to fear, you'll find that the darkness is what lets you see a light that leads to a better horizon.
Night Spinner Playlist
Night Spinner (Night Spinner #1)
by Addie Thorley Publisher: Page Street Kids Release Date: February 11th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
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.
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.
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Night Spinner by Addie Thorley
Starts: February 11th, 2020
Ends: February 25th, 2020