I Love You, Naomi
What is with Naomi Novik? I remember having a fondness for "Uprooted", her take on the Beauty-Beast motif, but I don't really recall the specifics of that attraction. I recently learned that she put out a follow-up, "Spinning Silver", which takes loose inspiration from the Rumpelstiltskin tale. I put it on hold on my library app, and when it came up, I thought "Well, am I really going to like this? Did I really like the previous novel that much? Will it not be too dour? Maybe I can just read a chapter or two to be sure that it's not for me before I move on the next thing on my list." But I couldn't stop. I don't really understand. It's as though I like it for no reason. But I do like it. I don't want to stop. The prose just flows into me.
Listen. I'm a guy who can enjoy a good glass of water. For years, it was the only thing I drank for six days of the week. Very recently, that's changed slightly because my trainer prescribed protein shakes. But water's still the main. However, I'm aware that this enjoyment is not universal. But still. You might think that you don't like water, and that might generally be accurate, but you're still capable of finding yourself in a situation where the need for hydration turns the dullest potation into pleasure. Then you're standing at the faucet for minutes on end and gulping down dihydrogen monoxide with glee. You might not be able to place the cause of your delight, but you feel it nonetheless.
This seems to be my experience with Naomi Novik's "Spinning Silver".
Rumpelstiltskin versus Beast!
Beast if he lands the first hit.