Title: Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Publisher: Del Rey
Length: 435 pages
Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Rating – 5/5
“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.
Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.
The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.
But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.
This book has been on my TBR list for a few months and it was one of the few new releases that I have been flirting with buying and reading. Needless to say I was super excited when both Vaginal Fantasy and Sword and Laser book clubs chose Uprooted for their reading picks this month. While I am anxiously waiting for the Vaginal Fantasy Google hangout I decided to go ahead and post my review on this book!
As you already know, I love me some Fantasy whether it’s childrens, YA or adult. I just love it all and want to read every fantasy novel ever…I have a long way to go! Reading Uprooted was definitely a reminder of some of the things I love about Fantasy books. The plot itself was interesting with the corrupted wood bordering the villages and threatening to overtake them and the mysterious wizard taking a girl from the villages every ten years to help in his fight to keep the wood at bay. I thought it was fairly obvious who would actually be chosen to go live with the wizard but that didn’t make it any less interesting or scary because at that point we are still unsure of the specifics of why he chooses a girl to live in the tower with him every ten years.
I really loved alot of the characters especially Agnieszka and Kasia. I was also intrigued by the Dragon although I wish I could get more in depth into his psyche and his background, that would be an interesting book! I also really craved more of a romance than we were given but I do appreciate the reasons behind it not playing such a huge part in this book. I love Agnieszka’s strong will and independence. I love her stubbornness and her growth from a child to a powerful woman of basically her own making.
It took me awhile to read this book, not for lack of interest or time, but mostly because I was trying to savor my reading of this book. This book has the kind of writing that you want to just live in and soak up every single word, it was beautiful. It was dense which I have come to expect in most fantasy books (and which I absolutely love) but it wasn’t too dense, if that makes any sense. It felt just right. It was a complicated story with maybe one or two predictable things but the rest of it was definitely unexpected and wholly original. It has magic, intrigue, conflict and a bit of romance. I loved this book and gave it a five star rating.
Let’s talk about the cover. Is this not one of the most beautiful covers you have ever seen, I promise you that this book is more beautiful in person. Now that I have read it I love the cover even more as it is wholly fitting for the story. Just beautiful. I’m not usually a fan of yellowish book covers but this one is gorgeous, even more so in person and I, of course, love books with deckle edge pages.
I think that this book is definitely a read that fans of epic fantasy won’t want to miss!