Uprooted Naomi Novik

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

published on May 21st 2015 by MacMillan
young adult | fantasy | romance | adventure

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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, ambitious wizard, known only as the Dragon, to keep the wood’s powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman must be handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as being lost 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 no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. And when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him.

*I received a digital review copy for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
Thank you to Pan MacMillan for providing me with an advanced copy for review.


Naomi Novik is a goddess, y’all. No lesser being could create such an unique and magical book such as Uprooted.

I’ll admit, though. I didn’t particularly love this book as much as I expected. Don’t get me wrong–it’s a BRILLIANT book (all-caps worthy!), but I had trouble getting into the book because it was HUGE. And I’m just a measly little girl. What I mean is big books often intimidate me, so it took a while for me to find time to continuously read it.

I guess the writing had something to do with it, too. I mean, it was elegant and definitely made the book feel like a high fantasy story, but there were times when it felt just a tad bit too wordy for me. Or maybe it’s just my short attention span speaking.

Other than those two minor qualms, Uprooted was pretty much perfection. It had all the aspects I loved in a fantasy–a strong heroine, a unique plot, a creepy world–everything!

Agnieszka (bless Goodreads for being there to help me remember names) is basically the heroine we’ve all been waiting for. She’s physically imperfect (her love interest compared her to a horse at one point) and is clumsy, messy and is just all over the place. She’s the kind of heroine that’ll make you go, “OMG! I can relate!” You’re going to love watching her grow as a character.

Her badass-ness was highlighted by the epic world she lived in. The world-building in this book was incredibly atmospheric. It had this dark yet whimsical feel to it that made you want to be in that world, but made you want to shy away from it at the same time. Plus Naomi’s gorgeous writing made it even more vivid than it already was.

Because we have a different heroine and a different world, we also have a different antagonist. Hell, our antagonist isn’t even a person! And the best part is, despite her (it?) not being a human, she (it??) still had a lovely and enchanting backstory. You’ll be confused whether or not you want to root for her (it???) or not–that’s how fabulous this aspect was.

While this book focused a lot more on character development and world-building, we were given a slight romance… But fear not–it was still very ship-worthy. You will just want to grab Agnieszka’s and the Dragon’s faces and smoosh them together! There’s this fabulous steamy scene too, as a bonus. *wink*

Basically, you need to read this book if you want to experience reading a book that’s truly unique, one-of-a-kind, and is excellently-written.

4 stars


About Aimee

Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.

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56 thoughts on “Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

  1. Great review! I bought this book a while ago but I’ve been putting off reading it because of its size. I guess I’m just daunted by the thought of finishing it if I don’t really like it. Lol anyway your review definitely makes the book seem worth reading :D


  2. I’ve been wanting to read this so bad, but I’m afraid that the dense writing will completely throw me off and cause me not to like it. Which is probably why I’ll just end up borrowing it from the library or something. BUT OTHER THAN THAT THIS SOUNDS SO EPIC. Gah. I want it. Awesome review Aimee


  3. So I have to add this one to my shelf if you’re saying it’s as good as it is. I’ve been in a romance slump for like wayyyy too long so this will be a nice change up. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much. (And me, I LOVE big books) hehe


  4. Ahhhh!! Okay, I have this book ready to read. This review (and many more I have read)is just making me want to GO AND PICK IT NOW, which I won’t because I’m currently reading three books and I’m on finals so… Great review, anyway. I can’t wait to finally start this. Sounds like a my kind of book.


  5. I just finished reading this too. It took me a couple of chapters to really get into it but after that I just kind of flew through the whole book. I loved it so much! The writing is so beautiful and the concept of the Wood is just sooo creative. I can’t say enough good things about this book. Happy to hear that you liked it. :D


  6. I’ve heard brilliant things about this book – but I prefer reading big books in physical format, not e-copy, so will have to wait for it to get to my corner of the world! Your review has me seriously intrigued.


  7. I like character development over world building, so this should be my thing; unless when you say wordy, you mean like Seraphina, which I put down and still haven’t picked back up. Did you know Ellen Degeneres bought the movie rights to Uprooted? Thanks for the review. I think I do want to read this. :)


  8. OOH this does sound good. And once I got over the keyboard smash of Agnieszka’s name, it sounds pretty cool (AG-NEESH-KA, right?). Yay for a heroine who says she’s not pretty but actually is! The Dragon sounds really cool too :D


  9. I’d never remember a name like Agnieszka either because I’m a scatter brain but even then, anyone is bound to misspell it. Sounds badass though! Your she/it description for the antagonist just made me more intrigued to read this and what version is this cover because it’s even more beautiful than the brown one?! *_*


  10. AIMEEEEEEE. I want to read it. I really want to read it. But my library DOESN’T HAVE IT. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? And also, that cover is GORGEOUS. A lot better than the US cover, haha. The heroine sounds so awesome! (Not that I’m ever going to pronounce her name right.) Although I feel like even if I did get it from the library, I’d NEVER finish it on time, haha.


    1. *hits your library with a stick* BAD LIBRARY! You must request itttt. Kidnap your librarian and force him/her to get it! I love both the covers actually. ;) I feel guilty about loving the heroine and not knowing her name. xD


  11. I am going to call this ridiculously named character “Ann”. That sounds much easier. ANYYYWAY. So this book is beautiful. I want it, but ONLY this edition, because frankly, the US one is kind of ugly. I am scared of big books too, AND scared of wordy books. But seriously, after all the praise and hearing that it is so unique and that Ann is a wonderful character and such… I am going to need to read it, basically. Great review, I am actually really glad to see one that highlights a bit of the not-so-positives, because I kind of knew those would be my fears too- and you still liked it- so now I definitely want to give it a go!


    1. I *like* the US cover if you squint at it really hard, haha! But I agree that this is prettier. :) I was scared to pick it up too, but all my favorite reviewers loved it, so I took the plunge and I emerged victorious! (Or so I hope.) Thanks, Shannon!


  12. Sounds like you had a lot to rave about even if it didn’t affect you as much as you thought it would! I can understand how it might seem like a lot to get through to you, it was rather long (though I can’t help but love long books!). “You’ll be confused whether or not you want to **root** for her (it???) or not” <– Hehe is this a pun? You're funnier than you know Aimee ;) The steamy scene was a surprise for sure, but the best kind! *winks right back*


    1. Ha! I didn’t even notice that non-pun until you pointed it out. Now just shh so I can pretend I’m witty and actually intended for that to happen. ;) It was! (I need moaaar.)


  13. I was so confused for a minute Aimee – I was all HOW HAVE I NOT HEARD OF THIS BOOK?! And then I realized I just hadn’t seen this particular cover. It’s GORGEOUS! I completely understand what you’re saying about big books – they intimidate me as well. I almost expect them to be overly wordy and slow, so it takes me longer to read them even if that’s not the case. I’m glad that despite this one being a touch flowery in the prose department, you still enjoyed it overall:)


    1. I was approved for the UK edition and it was a tad bit prettier so… ;) Even if the book’s awesomely written, it takes me a while to get through big books for the reason you said!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m happy that you ended up liking this one a lot in the end, despite being intimidated by it’s size. I find that often with bigger books, it takes a while to really get into it and at first you can feel discouraged because it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere O.O I have to say that the writing style and the characters sound right up my alley! I think I’m going to have fun with this one – it’s to be one of my next reads :D Lovely review^^ xx


  15. Oh, Aimee, we basically share the better parts of our opinion towards this book! World-building, check! Atmospheric, check! Agniezska’s growth, check! Sort-of-problem with the length and sentence construction, check! Interesting antagonist, check! Swoony quite love story, CHECK!


  16. I’m in the middle of this one and am really stuck at the moment. :( I like the concept and the writing, but something just isn’t clicking for me, you know? But your review’s convinced me to suck it up & keep going – ha. Thanks for sharing Aimee!


  17. Lovely review! I have a copy of this one, and I’m SO excited for it. It sounds right up my alley. Although I’m getting the feeling that I’ll be spending fifty percent of the time staring at the cover (I have the other edition, if you’re curious — which I think is even more beautiful.) I also don’t really mind wordy things (just as long as it’s not tooooo wordy) so I’m hoping I’ll love this one! <3


  18. I am THERE, Aimee. This and Magonia sound so intensely like books that were written just for me and I’m so excited to get to both of them. This sounds incredibly enjoyable and me being a massive fantasy fan I am just so there already. I can’t even get out my excitement without saying “there”, Aimee, that is how pumped I am for this. That does mean that this comment is a jumbled mess and I apologise for that, but I love your review and you have basically made me go “readreadreadititititinownownownow” and that is absolutely fine with me. xx


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