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.
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.