Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Novik, Naomi. Uprooted. , 2015. Print. ISBN-13: 978-0804179034.
Formats available: hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook. Paperback $10.84. Kindle $9.99.
Synopsis: (Taken from Amazon.com)
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.
I was recommended to this book in a way, because Karen Marie Moning (one of my favorite authors) shared it on her Facebook, raving about how good it was. Then, when I saw it was a fairy-tale retelling, I knew I had to read it. Its quite a bit different than most fairy-tale retellings in that it is more Fantasy than Romance. This books is beautiful in its characterization and especially in its world building. This is heavily detailed, deep world building with that epic High Fantasy feel. This is absolutely a fully realized world, complete with its own set of rules and history. I was drawn in, at once. The strongest aspect is by far the world building, which is unique, but related to those familiar to us. You get a definite Into the Woods kind of feel here.
The next strength is in the believability of the characters, especially the female characters. None of the characters in this book are fake, or 1 sided. Rather they are drawn with complex, often conflicting thoughts and actions. None of them is “perfect” or idealized, and feel more like real people, who sometimes (or even often) have less than perfect, heroic, or selfless thoughts. I especially enjoyed seeing the envy that occurred between the girl who was supposed to be taken by the Dragon, and her best friend, who never thought she’d be taken. Their thoughts and feelings about their situations were very human and true. This is not a quick read, because it is heavy in its descriptions, and I would not call it fast paced. But it is beautiful and encompassing, the kind of book you lose yourself in.
Liked it? Loved it? Gotta have more of it?
- Check out my top-ten recommended fairytale re-tellings
- See what others who liked Uprooted recommend on goodreads.com
About the Author:
Learn more about Naomi Novik and her books on her website.
Citation & Credits
Book cover image: Courtesy of Amazon.com
Kelsey Bogan. 2015. All rights reserved.