Author: Naomi Novik
Release Date: 19th May 2015
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.
How do I even go about reviewing a book this fantastic? I can’t find the words to adequately tell you why this book is so wonderful, but I’ll try anyway 😄
Uprooted has been appearing on my amazon and goodreads recommendations for almost a year now but because I’m absolutely useless, I kept forgetting to actually buy it. I went to pick it up in Waterstones last month but they didn’t have the hardback left in stock so I went online and noticed the paperback edition was coming out this month, and decided to pre-order that instead! I’m kicking myself for not picking this up sooner because it was such an enchanting read, and one I can see myself re-reading time and time again.
The first half of the book was definitely stronger in my opinion, but even towards the end where the storyline started to wane, the writing really kept it together and I stayed hooked and unable to put it down. I know it may seem from the blurb that Uprooted has all of the overused cliches present in any typical YA fantasy novel, but it has so much more to offer than that. The story is original and intricate, the world building is superb, and the characters are beautifully developed.
I wont lie – the relationship between Agnieszka and the Dragon did really bother me at the beginning. His short temper was disgusting to read at times, so disgusting that it even got to the point where Agnieszka was contemplating suicide. My views changed as the story progressed because she stayed as strong as hell. Instead of conforming to his standards, she stayed true to herself in every way, broke the rules, and didn’t let him intimidate her, which lead to him breaking down his barriers (The dynamics of their relationship are extremely similar to that in ‘The Beauty and the Beast’.).
Most importantly though, there was a great friendship between two female characters, and it wasn’t based around the Dragon at all! The friendship between Agnieszka and Kasia felt so genuine and lovely. It was obvious how much they loved each other, and how deep their connection was and it sent a really positive message. Naomi Novik should get a cake or something just for doing such a fantastic job writing their friendship.
I don’t want to give anything away, but the complexity of ‘The Woods‘ (The dark force that is trying to be eradicated) is so good and it made the story completely unpredictable!
All I can say is that Uprooted is a magical, fairytale gem. During my post-book hangover, I searched around and learnt that Warner Bros owns the movie rights for Uprooted, so I would really recommend anyone who hasn’t picked this up yet to do so before the movie!
Thank you for reading, I hope you’re all having a wonderful day!