Review ~ Uprooted

Author: Naomi Novik
Genre: Fantasy
Page Length: 438 Pages
Publication Date: May 19th, 2015
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Borrowed via library
Goodreads | Amazon

“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.
I'll admit I was equal parts terrified and excited to read this book after all the praise started rolling in. Kim from The Midnight Garden was gushing about this one, and my interest was instantly piqued because Kim is the queen of fantasy reading! A model for fantasy novels, Uprooted leads by example.

Where to begin? This book has so many amazing elements to it. I love the idea behind the Woods. It has such a sinister presence. It's an evil you can't even see sometimes, yet its actions are disastrous. It's such a strange and awesome idea because you don't really know who the antagonist is for most of the book. It's just there, and it's all-powerful, threatening to consume everything. This is just one of the ways in which Uprooted is so thoroughly unique. 

This book does not shy away from the guts and gore. It gets pretty graphic in places, and the action sequences are on point. Going in a totally different direction, I adored the romance. There's so much tension, I just wanted them to make out already! But seriously, the blistering romance does not disappoint nor does it overshadow the whole story. 

The writing possesses an air of elegance fitting to the story. It's lyrical just like the spells Nieshka and the Dragon cast. It's enchanting and elusive just like the woods. I also really enjoyed the Polish influences in the novel. I love how many fantasy elements are immersed in this rich world. We read of chimaeras, wolves, magic, monarchies, past ruined civilizations, enchanted woods. It's all there for us to explore. The world-building and fantasy elements are wonderfully depicted. I can imagine the setting so clearly.  

Finally, a protagonist I can empathize with! Agnieshka and I both are messy and clumsy. It was such a breath of fresh air to have a main character who isn't flawless and perfectly graceful, one who doesn't care much for her clothes and appearances. I love her tenacity and sense of right and wrong. People kept trying to tame her or scold her, people were always questioning her, but she always did what she felt was right no matter what. Dragon is not actually a dragon (thanks Cait from Paper Fury for letting me know that early on), but he's so mercurial and hard to read. I loved his complex character.

I had minimal problems with this book, mostly due to pacing. I felt somewhere near the middle of the book it got really slow, and my interest wavered. Also there were times when you're just blatantly confused. I had to reread some sections to attempt to understand what was going on (usually near the magical parts or the action-packed ones), so the confusion kind of irritated me. Maybe that's just my fault though! 

As far as I know, Uprooted is a standalone and wraps up nicely. If you're in the mood for a fantasy novel packed full with all the best fantasy components then this is the book for you! 

I made a Pinterest board for Uprooted for your viewing pleasure ;) 

Follow Rachel's board Uprooted by Naomi Novik on Pinterest.
Rachel is a teenaged unapologetic fangirl and perfectionist.

She loves reading for the escape it gives from reality and enjoys crying over books, swooning over characters, and laughing out loud over funny lines. She is a semi-recovering Netflix addict and a middle child of three.

You can find her on Twitter @yaperfectionist & Goodreads.

12 comments:

  1. I recently read this book and loved it! I really liked the concept of the Woods, it was such a creepy presence that felt like a character by itself sometimes. I totally liked Agniezka, how she wasn't like our typical character and she made me laugh when she was offended that every noble was coming by chair to parties, then Alice told her they didn't want to be covered in mud and well... Agniezka was! It was nice to have a standalone in fantasy, it changed compared to series. I really like the pinterest board for this book. Great review :)

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  2. I LOVE this book. It feels both familiar and creative at the same time. Definitely one of the best fantasies I've read in a long time. Great review.
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

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  3. I LOVE THE PINTEREST BOARD BTW. <3 And I've been seeing this book everywhere, but I'm intrigued because dragons and fantasy and love :) So I think I'll be giving this a try. And ohmygod, fabulous review!

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  4. You're definitely right. The hype has kept me from reading this but I want to read it soon! Your Pinterest board and your review makes me even more excited. But I'm a bit worried since you say it gets slow towards the middle. I hate when books do that! But I really love the concept of this book. The only problem is deciding if I want to get this version or the UK edition because both covers are gorgeous!

    ~Karina @ A Reader Under The Sea

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  5. Amazing review, Rachel!!!!!!! I heard about this book a while back but surprisingly haven't heard much about it since. I never really knew what it was about either, but the synopsis and your great review make me really want to pick this one up now! :D

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  6. I'm so glad you liked this, Rachel! It was indeed amazing and I loved the setting. The pinterest board it's great too! I think it captures the elements ofthe book perfectly. :)

    Vane at Books With Chemitry

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  7. I LOVE Uprooted!!! So glad to see others that enjoy it too!

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  8. I almost bought this one the other day, but then ended up putting it down and deciding to wait until it was less of a recent release so it would be a bit cheaper. It sounds like I am missing out on a good fantasy here though! I wish I had picked it up now. It sounds like it is definitely the kind of book I would enjoy, and that the world is built up wonderful. I am such a fan of fantasy books that do a good job as well :)

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  9. I'm currently in the middle of hte book and I cannot make myself pick it up again! ): I really do need to because I loved the world in that one!

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  10. I am dying to read this book! Uprooted has been in my TBR since I first discovered it in GR, ages before it got released, and I am desperately hoping that I can get my hands on a copy!
    Lovely review Rach, and I adore the board!

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  11. I need to read this.. badly! Everyone I've talked to has loved this! The setting sounds fantastic, and the romance... oh my, I really want to meet these two and see them together!
    Lovely review, lady. <3

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  12. I SO SO SO SO BADLY NEED THIS BOOK IN MY LIFEEEEE. It just sounds so beautiful and YOUR BOARD. It is beautiful. This makes me want to go on Pinterest but I have stuff to do :P

    Awesome review Rachel!

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