Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (May 19, 2015)
Rating: 5 stars
Cover Rating: 8
“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.
Such a magical and enchanting read. Uprooted is about a girl becoming a woman and finding herself. Discovering the hidden strength and courage that she already. Just needed time to find.
Naomi Novik is a master at words, weaving a majesty and enthralling story. I could not put the book down. I truly enjoyed this beautiful and magical retelling of Beauty and Beast.
Without rehashing the synopsis our heroine is the one that is taken instead of her best friend Kasia who practical spend her entire life preparing for this moment. Seriously, Kasia couldn’t do anything but learn how to cook and clean and sew all in order of pleasing the great wizard The Dragon. Because he has a scathing reputation as being a brute. After all he only kidnaps the most beautiful of the village and does who knows what to these poor maidens.
So naturally, Agnieszka is scared, weak and a bit whiny but as you read along she slowly but surely finds her strength and stands her ground against The Dragon.
Let me say that he was an insufferable ass and downright mean and arrogant towards Agnieszka. I was hoping and praying that she didn’t develop feelings for him. But what is a fairytale without a little romance. I’m please to say Naomi Novak does an excellent job of getting into the mindset of The Dragon making the reader understand why he is the way he is/as been for the last 150 years.
Now that is one of the things that bothered me was the big age gap between to two love interest. Our heroine is 17/18 yrs of age and The Dragon is old. Old as hell. The other thing that I didn’t feel a need for it to be in the book was the sex scene. It wasn’t graphic but it made me uncomfortable. Not because I’m a prude but it distracted from the story. It disrupted the flow. At least the part. That’s just how I feel.
Overall, Uprooted is a marvelous read. With a magical system of old. It felt genuine and real. It reminded me of fairytales of old. Of the stories that I grew up listening too. What I mean is that it wasn’t forced. Agnieszka learned magic slowly and in her way. Nowadays, in fantasy, someone learns they have magical abilities and two chapters later they are the master of the universe. Meh.
So if you’re looking for an atmospheric, magical (I use that word a lot) fairytale, I highly recommend Uprooted by Naomi Novik. You won’t be disappointed. Seriously, buy this book.
*I reviewed and ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you David Monech and RandomHouse.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Naomi Novik is the acclaimed author of His Majesty’s Dragon, Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles, Tongues of Serpents, Crucible of Gold, and Blood of Tyrants, the first eight volumes of the Temeraire series. She has been nominated for the Hugo Award and has won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, as well as the Locus Award for Best New Writer and the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel. She is also the author of the graphic novel Will Supervillains Be on the Final?
Fascinated with both history and legends, Novik is a first-generation American raised on Polish fairy tales and stories of Baba Yaga. Her own adventures include pillaging degrees in English literature and computer science from various ivory towers, designing computer games, and helping to build the Archive of Our Own for fanfiction and other fanworks. Novik is a co-founder of the Organization for Transformative Works.
She lives in New York City with her husband, Charles Ardai, the founder of Hard Case Crime, and their daughter, Evidence, surrounded by an excessive number of purring computers.