Saturday, May 9, 2015

Review: Uprooted

22544764Title: Uprooted
Author: Naomi Novik
Genre: Fantasy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
“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.

Have you ever read a book that made you catch your breath when you read the first page? A book that spins a story so beautiful and intricate and rich that you forget it isn't real? Uprooted was that book for me.

This book starts out like a familiar fairy tale. There's a small village in the shadow of a mysterious magician's tower, and every 10 years the Dragon comes down to take a new girl to his tower. The Dragon isn't actually a dragon, but he might as well be: the Dragon is enigmatic, calculating, and terse. Agnieszka is the complete opposite. A clumsy, messy village girl, Agnieszka is equal parts curious and stubborn. She is fiercely loyal to her friend Kasia and her village, and nearly kills herself trying to save them time and time again.

And then there's The Wood.

It's a place that haunts you long after you've closed the pages of the book. This is one of those books where the setting is actually a character, and it's nearly the end realize just how complex and menacing it is. The Wood is mostly background noise at first, but as the story progresses, it takes on a larger and larger role until you finally reach the climax and you want to cry in turn with fear, anger, and compassion as you learn its secrets. There is no true villain in this novel, but there is plenty of evil and corruption, and the disembodied force of corruption is more terrifying than any villain I've ever read about.

This story is atmospheric and beautiful, and one of the best fairy tales I have read. It's familiar, yet new. I can't find the right words to describe how good this book is, so all I'm going to do is ask you to read it. I promise this book is worth it.

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8 comments:

  1. Jolien @ The Fictional ReaderMay 9, 2015 at 1:00 PM

    I was already curious about this boko, but now it's a definite read! A Dragon who isn't actually a dragon, The Wood, it all sounds incredible! Great review :)

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  2. It really is! It's one of my favorite books I've read this year. I hope you enjoy it!

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  3. I'm really looking forward to reading this! It's on order at the library and I'm first on the holds list, haha.

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  4. This book has me just drowning in positive praise but your review takes the cake. I NEED to get my hands on this book^^ You made it sound like the PERFECT read for me, every bit of it sounds incredible :D

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  5. That's perfect! This book is so beautiful; I loved it, and I hope you do too!

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  6. I'm so glad! This book is everything I love about fairytales and folktales and stories in general, and I hope you enjoy it :)

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  7. I'm really excited for this book - sounds like it's right up my alley. And I am so glad to hear that you liked it. (Makes me even more excited for it. I think I should have pre-ordered it...)

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  8. I'm glad I've made you more excited! This is definitely a book to be excited for :)

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