Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Book Description:

Hardcover, 437 pages
Published May 21st 2015 by Macmillan

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, ambitious wizard, known only as the Dragon, to keep the wood's powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman must be handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as being lost 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 no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. And when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him.

From the author of the Temeraire series comes this hugely imaginative, engrossing and vivid fantasy novel, inspired by folk and fairy tales. It is perfect reading for fans of Robin Hobb and Trudi Canavan.

Reviewer's Copy: Hardcover

Source: Bought

My Thoughts:

I read this book a few months ago and I feel like I am still lost in its pages. Lost in a very, very good way. I cannot imagine anything better than this. I was addicted to it, as if it was an elixir that I was suddenly abusing out of pleasure. I couldn't pry it off my hands and I couldn't summon the willingness to stop and so I read it, day and night, until finally it was finished.

The story world of Uprooted was undeniably old world, with its own magical charm. It was like injecting fairytale serum into an old kingdom setup. I loved the vivid descriptions of the world and how atmospheric the entire novel was. I felt like I lived in the valley and in the tower. The imagery that the author created in my mind, with her words, was simply astonishing. It was like looking into a mirror to the world on the other side of it: the reader got every detail. The social hierarchy, political system and magical system were thoroughly explained. I didn't want any answers anymore because I got more than I asked for. A lot of themes were tackled such as family ties, friendship and the foundations and cracks of legends.

The Dragon was a very interesting wizard, indeed. I enjoyed reading about his snappy, almost-always-irritated and sarcastic way of talking. It was a bright star in the universe of stiff, formal dialogue that one expected when stumbling into a high fantasy. I was thoroughly amused and entertained at the banter between the Dragon and Agniezscka. I found attraction, hints of a budding romance and so much more in their lines.

Agnieszka as a character, was so genuine and just down to earth. She was just herself and didn't plan on changing for anybody else. I loved that she remained true to herself throughout the entire book. She remained anchored to what she believed in. Her humor and her determination really entertained me. Every scene that she was in had a possibility to become an instant comedy and it was refreshing to see so much humor in a fantasy novel.

The Wood was such a mysterious element of the novel. It was powerful, patient and intelligent. The wood had the capacity to plan ahead and strategize how it could expand and gain even more power. It was very much like the "Red Queen" of Uprooted, cunning and horribly unstoppable. But it was such an enlightenment to understand where the Wood was coming from, why it sought revenge and blood and why it wouldn't stop.

The plot was beautifully crafted. There was just enough breadcrumbs for me to follow, enough walls for me to find to make Uprooted a challenging guessing affair. The politics of the castle, the motives of the royal family and the critical situation of Kralia made the story even more interesting. Each character had his own motives. Each one was a bright light vying for my attention and at the same time, demanding my suspicion. I was always doubling back, rethinking and reevaluating their role in the story, deciding if they were on the good team or the bad team - this was one of the things I liked the most in Uprooted.

Uprooted is a fantasy of unforgettable, unputdownable proportions, with its amazing world building and deliciously sweet plot. Uprooted is pulsing with danger, slow-burning romance, and wondrous magic. I highly recommend this to readers of fantasy, preferably older fantasy, and readers looking for atmospheric reads!


5 Cupids = Eternal book love.
I will never, ever, ever forget this book. I highly recommend this!


  1. First of all, I love your blog. It's gorgeous and you write amazing reviews. Secondly, I hadn't heard of this book before your review, but I'm definitely going to be adding this book to my TBR. It sounds like the author crafted a story that sticks with the reader. I love books like this, so I can't wait to check it out.

    1. Hello Halee! Yes, I admit that it is not quite as popular as I would have wanted it to be. But it is definitely a gem and it's worth seeking out. :) Hope you give it a try. Thank you for the wonderful comments you mentioned! :)

  2. I’ve heard mixed reviews for this one but the cover looks so gorgeous and your review really sells it! Need to get my hands on a copy soon, haha :) Great review!!

    1. I understand the mixed reviews. It might not be for everyone. But if you're a fantasy lover by heart, then this might just be perfect for you. Thanks for dropping by!