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Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted - Naomi Novik

“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.

 
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Uprooted is a book that, despite seeming so interesting did it take me a long time to get to it, mostly because it seemed so thick and time-consuming. And, when I finally started to read it did I read it during one day. I'm actually a bit impressed by that myself since the book is 435 page long. But, then again I did start it after (or around can't really remember) midnight, slept and then read all through Saturday. A perfect day!

What I like about Uprooted is that the blurb doesn't give away the story, it only gives a hint to the beginning of the book, there are just not any spoilers to what will happen. And, that's pretty much how I'm going to do with my review. Try to spoil as little as possible because the story is so good, and the best is going in blind and just discover everything for yourself. What I can tell you is that Agnieszka starts off in this book as very clumsy, seriously, she drives the Dragon nuts. However, she will evolve through the books progress, and the person that we get to know at the beginning is, but a memory towards the end of the book. Speaking of the Dragon, I liked how Agnieszka and his relationship evolved through the book as well. They really start off on the wrong foot and it will take some time (and clumsy accidents) for them to be more of a team.

Also, the setting of the book, the worldbuilding, and the history of the land is a strong point with this book. I could easily imagine the world and its characters. One of my favorite moments is towards the end of the book when we get an explanation for what went wrong in the past, why the Wood is corrupted. It's a sad and very moving tale.

Uprooted is a great fantasy book. I liked it very much. However, I did not love it enough to give it a higher rating. It was not hard to read, but I had moments when the story felt a bit sluggish. Not that it was boring, I just didn't feel captivated all the way through the book. That said, it's still a fabulous book, and I recommend it warmly.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!