Uprooted by Naomi Novik | Book Review

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Title: Uprooted

Author/s: Naomi Novik

Format: Hardcover, 438 pages

Publication Date: May 21st 2015 by Macmillan (first published May 19th 2015)

Plot in A Nutshell:

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.

-Summary taken from Goodreads

Thoughts in General:

Firstly, I would like to confess that I completely fell in love with Naomi Novik’s Uprooted! It has been a long time since I adored a book as much as I did with this one because almost everything in it just clicked with me and my personality. The magic, mystery, and characters meshed well with my own sensibilities and I am incredibly glad I read it.

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When I first saw this UK edition through Regan of Peruse Project,  I immediately decided that I will be picking it up because of its gorgeousness. I personally love illustrated covers and this is one of the most amazing designs I have ever seen in a book. Don’t get me wrong the American edition is also neat, but the dramatic simplicity of this cover just won me over.

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I love the effect of the tower’s shadow highlighting a household in this quirky yet haunting way!

To be frank, I didn’t had huge expectations for this novel even though I have heard nothing but incredible things about it. I didn’t anticipate that it’ll have such an intricately woven plot!  Uprooted had more things going for it than some of the trilogies that I have read (#SorryNotSorry) because it is filled with action, political intrigue, romance, and thrills!

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Agnieszka is one of those characters that you would want to root for throughout the story. She was so driven in helping out her friends and family, which I really admired about her. She’s that type of goody-goody character that didn’t sound like an overly optimistic, delusional caricature.

The Dragon was an okay character for me. He wasn’t as involved in the story as I expected him to be, but what I got still matched the notion I had about him. He was this gruff, scholarly wizard that should have been such a cliche, but weirdly I found him quite nostalgic.

I also really liked Kasia because she’s such a good friend and she’s so down-to-earth. I like how her character arc was written towards the end of the novel.

The rest of the characters were just written really well! Of course there were people that were purposefully written to annoy me.

*ahem* Prince Marek *ahem* The Falcon*ahem*

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Naomi Novik’s sense of world creation was just fantastic! Firstly, I have to commend her for writing The Wood! She just made me fear this obscure antagonist just as much as the characters did. I never expected it to be so intimidating and crazy scary, and how complex and challenging it was to take on.

Then there’s the magic, which is probably the number one reason why I fell in love with the novel. The descriptions of the spells were written so lively which just excited me! I also like how Naomi Novik expressed every witch and wizard’s different styles of magic (homely-free sorcery vs. scholarly-precise magic).

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It might not be written in a flowery and eloquent way, but Uprooted had a straight-forward writing style. It also discussed some thought-provoking stuff. There was this scene in the book in which two characters talked about immortality in a way that just made me ponder on it for quite some time.

In my opinion, Uprooted by Naomi Novik is a fantasy novel that I would highly recommend to every single one of you! It’s this wonderful fairy-tale that just reignited my love for magic and sorcery!

Have you read Uprooted? What were your thoughts? Please do share them down below!

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