Book Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

uprooted

  • Book 60/80 of my Reading Challenge

4/5 stars

If you loved A Court of Thorns & Roses you will love this book! This fantasy novel is what I would class as “new adult” in the same vein as ACOTAR, which is basically what I class as young adult that doesn’t fade to black, if you catch my drift.

Synopsis:

Agnieszka (yes, that’s her name!) lives in a village set beside a corrupted, twisted forest where creatures sometimes creep out and steal away children and mess with villagers’ crops. Because of this, the villagers have relied on “The Dragon”, a wizard who fends off the wood but demands one hefty sacrifice- every decade a young woman must leave the village and serve The Dragon for ten years. When they are released, they might come back to the village for one or two days but they will never stay.
The Dragon always picks the most special of the bunch and this year everyone knows it will be Agnieszka’s best friend, Kasia. At least, that’s what everyone thinks. Ultimately, The Dragon will decide who is the most special to take with him…

I really admired Agnieszka in this book. She started off as such a clumsy character but her resilience and strength really shone through. The wood was a character of its own and the descriptions often gave me the creeps but that could honestly be because of this gem:

Rupert-the-BearDid anyone else watch Rupert The Bear as a child and happen to see this episode? (I searched YouTube and it seems they eventually made this character less scary but my VHS copy had that abomination^) It’s basically a scary stick who gets really upset with Rupert (I’m amazing at descriptions, I swear.) It scared the absolute sh*t out of me as a kid and seriously, Novik’s description of the wood just kept making me think of this character!

As for the plot, it was a fast read and it never lulled. The magic involved was also really different to what I’m used to reading in YA- there were more potions and chanting and specifics than just “hey you can just say spells and stuff happens!”. It actually seemed a lot more realistic and I happened to love how earthy and intertwining it was.

The characters all really stood out and there were a few complex characters, like Agnieszka, Kasia and the Prince, who isn’t your typical fairytale prince AT ALL (well… depends if we’re talking Brothers Grimm or Disney here!)

Without spoiling anything, I really admired the ending. This is a standalone so it really needed to be wrapped up in a neat little package but I’m glad Novik didn’t follow generic YA endings.

So if you love fairytales and are craving something a bit “new” to your young adult after reading ACOTAR, definitely give Uprooted a read.

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