Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik


Author: Naomi Novik
Published: 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: N/A
Rating: B+

I had been hearing so many rave reviews about “Uprooted” that I had to give it a shot. Luckily, this one didn’t let me down. I inhaled the book in only two sittings, which is a rarity for me nowadays.

Agnieszka never expected to be the one chosen as sacrifice to the Dragon. She, and everyone in the village, expected beautiful Kasia to be selected. So, it’s a shock when the Dragon selects Agniezka to live with him for 10 years.

The Dragon is a wizard in charge of keeping the corruption of the Wood at bay. In return for his service, he asks that the village allow one young lady to live with him for 10 years. At the end of those years, the women return but are always different and never content to stay in the village any longer.

Agnieszka is resigned to make the most of her circumstances, but longs to return to her village. Especially, when the brooding Dragon insists on teaching her magic that leaves her drained and exhausted.

This was a really interesting young adult high fantasy that went in a route I hadn’t expected. From the backcover description, I expected an odd cross between Beauty and the Beast and Bluebeard. Instead, I got something much more unique and thought provoking.

The highlight of this book is seeing Agnieszka come into her own and that it didn’t rely on the Dragon showing her the way. Instead, she cleaves much of her own path and has to convince the Dragon to be more flexible in his way of thinking. It was also great seeing how much action she was able to take by herself to help save the village and those she cares about.

I also loved the quiet romance in the book and that it didn’t overtake the main story. However, I do wish that we had a least one more chapter. My main complaint with the book is that at the end, I felt like something was missing. I think a lot of this could have been resolved with one or two more chapters.

All in all, this was a fun young adult fantasy. I would recommend it if you’re a fan of the genre and looking for a good standalone story.