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Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik


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.

My thoughts

THIS BOOK IS PHENOMENAL AND EVERYONE SHOULD READ IT. After reading only a few pages I already knew I was going to love this one and I DID! Uprooted is one of my favorites of this year and definitely a new favorite retelling. DO judge this book by it’s cover because this story is just as fantastic as its cover.

What I love about Uprooted is that it is not really a retelling but is only inspired by different tales and that made it so much more fun than your usual retellings. Every single tale that was put into this novel in some way or other is only visible if you look real close. There are often only hints here and there, tiny details that come from those tales that served as inspiration, so that it’s kind of like an Easter egg hunt. It’s definitely one of the most unique retellings I have ever read.

Naomi Novik has such an enthralling writing style. I really felt like reading one of those old fairy tales. What fascinates me is that Uprooted is rather slow but it didn’t bother me at all. On the contrary, I was glad that it felt like I read at least double as many pages as I actually did. It took me unusually long to get through it and I was happy about it because I didn’t want it to end. It only felt slow though. The plot was moving pretty fast actually and something exciting was always happening. It’s just the writing style, her picturesque descriptions, that make it feel that way.

I adored the world building. I could have spend forever in this world. I wouldn’t say this is a dark novel, but I definitely felt the creepiness from the woods. The magic system was fun to explorer, especially as it seemed to have so many facets. There are many interesting but small things that form this epic world that was thrilling to get to know.

It also features one of my favorite kind of characters: the gloomy, grumpy type of guy. I absolutely LOVED the Dragon! I adore characters who are a tough nut to crack and don’t tell you everything about them all at once. Those characters that make every piece of information about them feel like a reward. The Dragon is such a secretive characters and I absolutely loved getting behind the guy everyone thinks they know, slowly getting to know him and seeing him open up to someone.

Most of all I loved that this was the most perfect case of “bad guy is not as bad as he seems” I have ever read. I’ve read a ton of books that make excuses for the bad guy just to make him look good but this one!? You learn that he is actually misunderstood and not at all who you think at first.

Overall, Naomi Novik did a great job at shaping her characters and making them grow. The character development is on point. There is romance but it’s only in the background. It rather concentrates on friendship and family and I loved that.

Naomi Novik completely enthralled me with Uprooted. I loved that it was rather slow even though exciting things were happening all the time and that it felt like I was reading forever because I didn’t want it to end. Uprooted is one of my new favorite retellings and I’m definitely going to check out her other books.

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  • Ooh! I haven’t heard of this before but it looks really good. Your review is fantastic and has definitely made me want to read it! :D I want to start reading more fantasy, so perhaps this is a good place to start. :)

  • Ich wünschte es hätte mir auch so gut gefallen D: Hab es gerade beendet und bin einfach nur froh, dass es vorbei ist. Finde es ganz schwer zu sagen, warum es mir nicht gefallen hat, weil es eigentlich total viele Elemente hat, die ich liebe. Alles, was du beschreibst, finde ich super, und doch hab ich mich irgendwie gelangweilt, hab keinen richtigen Draht zu den Figuren gefunden und gegen Ende war ich immer verwirrter. Ich hab diese ganze Sache mit dem Wald irgendwie nicht richtig kapiert :/ Vielleicht war’s auch einfach nicht der richtige Zeitpunkt.

  • Denkst du das wäre was für mich? Ich will das Buch eigentlich alleine schon wegen des Aussehens haben aber ich lese sonst eigentlich so gar keine Retellings? :D

  • Genauso habe ich mich auch gefuehlt, fand die Geschichte einfach nur prima :) Vor allem, dass es ein abgeschlossene Geschichte ist, der es an nichts fehlt, hat mich beeindruckt. Davon gibt es leider viel zu wenige.

    Werde mir jetzt auch mal Noviks weitere Buecher genauer anschauen :D

  • Most of the people I know absolutely adored this one. I initially passed over this one but now I’m thinking I really have to give it a try. I really want to meet this Dragon now, he sounds like a character I would love.

  • Oh! I already wanted to read this because of it’s cover, but your review makes me even more excited!

Jun 10, 2015