Uprooted

Uprooted

Book - 2016
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"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."--Back cover
Publisher: New York : Del Rey, 2016
Edition: Del Rey trade paperback edition
Copyright Date: 2015
ISBN: 9780804179058
0804179050
Characteristics: 456 pages ; 21 cm

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Uprooted contains all my favorite things in a YA fantasy: a young woman put in aggravating circumstances discovers her own power and is forced to use all available will, talent, and knowledge to fight a greater evil to her community and the world as she knows it. This contribution features both a complex female friendship as well as a touch of romance as the main character is taken abruptly from her home and tries to remain true to her core values. The story is fast-paced and fully engaging–I’d open the book meaning to read a chapter and lose an afternoon. Novik has written another series about a dragon known as Temeraire but apparently Uprooted is a significant departure. I enjoyed this read immensely. (Submitted by Meghan W.)

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PayetteStAmour
Nov 10, 2018

This is quite literally the best book I've ever read. This isn't hyperbole, this isn't my regular dramatics, this isn't me being cheeky, I'm serious.

This book is simply magic in the way it pulls you in, in the way it makes you feel the characters and their motivations and their reasoning. It's entirely in first person point of view, but not once does the reader feel disconnected from the other characters. Not once is the reader left floundering and confused and completely stunned by the behaviour of another character. I mean, a good surprise is fun, and unpredictable characters are great, but their unpredictability and the surprises have to fit the narrative already set up.

And the absolute mastery of a slow-burn romantic subplot, in a way that romance happened but wasn't the thing that held it all together. It wasn't the romance that gave our protagonist Agnieszka her power, it wasn't the romance that saved the day (though of course love certainly played a part). It was, indeed, a subplot. But the most beautiful part about the romantic subplot that has haunted me since I finished the book, is that the l-word is never used. Not in the protagonist's inner monologues (because, again, this book is entirely in first person POV), not at some dramatic moment, and not even in the end, and the reason the romantic subplot is so perfect is because the reader doesn't even need them to say it. It was an "of course they're in love" moment. And not the usual sardonic "of course they're in love" moment I have while reading most fantasy novels with a Romantic Subplot TM, but one of relief, of outright swooning, it was with a contented sigh that I said "of course they're in love."

I could go on and on and on forever but I won't. Just simply? Read the book. Fall in love with the story and the characters and come away with an ache because you know in your bones you're unlikely to find a book that will quite match the mark this one has left on your soul. Or maybe I'm just being dramatic. My love for this book though remains the same.

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rapunzel454
Oct 11, 2018

Wonderfully written, entirely captivating and completely spellbinding.

w
WoodneathRachel
Sep 27, 2018

As soon as I heard about this book, I knew it would be for me. I LOVE fairy tale retellings and adaptations! This story has its "roots" in Beauty and the Beast, with a fair dash of Russian folklore and a tiny sprinkle of Howl's Moving Castle thrown in for good measure. I adored the feisty heroine, whose strengths lie in what some consider her greatest weaknesses. Now I can't wait to read the author's latest - "Spinning Silver," based on the tale of Rumplestiltskin!

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Maryama47
Sep 22, 2018

This book was amazing with all of the descriptive words and interesting plot. I would definitely recommend this to those that love books with magic and a bit of romance too!

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CharlotteReads
Sep 15, 2018

This fantasy novel offers up magic, nature, and a a wonderful, self-contained tale rooted in a world set in the Middle Ages of some vague Eastern European style background. It has the feel of a fairy tale blended with magically elements of Game of Thrones style magic, both good and bad. I loved this and could not put it down. Wistfully wishing for more.

_agaleano Aug 26, 2018

Uprooted by Naomi Novik had me from the first line: “Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, not matter what stories they tell outside our valley.” There is something about fairy tales that always grabs the imagination regardless of the reader’s age, especially if there is a dragon involved. Novik takes everything I ever liked about fairy tales and combines it into a wonderful story.

Novik brilliantly develops interesting characters and builds a magical world that is both beautiful and terrifying. Agnieszka, the main character, could have easily fallen into the cliché “chosen one” stereotype that is so common in fantasy, but she escapes that horrible fate by being well-developed with strengths and weaknesses. The Dragon in the story is not exactly a dragon, although he might be said to have the personality of one, and the prince is most definitely not Prince Charming. The world Agnieszka inhabits is one of constant danger. The Woods is full of a malignant presence that is constantly taking over land, animals and people and corrupting them. No one knows exactly what this presence is, how long has it been there or why it is doing what is doing. The only clear thing is that is you become corrupted, you will die a horrible death, but not before hurting everyone around you and infecting anyone you touch.

Agnieszka’s town is just on the border with the Woods, and it is under the protection of the wizard known as the Dragon. Every ten years the Dragon takes a maiden to serve him. Agnieszka is terrified of the fast approaching choosing. She knows the dragon will take her best friend Kasia. The Dragon always takes the most talented girl, or the most beautiful, or the bravest; and Kasia is all of those things. No one is more surprised than Agnieszka when the Dragon takes her instead. As happy as she is that her friend is safe, Agnieszka is scared for herself. No one knows what the Dragon does with his maidens, but it can’t be anything good. They all left when their time was done, never to be seen again.

I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys dark fairy tales with a tad of magic, a bunch of danger and a dose of creepiness.

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kbinfet
Aug 03, 2018

I loved this book!. If you are an adult who loved YA fantasy but can't seem to get into Adult fantasy and scifi this is for you. The world building and structure is similar to YA as in the fact that the world isn't described in angonizing detail for the first 2 chapters, but rules are given when they are needed. The themes though are darker and more thought provoking for adults. Read this book, it was wonderful.

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rlh233
Jul 03, 2018

Folklore fantasy for grown ups.

If you were ever a fan of the darker tales, this is for you.

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finn75
Jun 04, 2018

Brilliant well written fantasy that sucked me in a kept me there. Love a strong heroine and a well constructed magical World I can come apart of.

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Age

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p
PayetteStAmour
Nov 10, 2018

PayetteStAmour thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

r
rapunzel454
Oct 11, 2018

rapunzel454 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

g
Greyism
May 22, 2017

Greyism thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

t
tgabriel_0
Mar 16, 2017

tgabriel_0 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 18

m
momshoes1
Aug 21, 2016

momshoes1 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

l
lynngin
Jun 06, 2016

lynngin thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

l
LauraSteinert
Dec 22, 2015

LauraSteinert thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 16 and 99

Quotes

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AL_SARAHBR Oct 25, 2017

“There was a song in this forest, too, but it was a savage song, whispering of madness and tearing and rage.”

AL_SARAHBR Oct 25, 2017

“He wasn’t a person, he was a lord and a wizard, a strange creature on another plane entirely, as far removed as storms and pestilence.”

AL_SARAHBR Oct 25, 2017

"What an unequaled gift for disaster you have.”

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shayshortt
Oct 04, 2016

Those the walkers carried into the Wood were less lucky. We didn’t know what happened to them, but they came back out sometimes, corrupted in the worst way: smiling and cheerful, unharmed. They seemed almost themselves to anyone who didn’t know them well, and you might spend half a day talking with one of them and never realize anything was wrong, until you found yourself taking up a knife and cutting off your own hand, putting out your own eyes, your own tongue, while they kept talking all the while, smiling, horrible.

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LauraSteinert
Dec 22, 2015

"...vanishing like a statue under running water." p. 172

'Dearest," she said urgently, breathlesly, "what a brilliantly original angle [to wear a hat]--I've never seen anything like it before."
I blurted out, "Are you--are you trying to be rude?" As soon as the idea occured to me, all the odd things she'd said and done came together andmade a strange malicious sense. pp 259-260

She turned to me and said dourly, "There's always a price."
"Yes," I said, low and tired. And I didn't think we were done paying." p. 314

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Nikkelsndimes
Aug 19, 2015

"...truth didn’t mean anything without someone to share it with; you could shout truth into the air forever, and spend your life doing it, if someone didn’t come and listen.”

Notices

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p
PayetteStAmour
Nov 10, 2018

Frightening or Intense Scenes: There is an attempted sexual assault/rape scene early on in the book that can be triggering for survivors if caught off-guard by it. The scene is swiftly ended by the victim of the attack and she is not "actually harmed" in any way, but the scene is quite intense at first.

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PayetteStAmour
Nov 10, 2018

Sexual Content: There is moderately graphic sexual content, but it's done "modestly" and in a way that is very healthy and full of love.

j
julia_sedai
Aug 11, 2016

Sexual Content: There is a little bit of sexual content, but the romance isn't really the focus of the book. Also there is an attempted rape although Agnieszka proves resourceful.

Summary

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s
shayshortt
Oct 04, 2016

Agnieszka and Kasia have been best friends throughout their childhood in the village of Dvernik, bonded by the fact that they are both Dragon-born girls. Every ten years, the Dragon—the sorcerer who protects the valley from the dark magic of the Wood—takes a seventeen-year-old girl to live with him in the Tower, and both Agnieszka and Kasia will be seventeen the year his next servant is chosen. Everyone knows that it is Kasia, beautiful, and graceful, and competent, who will be chosen. And after ten years, she will emerge from the tower rich and educated, and leave the valley forever. But when the Dragon comes to make his choice, it is not Kasia who attracts his attention.

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