Uprooted

Uprooted

By Naomi Novik

  • Release Date: 2015-05-19
  • Genre: Epic
Score: 4.5
4.5
From 163 Ratings
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Description

WINNER OF THE NEBULA AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL • Naomi Novik, author of the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed Temeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.

HUGO AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR | BuzzFeed | Tor.com | BookPage | Library Journal | Publishers Weekly

Uprooted is confidently wrought and sympathetically cast. I might even call it bewitching.”—Gregory Maguire, bestselling author of Wicked and Egg & Spoon

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

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.

Praise for Uprooted

Uprooted has leapt forward to claim the title of Best Book I’ve Read Yet This Year. . . . Moving, heartbreaking, and thoroughly satisfying, Uprooted is the fantasy novel I feel I’ve been waiting a lifetime for. Clear your schedule before picking it up, because you won’t want to put it down.”—NPR

“A very enjoyable fantasy with the air of a modern classic . . . Naomi Novik skillfully takes the fairy-tale-turned-bildungsroman structure of her premise . . . and builds enough flesh on those bones to make a very different animal. . . . The vivid characters around her also echo their fairy-tale forebears, but are grounded in real-world ambivalence that makes this book feel quietly mature, its world lived-in.”The New York Times Book Review

“Novik here delivers a tale that is funny and fast-paced, laced with hair-raising battle scenes and conspiracies; it also touches on deeper ecological concerns we grapple with today.”The Washington Post

“Novik takes us on a surprise-filled journey. . . . The resulting warmth and intimacy provide a nicely nurturing environment for her heroine’s unusual adventures.”The Seattle Times

“Breathtaking . . . [Novik] weaves a tale that is both elegantly grand and earthily humble, familiar as a Grimm fairy tale yet fresh, original, and totally irresistible. This will be a must-read for fantasy fans for years to come.”Pubilshers Weekly (starred review)

“An original and fully realized fantastical place guaranteed to enthrall her longtime fans and attract new readers.”Library Journal (starred review)

From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews

  • Great book

    5
    By GBellz
    Loved it. Haven't read a story like it and it was unpredictable.
  • Exquisite, but didn’t work for me

    4
    By HRJones
    I had read a lot of discussions of this book before reading it and I wasn’t sure how that might affect my experience. In the end, not that much, I think. There were some aspects I was over-prepared for, some that I may have noticed more than I would have otherwise, but some of my strongest responses were to things I hadn’t remembered seeing discussed at all. This is a book with a fairy-tale feeling, but one of those dark, pre-bowdlerization Grimm’s Brothers tales, where the monsters succeed in eating people sometimes, and you’re as likely to find yourself dancing to death in red-hot shoes as you are marrying a prince. The feel of the setting is Eastern Europe, involving two rival nations whose names are easily recognizable as Poland and Russia. Baba Yaga makes a guest appearance in authorial absentia. And the Big Bad is the evil sentient wood, engaged in a constant struggle with the wizards of the kingdom for every contested acre of land. In all of this, a peasant girl is chosen to serve a dragon. Well, not really a dragon, but a wizard nicknamed The Dragon. And when a peasant girl like Agnieszka is chosen by a dragon, you pretty much know she’s got Chosen One written all over her. Except that it was her best friend Kasia who everyone knew was supposed to be chosen. The friendship and loyalty between Agnieszka and Kasia was one of the backbones of the story, and I was delighted that Kasia got her own heroine-tale just as much as Agnieszka did. This is, of course, a very traditional fantasy tale, so there is never any suggestion that the two brave and daring young women who are willing to die for each other might, you know, ever be more than friends. Because Agnieszka is marked out for a trope-ridden attraction-of-opposites romance with the man who spends the first third of the book being completely beastly to her for no evident reason except that she offends his sense of esthetics and proper order. I use the word “beastly” advisedly, because one of the tropes being invoked is Beauty and the Beast (except she isn’t beautiful). Another trope hangs on “men’s magic is logical and orderly and scientific, while women’s magic is chaotic and instinctual and unexpected.” And in the usual way of these tropes, the chaotic, instinctual women’s magic saves the day in the end. But before we get to that end, we have to suffer through a lot of people trying to solve problems by throwing large quantities of violence at them. It takes entirely too long for anyone to figure out that maybe a sentient wood might have genuine grievances and a valid right to push back against human incursions. The later part of the book includes something like a half-dozen-chapter stretch that describes thousands of people supposedly on the same side of the struggle finding ways to slaughter each other in vast numbers. I just...I don’t come to fantasy novels for battle-porn. I know some people do, but the sequence felt unnecessarily prolonged and simply downright unpleasant. I don't quite understand how any of the participants remain sane, functional human beings afterward. In the end, the Big Bad is solved by someone being willing to listen and empathize and find a kind solution. A pity it couldn’t happen before all those nice young men died and the kingdom was ripped apart. Now, all that being said, Uprooted is an exquisitely written book with astounding world-building. But I can't really say I found it a fun book to have read.
  • So well written

    5
    By ILoveMy_Jennay
    I hope very much so that this book is the beginning of a wonderful series!!! I am not even done yet and feel the need to leave a 5 star review. It is SO well written and has neon the toes at all times. Everything makes sense, falls into place and is captivating. ❤️
  • 5 stars!!!

    5
    By Huge huge fan
    This book had me by the first chapter. I couldn't put it down!! It was very well written. I hope the author writes more books about Sarkan and Neishka. I didn't want the story to end. I highly recommend you download the sample and I promise you'll be hooked by the first chapter.
  • I was happily lost in the wood for three days

    5
    By Rodrian stone
    So when this story first started I wasn't sure about it. Seemed a little clumsy and I wasn't sure where this was going. It didn't take long for the amazingness to start to flow and never let up. I snarfed down the story every chance I had for three days. It was worth the price and every moment it stole me from my day to day. The heroine is the stuff made of legends, and true to form, it was a spinning fairytale full of kings, princes, magic and creatures. (I took classes on folklore and fairytale in university) BRAVO.
  • Very good

    5
    By Satanicpuppy
    Reminiscent of Robin McKinley at her best (Think *Sunshine*), this is a fairytale in media res, well crafted, well told, and well written.
  • Fantastic book!

    5
    By Venudi
    There was a 3 chapter sample in the break room, and I was hooked. I bought the book and I was rewarded! The rest of the book is better than the sample. The story telling and the world that is created is wonderful! Thank you for a great read.
  • Wonderful

    5
    By Niremac
    I love this book. This has the action of a Mistborn novel mixed with the sweet humor of the Discworld. I can't wait to read this author's other works.
  • Uprooted

    5
    By MoMo'sMom
    Totally enjoyed! Was sorry it ended. Though I understand why an author would end it this way, I was disappointed not to know more of how the main characters continued on.
  • Beautiful story!

    5
    By Monica Palladino
    Just finished reading Naomi Novik's latest novel, "Uprooted". It was so good! I think it's even better than her Temeraire novels. Uprooted is a gorgeous fairytale. I got completely wrapped up in the characters and the story.

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