Sunday, August 21, 2016

UPROOTED





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Uprooted, Naomi Novik, Del Rey, 2015, 435 pp


Summary from Goodreads: 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.
 


My Review:
I don't read large amounts of fantasy. I read Uprooted because it won the 2016 Nebula Award for Best Novel. It is great and was the last book I read in my July month of reading fun.

Agnieszka is a stellar heroine, as cool and brave and well-intentioned as Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games or Beatrice of the Divergent series. She lives in a quiet village with her family and loves foraging in surrounding forests. But at a certain border the forest becomes the Wood, a place of great evil known to capture villagers who are never seen again, to cause dreadful diseases, or harm livestock and crops.

To keep them safe and undo the Wood's evil acts, the village has its own wizard. The Dragon expects and takes a 16 year old female once every 10 years in exchange for his protection, in an event called 'the choosing." Agnieszka is the right age but she is plain and clumsy. She assumes the Dragon will take her best friend, the beautiful and accomplished Kasia. Surprise! He take Agnieszka.

So begins her adventures in which she discovers she is a witch with her own unique magical powers and therefore a necessary partner for the Dragon in upcoming political and wizardly troubles.

Though there are many deep and wonderful ideas in Uprooted about magic, evil, power, and healing, those come at you right along with constant heart stopping action. The only reason I could put the book down was to catch my breath once in a while.

I loved, loved the way Agnieszka came into her powers, the relationship between her and the Dragon, and most of all the last section where she found the proper use of those powers to help her family and village.

Even if you think you don't like fantasy, you could like Uprooted. If you do like fantasy, you could love it.


(Uprooted is currently available in paperback on the shelf at Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)

13 comments:

  1. Sounds very interesting. I've made an effort to get more fantasy into my reading and this one sounds like it might be a good candidate to add to my list.

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    1. I hope you like it, Dorothy.

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  2. Uprooted. Like the title. I hadn't heard of it despite it winning the Prize. Interesting sounding book. I like those woods kind of books ....

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    1. Oh yes, it is a very woods kind of book!

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  3. Sounds fairy tale-esque. I rarely read fantasy but I think I would enjoy this one.

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    1. As a matter of fact, the author was channeling the Russian and Polish fairy tales her grandmother used to tell her. AND, there is going to be a movie!!

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  4. I have wanted to read this for a while now and reading your post has made me want to read it even more!

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    1. Oh, I think you are going to love it!

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  5. I don't read much fantasy either, but I enjoyed this book. I loved Agnieszka's relationship with the Dragon and I thought the Wood was a wonderfully atmospheric and evil presence. I also enjoyed the first book in Naomi Novik's Temeraire series and really need to read the second one soon!

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    1. I want to read more by this author. I feel a kinship with her!

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  6. I don't like fantasy stories :( but I'm glad you enjoyed this book :)

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  7. I don't always like them and I understand.

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