Uprooted by Naomi Novik

by Naomi Novik

This was so good! I love it!

I love this so very much, and luckily I’ve been on vacation so I was able to just blast through this book within 30 hours (which did include a full night’s sleep, for which self-control I should definitely get kudos.) Of course, now I’ve finished it, and that is a travesty and I may need to start it all over again.

Novik created a world of magic and politics and then wrote these gorgeous, vivid descriptions, and complex characters. I love Agnieszka (the main character) and I can empathize with literally every other character who appears, good and evil and in-between. The characters are complex and human. The story is a fairytale, but it’s also a fully developed novel and it addresses the difficulties and horrors that get skimmed over so easily in a short fairy tale.

Uprooted reminded me of Robin McKinley’s various fairytale books, but I think I like this even more. Unlike McKinley’s stories, Uprooted is an original story with original characters, but is steeped in Polish and Russian folklore.

The story starts with Agnieszka being picked as the once-very-ten-years tribute to the Dragon. The Dragon is actually the local lord and an immortal wizard who protects the land from the Woods, which are quite dangerous. It’s unclear what happens when he takes his tribute except that when they are released after ten years, they are well-dressed, well-spoken, are delighted to see their families, but refuse to live anywhere near the Woods ever again.

After that, things happen! And it’s all very exciting.

You can read the first chapter here.

Go read it!