Last week, I was in the mood for some fantasy. And, since my TBR pile is pretty massive, I couldn’t decide. So I picked out five books, and decided to read the one with the highest rating on Goodreads. Enter: Uprooted by Naomi Novik.
Agnieszka lives in a village under the protection of the Dragon, a powerful wizard who protects the villages in her valley from the evil Wood. In exchange for his protection, the Dragon comes down from his tower every ten years and chooses a young woman to serve him. After ten years, the girl is released, with fine clothes and money and a sudden desire to leave the valley and see the world. Agnieszka, and everyone else in her village, has grown up knowing that the Dragon will choose her friend Kasia, because she is the most talented and beautiful. But on choosing day, it’s not Kasia the Dragon chooses. It’s Agnieszka. Within minutes, Agnieszka has said goodbye to her family – she knows she won’t see them for ten years, and even then, she will be changed – and is whisked away to the Dragon’s tower. For weeks, she lives in fear – the girls always swore the Dragon never touched them, but there were rumors in the valley. But as Agnieszka begins to accept her new life, she learns there is a reason the Dragon chose a clumsy woodcutter’s daughter over the most beautiful girl in the valley.
I’ve heard a lot about Uprooted lately, but was a bit worried it wouldn’t live up to it’s hype. I went in pretty much only knowing what happens in the first chapter, and was pleasantly surprised that there is so much more to this book. I enjoyed the surprises, and didn’t want to spoil them for you. But this book was definitely everything I was hoping it would be and more. The characters were lovely and deep and complicated – I particularly enjoyed Agnieszka and the Dragon. I also really loved that this book was one of those books with a really cool fantasy world that was explained in a way that was totally organic to the story – Novik didn’t spend pages and pages giving necessary background information, the world was unfolded as the story goes on.
I absolutely loved Uprooted! It was an incredible, complex story set in a really intriguing fantasy world. So good! It is the first book by Naomi Novik that I’ve read, but I am definitely interested in more – I just added her Temeraire series to my TBR list!
You can purchase a copy of Uprooted here.