NEBULA AWARD WINNER • HUGO AWARD FINALIST • “If you want a fantasy with strong characters and brilliantly original variations on ancient stories, try Uprooted!”—Rick Riordan
“Breathtaking . . . a tale that is both elegantly grand and earthily humble, familiar as a Grimm fairy tale yet fresh, original, and totally irresistible.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • BuzzFeed • Tordotcom • BookPage • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly
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
In this breathtaking departure from her Temeraire alternate history series, Novik drops readers into an instantly immersive Polish fairy tale. The so-called Dragon is actually a man a wizard who takes young women from a rural village as payment for protecting the region from the poisonous influence of the evil Wood. When Agnieszka is chosen to serve the Dragon for 10 years, she finds within herself a rare and incredible talent for magic. She is disaster prone and homesick, but nonetheless steps up to the role of heroine when the situation demands it. Soon, Agnieszka's fabulous journey expands to encompass a deadly quest, the terrible glamor of a royal court, a true and unbreakable friendship, and just a touch of romance. Novik's use of language is supremely skillful as she 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.
I wish this was a series! I would love to read more books in this world and with these characters. Agnieszka was awesome, I loved her magic. I kinda wish the romance was a little spicier, but I thought they developed a really cute dynamic and I was smiling at the end.
Sweeps you up immediately
I couldn’t put this book down. Wonderfully written prose combined with a fast-moving adventure. A pleasure to read. The descriptions are amazing. The story is unique and original.
A Modern Epic
Wow! I have read many many fantasy and Epic stories and this one reinvigorated my love of the genre. It does bother me that our main character was so powerful so quickly but I do not think her to be a Mary Sue. This is her Epic and like Achilles and Odysseus, she is a powerful and rare talent with mortal feelings. The author shows months passing with little more than a few sentences but due to her characterization and consistent world-building it felt right. I also really enjoyed the platonic bond between the main character and her best friend. It reminded me of Frodo and Sam. They constantly looked out for each other and played their strengths. I was a little wary of the plot description, fearing a weird fetish story with the young maiden and the powerful beast which she tamed. Boy was I happy to see the Dragon inexplicably enraged due to her power. But her power grew gradually over several months and she is by no means omnipotent. Their relationship becomes on equal footing and the romance honestly is a small subplot to the storyline which I liked.
The plot line was multifaceted with small arcs that contribute to painting a clearer picture. The characters are complex w various motivations that are neither good or bad. Even our fearless heroine has faults, albeit not many.
Dislikes: I would have liked an index to reference, and more explanation on why the main character is so powerful
Likes: literally everything else