I usually only read and review YA, but for Uprooted I gladly make an exception! Actually, I thought this was YA when I found it on Goodreads. A search at my favourite bookshop proved different, though, since I found it on the Adult Fantasy shelf! I was so interested in the book, it didn’t really matter that it wasn’t YA. It took me a long time to finish, and a lot of determination at first, but Uprooted has turned out to be one of my favourite books I’ve read for far this year.
“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.”
The Dragon lives in a tower in the valley. He’s not really a dragon, but a wizard. He doesn’t come into the valley or its villages, but he protects them from the Wood. Every ten years, he takes a 17-year-old girl from the village to serve him. After their time is done, they don’t return to the valley. All her life, Agnieszka has been preparing for the day the Dragon takes her best (and only) friend Kasia. But when he comes, it’s not Kasia he takes.
Before you continue to read this review, I’d like to mention Uprooted is Adult Fantasy, and it contains mature, (some) sexual content. I’d say this book is definitely meant for an older audience. My review does not contain these things, but before you get excited to read this book, I thought I’d give you a heads up!
This book was really difficult for me, at first. I’ve realised there’s quite a big different in language between YA and Adult fiction. I didn’t mind, but between reading YA and Uprooted, it was a bit of a struggle. The struggle I had during the first few chapters was so worth it though!
Agnieszka is such an interesting character. How she manages to do certain things just goes beyond me, like… Why? How? Oh, my god! It’s such a funny thing in such a “serious” story. This is especially well shown in the first part of the book, and it made me laugh out loud, and then irritated. In a good way! An even more interesting character, though, it the Dragon. I can’t really find the right words to describe him. He’s easily one of my favourite characters. I mean, who uses “You blundering imbecile!”? Dear god, I laughed way too much at that bit. He’s just one of those characters that irritate you into craziness, but that you love for it anyway.
The plot was amazing! There weren’t really any big plot twists, but the book kept surprising me. A big part of the book was such a surprise to me, I can’t even talk about it! Like, I spoil so much of the book in one sentence. It’s definitely more Adult than YA, and it was a nice change from what I usually read. It felt a bit more serious and ‘disturbing’ and overall just really meant for ‘older’ readers. Since it’s so new for me, I don’t think I can really go into depth on how good/bad it was. I just really enjoyed the story and hours after I finished it, I was still thinking about it. And I’m still thinking about it, oh my god!
I do have to admit, that there are a few things that I imagined happening but didn’t. This didn’t make the book any less amazing, but I just got sooooo excited when I thought the story was going in a certain direction and then *poof* it was so not what I imagined would happen. Like I said, the book was still amazing. My overactive imagination fangirl heart just got the better of me.
Before I end of a slightly “negative” note, I have to say the world building was incredible. Just the way things were described was magical. Plain truth, I felt like being on drugs while reading this. Okay, I haven’t done drugs before so I actually have no idea, but I could see everything for the book to perfectly clear. From locations to people, to magic to so many other beautiful magical things. It was as if there’s actual magic between the pages of this book. Who knows?!
My review of Uprooted including spoilers and my favourite part of the book can be found on Goodreads.
Uprooted was absolutely amazing and fantastic and incredible and I want to use all the positive words this language has. And then I want to continue with the amazing and positive words in other languages.
Earlier, I said this was one of my favourite books I’ve read in 2016, but that’s not the whole truth. This book belongs to my all time favourites. It’s amazing, and I can see myself rereading this over and over again.
Uprooted is an award-winning standalone Adult Fantasy book written by Naomi Novik. You can find the book in multiple different editions – with different covers – and you can find mine on Book Depository and of course you can add the book on Goodreads.