Uprooted

Uprooted

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Del Rey, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780804179034
0804179034
Branch Call Number: NOVIK, N
Characteristics: 438 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

A fantasy rooted in folklore that is both charming and creepy — in the best way.

The Wood has such a frightening presence that it is practically a character in its own right. Beware the monsters crawling in the loam and scuttling over roots to capture our protagonists and bury them deep in the trees. The musty smell of the earth and the chill of the shade might send shivers u... Read More »

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Beatricksy Nov 09, 2016

Fantastic magic, an interesting story that plays with every physical sense, a delightfully strong cast of characters--and most of them girls, huzzah--a natural development from fear to peace (that last chapter, oh), and the scariest wood I've ever read about. One of the top of the year for me. I'... Read More »

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izmabro Aug 23, 2016

Mysterious story of magic, darkness, danger, and glory in imaginary Eastern European settings. Love the story!


From the critics


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t
TanG9
Aug 11, 2017

Great read! Enchantingly written with engaging, strong female characters. Just what I love to read! Made me hope the author will write similar stories in the future.

b
Bell_Fleck
Aug 02, 2017

I read through Uprooted very quickly. It is action-packed. In this respect, especially as regards violent action, I was reminded of the young adult genre's move towards graphic violence, heralded by Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. It is not a move I have enjoyed seeing in literature. The action of Uprooted is what appears to have caused this book to be deemed a good one. In my "book", that does not make for a good book. Uprooted suffers from a lack of a coherent theme or themes. As I thought about the book afterwards I couldn't land on any--good versus evil? environmentalism? the evil inside us all? the fruit of bitterness? All found within the book, but none clearly the main theme. This was the result of the story's incoherence. It opens with one kind of story, about a foreboding character called the Dragon. It shifts to the protagonist's relationship with the Dragon. Then the protagonist is in the capital city, and so on and so on. These are connected in some ways--same characters, same setting--but in a jumpy fashion. I would think the story was going to be about one thing...and then it wasn't. Ultimately I did not find this was for the sake of suspense, but the result of a lack of story planning. Third, the magic was not believable. Its use came off too many times as a tool to propel the action of the story forward. Moreover, the development and history of the magic was not clear enough to cloud my mind from questioning it. And finally--thank you, Greyism (see comment below). The protagonists' relationship with the Dragon character is unhealthy, but not presented as such. Literarily, Novik did not fully form the relationship and misstepped further in amping the intimacy of it, particularly in a book considered YA. Disclaimer: there is a sex scene. No thank you, Novik. In conclusion, I wanted to like the book, but overall I did not.

SCL_Toby Jul 22, 2017

I enjoyed how Novik explores that world and the magic in the world. It feels like a fresh take on magic-use. I was unable to guess what was going to come next as the story continued, which I quite enjoyed. However, I did find as the book moved towards the final reveal it dragged. The ending is very solid though. Overall all I definitely recommend Uprooted for anyone who likes to read fairytales -- definitely an engaging and interesting read.

d
dnk
Jun 24, 2017

Agnieska is a wonderful heroine who meets her challenges bravely, even when she doesn't know what she's doing. But we--and she--discover quickly that she's had a special power all along, and the Dragon himself is going to be shocked by how it works.

I loved the way the Novik wrote about magic; it's a mystery to be solved by following one's intuition, and a song that's pulled from deep within you. After reading this book, I want to delve into Russian and Polish folklore and history after reading this book.

Warning: there's a semi-graphic scene that I was surprised to find in a book marketed as YA. It's not offensive, but sensitive readers might want to wait until they're older.

a
Alad
Jun 09, 2017

A captivating book, beautifully written and original. I wish it was made into a movie....a refreshingly unusual story, and epic battle scenes that rival those in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. A great read!

SnoIsleLib_JessicaA Jun 05, 2017

I loved this! I have a penchant for folklore and magic, and the slight nod to Beauty and the Beast made this particular book irresistible. The writing is wonderful, and I particularly enjoyed Agnieszka - she is strong, independent, spunky and highly relatable heroine.

g
Greyism
May 22, 2017

Great story & writing ruined by intense toxic abuse paraded as "romance".

I love Naomi Novak's Temeraire series, I find her writing to be evocative and gripping, with clearly different “voices” for her characters. Folklore is my passion, especially folk horror, and I have family roots from “the old country”, so I was primed to LOVE this book. I read it all in one go, in about 10 hours, with a growing feeling of disbelief and disappointment. I know she can write strong female characters, and the general lack of romance as a plot device has been something I appreciated from her books. I'm not against romance (heck, Patricia Briggs is one of my favourite authors) but 50 Shades of Abuse is not romance, not love, and super awful to present to young women as an example of what an ideal relationship looks like.

I’m torn, what I loved about the book was amazing. The Wood was a fantastic folk horror threat, with genuinely chilling and gut-twisting instances. I’d actually like to see her write more horror, I think she has a great visual voice for it. I really wanted to give it 5 stars, and for what I love about it I do, but for the awful and constantly prevalent abuse I have to deduct 3.

t
tgabriel_0
Mar 16, 2017

Awesome first two acts, but it fell apart in the third. Events and details became rushed to the point of utter confusion. I was disappointed, considering how much I like the first 2/3 of the book.

m
MelissaYAReader
Jan 15, 2017

I don't give out a lot of 5 star reviews. The ones I do give out, are usually because the book was impossible for me to put down. That is the case with Uprooted. It has been a long time since I finished a 400+ page book in less than a week--let alone 3 days. I simply couldn't get enough this novel. I loved the fantasy and the magic. She created a world that was completely amazing and I didn't want to leave.

This novel beautifully blends fairy tales into an amazing story. The characters are heartwarming and you really like Agnieszka's spunk. She doubts herself and finds herself wanting in comparison to her beautiful friend Kasia, but she has an amazing strength that she doesn't realize she has until pushed. This read like a fairy tale and was completely charming. You find yourself cheering for Agnieszka no matter what she is attempting to accomplish. Dark and light at the same time--this book keeps the pages turning.

w
Writer2003
Jan 02, 2017

In the beginning, I was honestly a bit bored with this book. It was very wordy and detailed, and although I loved how everything was described, I was lacking action.
But when I hit somewhere around chapter three, the action picked up and grabbed me right away. I couldn't put the book down for two days, until I finished! If you like fantasy, this book is for you. The was that the author describes magic is amazing, it feels so realistic, and her battle scenes are fantastically written. This book is full of hidden themes, action, mystery, magic, and a bit of romance as well (although it isn't the main focus of the book). The ending was very well thought out, and I certainly hope there will be a sequel. (Once you envision the Dragon as Alan Rickman, you can never go back. It is the truth.)
LOVED IT!!!

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Age

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g
Greyism
May 22, 2017

Greyism thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

t
tgabriel_0
Mar 16, 2017

tgabriel_0 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 18

m
momshoes1
Aug 21, 2016

momshoes1 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

l
lynngin
Jun 06, 2016

lynngin thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

l
LauraSteinert
Dec 22, 2015

LauraSteinert thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 16 and 99

Quotes

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s
shayshortt
Oct 04, 2016

Those the walkers carried into the Wood were less lucky. We didn’t know what happened to them, but they came back out sometimes, corrupted in the worst way: smiling and cheerful, unharmed. They seemed almost themselves to anyone who didn’t know them well, and you might spend half a day talking with one of them and never realize anything was wrong, until you found yourself taking up a knife and cutting off your own hand, putting out your own eyes, your own tongue, while they kept talking all the while, smiling, horrible.

l
LauraSteinert
Dec 22, 2015

"...vanishing like a statue under running water." p. 172

'Dearest," she said urgently, breathlesly, "what a brilliantly original angle [to wear a hat]--I've never seen anything like it before."
I blurted out, "Are you--are you trying to be rude?" As soon as the idea occured to me, all the odd things she'd said and done came together andmade a strange malicious sense. pp 259-260

She turned to me and said dourly, "There's always a price."
"Yes," I said, low and tired. And I didn't think we were done paying." p. 314

n
Nikkelsndimes
Aug 19, 2015

"...truth didn’t mean anything without someone to share it with; you could shout truth into the air forever, and spend your life doing it, if someone didn’t come and listen.”

Summary

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s
shayshortt
Oct 04, 2016

Agnieszka and Kasia have been best friends throughout their childhood in the village of Dvernik, bonded by the fact that they are both Dragon-born girls. Every ten years, the Dragon—the sorcerer who protects the valley from the dark magic of the Wood—takes a seventeen-year-old girl to live with him in the Tower, and both Agnieszka and Kasia will be seventeen the year his next servant is chosen. Everyone knows that it is Kasia, beautiful, and graceful, and competent, who will be chosen. And after ten years, she will emerge from the tower rich and educated, and leave the valley forever. But when the Dragon comes to make his choice, it is not Kasia who attracts his attention.

Notices

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j
julia_sedai
Aug 11, 2016

Sexual Content: There is a little bit of sexual content, but the romance isn't really the focus of the book. Also there is an attempted rape although Agnieszka proves resourceful.

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