Wednesday 22 April 2015

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

It's been a long time since I really read any fantasy. As a teenager I was really into it, David Gemmell was pretty much the only author I read for about a year, but in recent years I've just not had the patience to start series which will inevitably go on for at least eight books and take up all of my time. Then I was sent Uprooted by the publisher and thought it looked interesting and I'm really glad that I gave it a go as it's totally up my street. 

Agnieszka loves her quiet village in the valley, right next to the bright,shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and it's 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, ad her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. 

But no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. And when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him...

From the blurb you'll probably see why my initial thought was 'Hunger Games', however as I started to read that instantly changed to 'Beauty and the Beast'. Actually, Uprooted is neither. It draws its inspiration from folklore and specifically the story of Baba Jaga which I will admit to only being familiar with (if the term can be applied) through the Fables series, although Fairytale Fridays start this week so watch this space for a Baba Jaga themed month!

After my recent binge-watching of Once Upon a Time it has been really refreshing to read something where the magic is more bound up in nature rather than being driven by the desire for revenge (although there is some of that here too). Although Uprooted started off a little slowly for me it really picked up the pace very quickly and I was engrossed the whole way through. I really like it when books I wasn't expecting anything from become ones I can't wait to pick up and find out what happens next and that definitely happened with this. I really liked Agnieszka as a character although there were certain elements of the story (I won't go in to detail so as to avoid spoilers) that I found myself seeking out while skimming over others a little. Also I will say that I was a little disappointed by the ending. Not that it was bad, just not quite as... big as I'd expected. It was a little anti-climactic that's all. 

That said, I would definitely say that this is recommended reading for my fellow fairytale lovers. 

Thanks to the publishers for providing a copy for review consideration. 

1 comment:

  1. I loved the magic as nature elements of this one. I'm glad I read it, even though I thought it was about dragons, it was a pleasant surprise!