Thursday, 4 June 2015

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Naomi Novik, author of the bestselling and critically acclaimedTemeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.

“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. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

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.

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As you probably can already tell from reading my blog, I love fairy tale retellings. Uprooted is supposedly a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. However, as far as fairy tale retellings go, Uprooted is unique. I absolutely fell in love with it. The focus is less on the romance although it is definitely there as well. That's what I enjoyed so much about it. The character development is amazing, I loved Agnieszka and the Dragon so much. And the Wood, man, the Wood was creepy, dangerous and unpredictable. In fact, the whole book was unpredictable, which made it quite unique as a fairy tale retelling. Even if you don't like Beauty and the Beast you will still enjoy Uprooted! It was one of the best books I've read this year and I just can't stress enough that everyone should read it!

5 out of 5 stars!