June 30, 2016

REVIEW| Uprooted

Naomi Novik


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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. 


I'm sorry but since when have both the US and the UK publishing houses decided that they are going to make fantastically gorgeous covers? Whereas, the US gets the same cover as it did in it's Hardcover format, the UK (PanMacmillan/TOR UK) decided that they wanted to go for a little redesign. Guys, the last cover was B-E-A-U-Tiful but this one I feel works a little better as a first impression when exposing the reader to the plot and writing of the novel. This one takes on a more contemporary design for a story that feels old as time. The progression lines are put across page reminds me of the popular Eastern European of papercutting, simple and elegant with the addition of the gold foil that screams of that old tomeness.

Plot-wise, overall this book was fast paced but wasn't that set pace that felt overly rushed. In fact, in some places, it actually felt really slow even though a lot was happening within the plot. Often I found myself trying to guess what direction that Naomi was taking the plot, I often found that it was taken into a completely different turn and left me flat palming my face, going "HOW DID I NOT GET THAT!" 

If I wasn't truthful I would say that I fell in love with Agnieszka right away but that would be false press. It took a while for me to understand Neiska. And when I did that was when I was more intrigued by what was going on in the plot, the relationship between the "Dragon" and herself. I mean I was mentally involved in that relationship and not gonna lie but I'd happily snog the Dragon. 

One thing that I have admired is Novik's ability to slip and swerve into various prose and  just as effective as the last. A novel that not only breaks the fold of the softened fairy tales, chosen to be told to children today, yet also presents a story deep with roots of family and friendship loyalty that I think everyone could take away with them, old and young. Although, there is a little racy seen that may not be as suitable for that younger reader-- you can wait kids!


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