Uprooted is a book I’ve wanted to read for a while. I had heard so many good things about it but had other books I wanted to read. Since it is a stand alone, I didn’t have to worry about playing catch up with a series. Since I promised myself this year I would stop buying books and read the huge pile I was accumulating, it was time to pull this book out.
Agnieszka lives in the village of Dvernik, in a valley deep in the heart of Polyna. Her home borders the Wood, a place filled with ill magic that takes people and changes them – if they return at all. The people of Dvernik and the other villages are protected by a court magician known only as the Dragon. Every ten years, the Dragon chooses a girl of seventeen from the villages to serve him. This year, as they have for the last seventeen years, everyone thinks the girl the Dragon will choose is Kasia; Agnieszka can’t help but agree as Kasia is beautiful and good at everything. But when the Dragon arrives, he chooses Agnieszka instead.
Finding herself suddenly trapped in a tower and fulfilling the Dragon’s whim, Agnieszka’s only comfort is in the little notes left by previous girls and the library. One day, she reads a book that she can’t seem to remember once her eyes stray from the page. The Dragon bursts into her room and they both discover that Agnieszka may have a power all of her own – if only they could figure it out and harness it.All the while, the Wood is growing more bold, stealing away more people. Even stealing Kasia. Agnieszka is determined to get her best friend back, but the results lead to the capital and the royal family. Soon, Agnieszka finds herself pulled into a war between two countries and the Wood itself. Will her unknown powers be what is needed to save her people? Or will it cause the Wood to consume everything?
Uprooted is – there is no other word for it – spellbinding. Naomi Novik has woven a spectacular story full of intrigue and mystery and, above all, magic. The story is rich in Polish mythos; the characters are unique and complex. I just loved it from page one. It’s full of everything I love about fantasy stories and then some. Best of all, especially for those of you who don’t like series, it is a one-shot novel (though I think there is enough story for at least one more novel). A definite must-read and one of my top favorites for this year.
My rating: 5/5