Review #9 // Uprooted – Naomi Novik

22544764In Uprooted, Agnieszka is chosen to be taken by the Dragon, instead of her life-long friend Kasia. At first confused, she soon learns that he chose her because of her dormant witch-powers that he could sense.

Why this book?: I heard a lot about it from other book reviews that I follow, and I love fantasy. Hearing that this book was a stand-alone was what drew me in, as there aren’t that many stand-alone fantasy novels!

The feeling of this book was 100% magical, which entranced me into loving the story. Even the cover design helped, with the old-time-ish lettering, and the framing around Agnieszka as well as all of the objects and people around her that had to do with the story. It was an amazing feeling, one I rarely feel for even my most favorite books-and I love that feeling.

But was it too much?

Overwhelming everything

Everything in this book felt as if it was done to the extreme. Certain characters and their attributes were pushed to the extreme, which really made everything seem one-sided, despite still having other characteristics.

All of the characters had so much depth to them, making them seem like actual people, and I loved it so much. Except for the fact that one thing is exaggerated, I loved how each and every character was. Agnieszka wasn’t downplayed as meek or soft or anything like that-instead, she was still girly while she ran in the mud, while she did her work with the Dragon, even as the Dragon tried to push certain things on her, such as how she should dress and speak.

The Dragon was a really interesting character, in my opinion. Because he had slowed aging/immortality, he had gone through a lot. His character was affected and changed by everything, which made him so much more complex than other characters.

One thing that I saw was that a few characters actually were one-sided, and as background characters, that’s all right. But Kasia, Agnieszka’s friend, played a major role in the plot and story, and yet she felt so flat to me.

Sporadic plot speed and dense writing

 I didn’t like how the book was sped. The beginning was slow, making it a little hard to get into it. Then when Agnieszka met the Dragon, it sped up a little, until it slowed down while she started to learn how to use her new powers. Basically, it would do that, back and forth and back and forth, and it got tiring real fast.

The part that got me the most was the very end. There was this terrific battle scene, spanning a good chunk of pages and it was my favorite part of the novel. There was so much character development for all of the characters, and it was really amazing seeing the showcase of different wizards and their powers. But, unfortunately, the book didn’t end on that. It took an extra 50+ pages of ridiculously slow additions to actually resolve the real antagonist.

Add the horrible speeding with the writing style and I nearly put the book down. The writing, while beautiful, was so dense. The book was only 438 pages, but it legit took me 43 days to read it! I thought I would read over a hundred pages one day, and it turns out I only read 40!

Final Rating: ★★★☆☆


This was a beautiful book with amazing writing and characters. While the plot had a few spots for improvement, I enjoyed it as I could. What really dropped my rating was the density of the writing, the odd characterization of Kasia, and the weird, extended ending that ultimately left me disappointed.

Would I Recommend?

The tale was so entrancing and beautiful, so of course! Just be aware of the things that really were a disappointment for me, especially that ending!

22544764Additional Information:

Published: May 19th, 2015

Publisher: Del Rey

Page Count: 438

Genre: Fantasy/YA/Magic

Synopsis: via Goodreads

“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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