Saturday, April 9, 2016

Review: Uprooted

ISBN: 0804179034
Pages: 438
Source: Library
Publication Date: May 19th 2015
Initial Reaction:
“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.
The internet has been abuzz about this book and I have tired to hard to ignore the hype but I have fallen and I can't get out. This book is a perfect combination of high fantasy, beautiful writing, amazing character, and fantastic magic. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this was loosely based off of Beauty and the Beast. Maybe it's the "man in the tower takes a girl to be his companion" or the appearance of roses. 

I don't even know where to begin with this book. Let's start off with characters. Agnieszka was such an interesting character and I really enjoyed seeing both her good sides and bad. Naomi Novik created Agnieszka with enough dimensions to make her seem real. There were moments where she just seemed like such a special little snowflake with her unique magical powers that have connections with the ancient spells but Novik combined that with her genuine personality which in the end balanced things out.

“If you don't want a man dead, don't bludgeon him over the head repeatedly.” 

Now the Dragon...I can't even begin to explain the myriad of emotions that surrounds that character. I hate him, I love him, I don't even know. He's so insufferable and stubborn and at a times a terrible person, but I couldn't help but fall completely for his character. Not the mention his relationship with Agnieszka which just made me so giddy. Dragon and Agnieszka are definitely making it to my OTP list of 2016. Dragon is just so taciturn and Agnieszka is the complete antithesis of him but they work so well. Let's just say that ending scene had me fangirling hard.

“Truth didn’t mean anything without someone to share it with; you could shout truth into the air forever, and spend your life doing it, if someone didn’t come and listen.” 

Moving on to the writing *holds heart and swoons.* There were so many beautiful and vivid descriptions from the dark and haunting forest to the beautiful mountains Agnieszka loves which mark her home. Along with that, this book also had its fair share of fun laughable moments. It just contained the perfect balance that would make my heart stop in fear and my stomach hurt from laughing. Also, talk about how dark this novel got at times. From the journey into the woods, I couldn't read this at night because I got so scared. The Forest is legit terrifying and the fact that my town has trees all over the place is not helping. 

“I was a glaring blot on the perfection. But I didn't care: I didn't feel I owed him beauty.” 

In addition to all of this, I must talk about how unique this story is! I don't know how to describe the magic and legends that surround the story from the power of Dragon and Agnieszka to the stories behind the existence of the Forest. I had to reread the ending several times because I couldn't quite grasp what was being said and by the time everything processed, I'm pretty sure my head exploded. As if my head exploding wasn't enough, the amount of backstabbing that happens in the castle is literally insane. How can people live in constant fear of looking over their shoulder? And the king/princess/prince/mage person/etc. Let's just say I had a lot of "WHAT JUST HAPPENED" moments...caps and all.

All in all, I was completely blown away by this book. I've heard nothing but amazing things which tends to make me wary since I'm afraid of raising my expectations too high. I'd say that I went into this book expecting a decent read and was completely surprised because it turned out to be so much more. I'll finish off with this quote, which is probably my favorite from the book: “We're meant to go. We're not meant to stay forever.” 
4 out of 5 stars

 Forever Obsession,

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