Monday, 8 January 2018

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Published in America by Del Ray in 2015.

U for my 2018 Alphabet Soup Challenge and my Book Of The Month for January 2018

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository : from £5.75 (PB)
Wordery : from £6.47 (PB)
Waterstones : from £5.99 (PB)
Amazon : from £1.50 (used PB)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

A dark enchantment blights the land in the award-winning Uprooted - a enthralling, mythic fantasy by Naomi Novik, author of the Temeraire series.

Agnieszka loves her village, set deep in a peaceful valley. But the nearby enchanted forest casts a shadow over her home. Many have been lost to the Wood and none return unchanged. The villagers depend on an ageless wizard, the Dragon, to protect them from the forest's dark magic. However, his help comes at a terrible price. One young village woman must serve him for ten years, leaving all they value behind.

Agnieszka fears her dearest friend Kasia will be picked at the next choosing, for she's everything Agnieszka is not - beautiful, graceful and brave. Yet when the Dragon comes, it's not Kasia he takes.

I added Uprooted to my TBR list two and a half years ago when a now-defunct book blog raved about it. I was intrigued by the synopsis and their enthusiasm, but promptly got distracted with other books and forgot all about it. What a mistake! When I finally got to reading Uprooted this week, I absolutely loved every page. Essentially a young adult/adult fairytale, Uprooted is set in a richly detailed land of witches and wizards, malevolent forests, and tiny village communities. Its era is that any-time of Grimm fairy tales and Novik's story, although newly written, has a wonderfully timeless quality.

Agnieszka is a refreshingly different female lead - untidy and clumsy, talented and self willed. I appreciated seeing her mature throughout the novel, but growing in to her own woman - not becoming a painted clone of idealised femininity! Despite men holding the positions of power in this patriarchal society, it is women who drive the story and every one felt authentic to me. I happily lost myself in Novik's gorgeously imagined scenes. She expertly imparts her imagined world so that it leaps from the pages. The battles and near-escapes are breathtakingly exciting and I loved the intensity of the spellcastings too. Uprooted might just be my book of the month!

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Naomi Novik / Fantasy fiction / Books from America


  1. I remember when this one came out and there was a lot of hype about it on the book community. Although I picked it up at a lot of bookstores at the time, when it came to me making a decision of what I wanted to buy this one never made it. It's still on my TBR and I fully intend to get around to it sometime though :) I am so happy that you could love it after all this time!

    1. I was kicking myself for having owned it, but not read it sooner! That said, maybe letting the hype fade away allowed me to be less influenced?