Guys, this book was good. Also, let me put it out there THIS IS A STAND ALONE BOOK!!! Hallelujah! Finally! Someone who can complete a YA fantasy story without dragging it out for several books. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of series of books that I love. My problem is that I am in the middle of so many series waiting for the new installments to come out that I sincerely thought about developing and app that would alert me when the new books in a series were coming out. Don’t steal my idea, internet. One day I just might. At any rate, just to let you know how good this book is, I suggested it to my husband who has very different reading tastes than I. He then recommended the book to his boss who also enjoyed it and while I don’t know much about her reading habits I think it would be safe to assume they aren’t like my husband’s either. I think we can chalk this point up to broad appeal.
Naomi Novik creates such a unique world (no easy task in today’s fantasy market) and throws the reader in with first person. Through Agnieszka’s eyes we see a comfortable home life and a beautiful best friend named Kasia who is noble and brave. We see the fear of the woods that boarder their town and their encroachment. We also are introduced the Dragon, a wizard who protects the village for a price. Every ten years the Dragon takes one of the village girls to live with him alone in his tower. After the ten years are up he releases them, but they are changed somehow and quickly leave the village to pursue their futures in the capital or go to university. Though the girl’s swear the Dragon hadn’t touched them or harmed them in anyway, Agnieszka and the villagers aren’t buying it. Agnieszka is particularly distraught as the book begins because everyone knows that the Dragon will choose Kasia, only he doesn’t. Yeah, curveball. Turns out Agnieszka has the ability to do magic, and she is going to need it. Events combine to make strange allies of Agnieszka and the Dragon as they try to understand and conquer the inherent evil they find in the Woods.
I really don’t want to tell you anymore about the plot because I want you to read it for yourself. Really. I will tell you; however, that I loved this book because of the surprises. Initially, I imagined I’d be able to see where this book was going from the first couple of pages. I pictured a Beauty and the Beast scenario where they’d conquer the Woods and their wayward hearts all at the same time. There were interesting and dramatic twists and turns and at one point I had no idea who was good and who wasn’t. In the end, so much that you feel you know isn’t what it seems. THAT is what I want in my fantasy and that is what Uprooted gave me. I’d recommend this book to people who like fantasy, independent of age. This book doesn’t feel YA. The writing, characters, and descriptions are engaging and interesting and the world Novik created really worked well. While I might enjoy other books in this world I am still so glad this didn’t take place in a series.