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Uprooted

by Naomi Novik

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,8852732,181 (4.14)338
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.… (more)
  1. 71
    Graceling by Kristin Cashore (cransell)
    cransell: Both excellent YA fantasy with strong female characters and great world building.
  2. 61
    The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For similar moods of utter desperation.
  3. 40
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (tralliott)
  4. 51
    Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley (evymac)
    evymac: Fairy tale-like read with great characters and an enchanting plot.
  5. 40
    Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales by Angela Carter (nessreader)
  6. 30
    The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (jen.e.moore)
    jen.e.moore: Two stories inspired by fairy tales (in different ways), with fierce female leads and satisfyingly complex takes on fairy tale tropes.
  7. 30
    The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker (Marissa_Doyle, Runa)
    Marissa_Doyle: Different settings, but both share excellent worldbuilding and an older, emotionally wounded wizard training a young woman apprentice in magic.
  8. 52
    Enchantment by Orson Scott Card (carriehh, beyondthefourthwall)
  9. 30
    Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente (Euryale)
  10. 30
    Od Magic by Patricia A. McKillip (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: Because the dang kings keep getting in the way of important magical work.
  11. 20
    Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (beyondthefourthwall)
  12. 20
    Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (Othemts)
  13. 20
    Blood Ties (The Castings Trilogy) by Pamela Freeman (chlorine)
    chlorine: Both books share a theme, but it's hard to say anything about it without spoilers...
  14. 20
    East by Edith Pattou (smallisle)
    smallisle: For the world steeped in ancient tales and the strong female protagonist carried off by a mysterious and misunderstood magical being.
  15. 20
    The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (g33kgrrl)
  16. 20
    A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (majkia)
    majkia: Not entirely sure why this book reminded me of Uprooted, perhaps because neither is really YA IMO
  17. 10
    Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugrešić (Othemts)
  18. 10
    The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (beyondthefourthwall)
  19. 10
    Shearwater, Part One: An Ocean Depths Mermaid Romance by D. S. Murphy (Othemts)
  20. 21
    In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente (Rubbah)
    Rubbah: Boh draw inspiration from varied stories and are unique full length fairytales in their own right. Great for lovers of folklore and fey.

(see all 23 recommendations)

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» See also 338 mentions

English (267)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (271)
Showing 1-5 of 267 (next | show all)
what a believable fairytale

This book is a dream of a fairytale from start to finish, except for the slow beginning. I had to frequently remind myself that this was not a fairytale handed down through generations from one mouth to another until someone came around and collected it - that’s how well-written it is. It’s a new book, but have that authentic fairytale feeling; with despair, loss and surely a message somewhere. The friendships of this book is fantastic and believable, you can relate with it and the language is perfect, except for that slowness I mentioned. Just to say - I think it exists because simply being a novel and a fairytale at the same time doesn’t really fit together easily. Say Grimm’s fairytales has been worked on for decades, everything uneccessary cut down or more added until we have the versions we know today. Still, I won’t say no to an extended version of that same magic.

well-written relationships & persons

The characters, both the main girl Agnieszka (sorry I call you Agnes in my head darling), her best friend and the Dragon magician-of-the-tower is also incredibly believable. More so is the people of the village she comes from and their reaction to her, to how she acts and the development she has through the book. I can’t say I love Agniesza - she’s the type where you go NO, DON’T YOU DARE… shit TOO LATE. She has clear faults as a person and aren’t a very considering type, especially when it comes to consequences, but she’s herself. And I respect that. I wish you could see me reading this book, sitting in the corner like Dragon cursing this girl out, even if I didn’t necessarily agree with him either. His mood through it all is “wtf did I get myself into”, it’s hilarious.

the lovely & strange world

What I’ve seen people love the most about this book is the world, it’s very cozy and well-developed, while staying within what I would call normal fantasy. it has elements of those fantasy-villages and the mentality that comes with it, as well as more fairytale-ish areas (the wood is so interesting) and just fierceness. In many ways Agnieszka reminds me of Kvothe from the Kingkiller chronicles, just where she comes from, her values and reactions, not that they are the same or the stories are similiar.

don’t worry…

While I say it is a fairytale kind of book, I don’t believe it’s a version or an adaption of one well-known. I hate those books, where everything is predictable because you’ve grown up with the stories, what’s the fun in reading a book you have heard before? No, Uprooted has some elements (the tower, the beauty and the beast scenario, the village), but mainly it just got the origins and feeling right. In the acknowledgments, Naomi Novik says “ag-NYESH-kah (pronounciation) comes from a fairytale called Agnieszka Skrawek Neiba”, which I found as interesting additional information, and I might check it out sometime. But right now I’m over myself in joy of having read such a beautiful book as Uprooted. We need more of them - and Naomi Novik’s writing - in the world. Her Temeraire series is definitely different from this one, filled with dragons, but nonetheless as amazing.

GO CHECK OUT THIS BOOK, it’s definitely something else (and I need people to discuss with). I will say it’s not your typical ya fantasy read, even if it has that strong female, not that I believed it would be when I heard Novik was the author. Extra for villains, I liked how that played out.

Fav quotes:

“And I wan't old enough to be wise, so I loved her more, not less, because I knew she would be taken from me soon."
"If you don't want a man dead, don't bludgeon him over the head repeatedly". AKA best life lesson ever.
"Truth didn't mean anything without someone to share it with; you could shout truth into the air forever, and spend you life doint it, is someone didn't come and listen."
"Listen you impossible creature", he said, "I'm a century and more older than-" "Oh, be quiet," I said impatiently.
( )
  aquapages | Jul 8, 2020 |
I enjoyed Namoi Novik's novel "Uprooted," mostly on the strength of the world building and characters -- particularly the secondary ones, which were almost more interesting than the primary ones.

This is magical, fantasy novel about people who live in the edge of a dark and dangerous wood. Not my usual fare, and I'm glad it's a stand alone novel for that reason, but it was generally enjoyable. ( )
  amerynth | Jul 5, 2020 |
The amount of romantic scenes and kisses between Nieshka and Kasia and I'm still meant to believe this is straight romance? Hmmm... nup.

#WouldHaveBeenBetterWithWLW ( )
  angelgay | Jul 1, 2020 |
Recommended to me by my teenager, this was a fun, fanciful story with a vision of what it might look like to confront hatred with compassion. There were a couple of steamy scenes that made me second-guess abandoning pre-screening all of my daughter's reading, but then I realized that I rarely feel a pull to censor a book for her because of violence, and I got caught up wondering why I'd be okay with her reading about bloodshed but not smooching. I thought I was too enlightened for that sort of thing. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Jun 28, 2020 |
I'm on Team Spinning Silver, apparently -- everyone seems to have strong opinions about which book is better -- but I did enjoy this too, especially the end. The lengthy descriptions of war dragged for me, and I did not 100% buy the central love story. (Naomi Novik appears to be very into melting the hearts of cold, distant wizard/faerie men. She managed to get the characters to a point in Spinning Silver where I surprised myself with how much I trusted that the relationship was healthy; not so much here.)

I will always love a book that is about how rootedness in home is magic, though. And the end pulled a Moana, where the way to vanquish the enemy is to heal her -- yes yes, more stories like that, please.

This lines up very well with my recent reading, including Circe and The Girl Who Drank the Moon. ( )
  SamMusher | Jun 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 267 (next | show all)
Uprooted is not, as I thought it might be after those first three chapters, any of the following: a Beauty and the Beast story; a somewhat quiet tale about learning one’s magical abilities and negotiating a relationship with one’s teacher; or a story that includes intrinsically-gendered magic. What it is, is a kingdom-level fantasy with great magic and an engaging narrator—which packs a surprising amount of plot into its single volume. I recommend it highly.
added by SimoneA | editTor.com, Kate Nepveu (Jun 10, 2015)
 
The pages turn and the Kindle screens swipe with alacrity. An early expedition into the Wood to rescue a long-missing Queen is particularly white-knuckle. Temeraire fans will be pleased to know that a superb tower-under-siege sequence demonstrates that Novik has lost none of her facility for making complex battle scenes clear and exciting. And Agnieszka remains a scrappy, appealing hero throughout. It’s just that one can’t help but be reminded that Novik’s Temeraire series will conclude next year as a nine-novel cycle and wonder why a writer so skilled at pacing a long, complicated chronicle over multiple books has crammed this story into one.

It’s as if Novik is overcorrecting for the kind of Hollywood bloat that causes studios to split fantasy-novel adaptations into multiple films. Here, she packs an entire trilogy into a single book. Agnieszka’s corridors-of-power adventures in Polnya’s capital have kind of a middle-volume vibe to them, while some fascinating late-breaking revelations about the nature of the Wood definitely feel like they deserve their own dedicated installment. I felt this most particularly in Agnieszka’s evolution as a character. While it’s thrilling in the book’s final third to read about her taking control of her own magical identity as a latter-day Baba Yaga, it does feel as though it’s happened without giving her the opportunity to explore a few blind-alley identities on the way there.
added by SnootyBaronet | editSlate, Mac Rogers
 

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Naomi Novikprimary authorall editionscalculated
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKowen, ScottCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sobey, KatyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, David G.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zucker, Christopher M.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
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Important events
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Our Dragon doesn't eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside the valley.
Quotations
She'd remembered the wrong things, and forgotten too much. She'd remembered how to kill and how to hate, and she'd forgotten how to grow.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Book description
Seventeen-year-old Agnieszka is unexpectedly chosen by The Dragon, her valley's resident wizard, to be his companion in a ritual enacted every 10 years. As she finds herself thrust into a world of magic, she's shocked to learn that she is herself a powerful witch. Prince Marek enlists the help of The Dragon and Agnieszka to help rescue his mother the Queen, who has been ensnared in the evil Wood for decades. But even if they manage to rescue the Queen, will she emerge uncorrupted by the evil spirits who imprisoned her or will her freedom endanger the existence of the kingdom itself?
Haiku summary
Agnieszka helps
the Dragon battle the dark
power of the Wood.
(passion4reading)

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