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Uprooted

by Naomi Novik

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,5003941,487 (4.13)411
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. 82
    Graceling by Kristin Cashore (cransell)
    cransell: Both excellent YA fantasy with strong female characters and great world building.
  2. 71
    The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For similar moods of utter desperation.
  3. 61
    Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley (evymac)
    evymac: Fairy tale-like read with great characters and an enchanting plot.
  4. 50
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (tralliott)
  5. 50
    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.
  6. 40
    Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (beyondthefourthwall)
  7. 62
    Enchantment by Orson Scott Card (carriehh, beyondthefourthwall)
  8. 40
    Od Magic by Patricia A. McKillip (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: Because the dang kings keep getting in the way of important magical work.
  9. 40
    Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente (Euryale)
  10. 40
    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.
  11. 40
    Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales by Angela Carter (nessreader)
  12. 30
    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.
  13. 30
    The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (g33kgrrl)
  14. 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...
  15. 20
    The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (beyondthefourthwall)
  16. 10
    The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (Othemts)
  17. 10
    Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugrešić (Othemts)
  18. 21
    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
  19. 10
    Shearwater, Part One: An Ocean Depths Mermaid Romance by D. S. Murphy (Othemts)
  20. 21
    Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (Othemts)

(see all 26 recommendations)

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» See also 411 mentions

English (383)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  All languages (386)
Showing 1-5 of 383 (next | show all)
It's a fantasy about magicians battling an insidious and ancient evil, with fairy tale influences. After being disappointed with her Temeraire books I read this one because of all the praise it was getting, and I enjoyed it a lot, with some reservations.

Novik's characters rub me the wrong way. I find it difficult to put my finger on it, but they are all just a little too precious, if that makes any sense. However, this was not as bad here as in Temeraire. Also I found the ending a bit anticlimactic, too easy and tidy after all the buildup.

Apart from that, however, the magic content, which is most of the book, is intense and outstanding, and the story is compelling and easy to enjoy. ( )
  jcm790 | May 26, 2024 |
una Favola di maghi e boschi incantati ( )
  LLonaVahine | May 22, 2024 |
Uprooted - Novak
3 (generous) stars

I was very impressed with Novak’s Spinning Silver, but this book disappointed me. My opinion may be partly influenced by my dislike of the audiobook. Lacking time to sit with a book I had hoped for an enjoyable audio. The reader’s Russian accent did add an authentic atmosphere, but ultimately it was painful to listen to her distorted halting pronunciation.

I enjoyed the book a bit more when I was able to sit with the text. At least, I was able to speed up my pace through an overly long story. I do think the book was too long, but strangely, I also feel that it was underdeveloped. The source and rapid acquisition of Agnieszka’s magic is never really explained. She leaps from incompetent novice to world saver in the nick of time. Magic, of course. But, as a reader, it was hard to buy into it. The book is full of personal and political complications that appear with little development. I kept waiting for the puzzle pieces to fit together, but when they did I wasn’t sure how it happened. The ‘happy’ ending felt overly convenient and unlikely.

I’m left with the opinion the Uprooted was a good first effort at a fairytale retelling. Spinning Silver is the work of a more experienced and skilled author. ( )
  msjudy | Apr 28, 2024 |
Very well written. As the back blurb says "...clear your schedule before picking it up, because you won't want to put it down." Let's hope this is the beginning of a new series for Novik. ( )
  Dorothy2012 | Apr 22, 2024 |
There wasn't anything objectively bad about this book, but it never gripped me. The writing was solid and the plot flowed quite well, but I found the Wood as an enemy pretty nebulous, even after you learn what it is, and magic in the book is completely arbitrary. In that sense, it is much more of a fairy tale than a fantasy novel. For that kind of story, elongated from short story to novel form, it's one of the best I've read. ( )
  mrbearbooks | Apr 22, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 383 (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 (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Novik, Naomiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Belhassof, Cláudia MelloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hermoso Oliveras, JulioTraductorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Królicki, Zbigniew A.Translatorsecondary 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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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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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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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Book description
Haiku summary
Agnieszka helps
the Dragon battle the dark
power of the Wood.
(passion4reading)

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Naomi Novik is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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