Naomi Novik
Aug 31, 2015

Imagine a land far, far away where an evil Wood marks the boundaries around small towns. This Wood is a constant reminder to the citizens of Dvernik and other towns that they need the wizard called Dragon to protect them from its powers. In exchange for protecting them, he comes every ten years and selects a young girl to live with him and those girls never return to live in the valley. So it is not surprising that the girls up for the choosing do not want to leave their families and their lives, both of which they hold dear. One choosing day, the Dragon mistakenly chooses clumsy Agnieszka over Kasia, who has been groomed for the selection. Or is it a mistake?

The Dragon sees something in Agnieszka that no one else has noticed and only after a while does she begin to understand how she has been different all along. And this realization comes only in the nick of time as the Wood begins to use its powers to try to destroy the towns of the valley which it surrounds. Agnieszka must learn to use her powers and help the Dragon bring about the end of corruption from the Wood.

Uprooted is epic; it seems as if Agnieszka's and the Dragon's magic will never stop being tested. They begin a journey together to help princes, save friends, fight evil, manipulate other wizards and build back a corruption-free world. The Wood is strong and powerful and readers will be taken on a ride that will leave most people wondering what will come next. Not a huge fan of fantasy, this one was a bit long for me; however, that may be just part of the fantasy experience. I enjoyed reading about Agnieszka and the Dragon's relationship and how it blossomed but was quick to judge when Agnieszka seemed to be just a ignorant and pouty young girl. The story is interesting and has real-life application. This book isn't all the hype implied and requires a commitment on the reader's part. Naomi Novik's writing style is a little lacking in that she wrote as if her readers were supposed to catch on to what was happening, all while leaving out bits of information. Maybe it is supposed to be written for the screen? Who knows. But I think it would be a good movie, maybe better than the book. 

Reviewed by Library Staff