Monday, August 10, 2015

YA/Adult Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

22544764“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Published: May 19th 2015 by Del Rey
Genres: YA/Adult
Pages: 438 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source:  Purchased

I first heard of Uprooted while reading a review at The Midnight Garden.  Both Layla and Kim added this to their "all time favorites" shelves, so I suspected that this would be a book that I would enjoy as well.  I wasn't disappointed.  The first two things that grabbed me about this book were the cover, which is gorgeous and that introduction up there at the top.  Oh my goodness, doesn't it just grab at you with its hints of magic and danger?  

Once again it was time for the Dragon to come down from his tower and select one girl to join him.  Kasia was most likely to be the one picked this year.  The Dragon always picks the most special girl, the most beautiful and smart, and Kasia was all of those things.  Agnieszka has always hated the Dragon,  for he is the one who will be taking her best friend away from her.  But, the Dragon recognizes something in Agnieszka that she never knew she had, magic, and to everyone's surprise she is the one who is selected this year.  Without even a backward glance, she is whisked away to his tower.  Agnieszka is initially in shock and confused as to why The Dragon picked her and not Kasia.  Things get off to a very bumpy beginning in their relationship and training Agnieszka's magical powers will be challenging as well.  

I really enjoyed all the characters in the story.  At first you really feel for Agnieszka being locked up in a tower with The Dragon and looking down at your village below.  Feels kind of like Beauty and the Beast.  She gets thrown into this life that she never expected to have, Kasia was supposed to be picked.  She never prepared herself for the idea that she would have to leave her parents.  But, as The Dragon and her begin to have success in her learning her magical abilities, she  grows and becomes stronger and more confident.  I like this about her.  I also really enjoyed The Dragon, Sarkan.  At first I really thought he was a jerk to Agnieszka, but then he began to grow on me.  He's such a creature of habit that Agnieszka makes him rethink what is important and he too begins to change.   I love how their relationship develops slowly across the book and this one line in which Agnieszka is describing Sarkan, I just love the beauty of this prose

  "Thank you -Sarkan.  His name tasted of fire and wings, of curling smoke, of subtlety and strength and the rasping whisper of scales.  He eyed me and said stiffly, Don't land yourself into a boiling-pot, and as difficult as you may find it, try and present a respectable appearance." 

 Then there is the forest, which The Dragon has been protecting the villagers from for years.  It is down right creepy and menacing, but you'll have to read the book to understand.  There is just so much to love about this story, highly recommend it.   

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