Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Del Rey | May 19, 2015
Source: Library
      “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.”
      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.
If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be WEIRD. This book is WEIRD! I love the writing and the story, but it's quite confusing and outlandish. It's really artistic and deep. The writing style and the descriptions made me think of an artistic hippy that's taken something weird. The author was reaching for something-that's probably not there. She tried too hard and it seemed like she was grasping for straws. Don't get me wrong, the writing is great; it's just that bits of it lacked fluidity. I found myself tripping over words and jostled by the story.

I quite enjoyed the beginning. It provided some insight into the history and the way everything is. But, I found it lacking. I often questioned the history of the Wood and magic whilst reading. A lot of important things were missing and that's probably why I was so confused throughout the majority of the book. I don't think everything was explained that well. There were lots of gaps: in plot, history and character "development" (<this department was non-existent). As the story progressed, lots things happened, perhaps too much. There's the 'dragon' that takes a "bride" every ten years story, a special snowflake arc, the Woods attacking, coming into powers (but not really), saving friends because that's what friends are for, court intrigue, "sorcerers' cult", romantic intrigue, and a war. Let's not forget incorporating Polish folklore and culture! There's A LOT and it gets really hectic. I was overwhelmed by the changes.

Goodness, there's so much to talk about... Gonna have to break out those weird paragraph separators.
The main character is Agnieszka-I know, it's a dozy. There's also the "Dragon" which is just an epithet! I found the main character whiny and quite weak. She gained a little strength towards the end, but she was still a "sheltered" and whiny character. She didn't change drastically, to my dismay. I wanted her to break the glass ceiling. I loved her ending, but it didn't have this pizzazz. As much as I love Baba Yaga, I didn't want Agnieszka turning into her. She needed to be her own person.

Then, we have the "Dragon". He reminded me of Beethoven. Whenever I think of Beethoven, I think of a grumpy, old man that's yelling at you while waving his cane. That's literally the "Dragon", except the Dragon is immortal and young. He was constantly crabby and flat. He was really bossy and just an overall dick. He's always frustrated with Agnieszka and calling her a fool.

All characters were kind of flat, but they were wonderful companions to the story. I really enjoyed their point of view, though the company was annoying. Although they are flat, I do have a connection with them. I was rooting for them (rooting for the story to end).

I know... Why is there romance? This book could have, MOST DEFINITELY, NOT HAVE ROMANCE. With our without it, the plot and comprehension would have basically been the same. The romance wasn't necessary and it overwhelmed the story. I like my romance to slowly develop and have a base. This book did not have a base or development. I'm "sure" the snarky and douchey guidance from Dragon was causing an overwhelming desire, no... When the characters started kissing, I was surprised. I was like, Woah buddy, slow your roll! Where did you come from?! It was a TOTAL surprise. What made me even more surprise was when it got a little PG-13.

Again, really busy and complex story. (I'm going to discuss any story elements I missed). I loved how the author incorporated Polish culture. I loved how she tweaked Polish folklore and tailored it to the story. The spells (cantrips) are in Polish, don't quote me on that, and I thought that was a pretty genius way to incorporate Polish culture into the story seamlessly. However, I wasn't a big fan of how the author plunged right into the magic without a bit of history or insight on the system. I felt that I was missing something. Maybe this is a spin-off of one of her past works? BTW, it's not! That's just something I wondered because I was confused. But, I really loved how the author described magic and how the incantations worked/when it was performed. It sounded very lyrical and, for lack of better words, magical. I REALLY wish that there was a map to see how much of Polyna was covered by the Wood. I like visual representations because it makes understanding a lot easier. I also really like maps. (I don't know why. Probably because I'm growing fond of history.)

I really liked the ending and how the story panned out. It was interesting and epic. This book by itself was an exciting and long saga. I loved how everything tied up and how it was finished. The satisfying end brought up my rating for the book. Overall, I think the book is a little over hyped. It's an epic and interesting story, but it's quite slow and boring. It took a long time for me to get into the story and I couldn't stay in the story for a long time.

1 comment:

  1. The blurb makes this book sounds amazing, it seems like the kind of book I'd automatically pick up at a book stall. And probably get mad about and never finish xD it would be a breath of fresh air to read a good fantasy novel that doesn't involve romance u__u


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