Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“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.
I need to create a new shelf and label it “all time favorites” and put like three books on there, of which, this would DEFINITELY be one.
What an incredible fairy tale. This book is a lot like the The Wood that dominates this story, luring you close, whispering in your ear, offering you the most tantalizing temptations, if only you’ll be persuaded into it. The difference between the two is that where The Wood is a dark, twisted creation that speaks only lies, this book delivers on its promises.
It’s as if Novik sprinkled real magic within these pages. As if the words written on them are spells in and of themselves, able to lift from the paper and ensnare those who read them.
I’ll freely admit that I was immediately caught within its grasp, and remained spellbound from beginning to end.
If you’re a fan of beautifully crafted stories, slow burn romances, hideous monstrosities that are somehow all too human, and good triumphing over evil, read it.