Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Genre: epic fantasy
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.Source: Info in the About Uprooted was from the press kit from the publicity team.
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 no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. An when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him.
The cover, although it has lots of meaning and is very appropriate to the story, does not ping my book buying radar. In fact I had this book for two weeks before I finally picked it up to read. I keep coming up with excuses like, I'll finish this book first before reading that one. Or, I'll watch the eclipse first before I'll start with that... etc... Loved the eclipse, by the way. All due to the fact that the cover did not appeal to my fantasy reader's eyes. This being the first book I've read of Naomi Novik, the author's name on the front did not even help in drawing me to pick up this book. However, the fact that somebody spent the time and effort of sending me this book, it got read, by hook or by crook! And so I entered the world of Agnieszka of Dvernik... and what a wonderful world!! The world building along with the story telling quality are both compelling and masterful! However, there are some loose theads that was left hanging which I didn't like very much. Like where exactly did the stick men come from and how they came about? The ending also, while closed the story nicely, was not the big bang I expected. Having said that, I would still give this book a 5 out of 5. It was just that good that I finished the book in a day and a half with a fervent hope that Novik would write a book 2!
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 3
Pace = 5
Plot = 4.5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries
An avid reader of fantasy literature since age six, when she first made her way through The Lord of the Rings, Naomi Novik is also a history buff with a particular interest in the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O’Brian and Jane Austen. She studied English literature at Brown University, and did graduate work in computer science at Columbia University before leaving to participate in the design and development of the computer game Neverwinter Nights: Shadow of Undrentide. Over the course of a brief winter sojourn spent working on the game in Edmonton, Canada (accompanied by a truly alarming coat that now lives brooding in the depths of her closet), she realized she preferred writing to programming, and on returning to New York, decided to try her hand at novels.
Thank you to macmillan for the review copy received.
This book was received for free from macmillan.
No money received for this review.
NOTE: This review was first posted at http://www.cherrymischievous.com/2015/03/review-uprooted-by-noami-novik.html on 25 March 2015.