Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Release Day Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Naomi Novik
Release: May 19, 2015
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Naomi Novik, author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Temeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.

“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.

Review by Rose Red:

You know those books that you instantly fall in love with and then proceed to push that book on every person that you know? This was one of those books for me. I fell hard and I fell fast. When I finished it, I couldn't quit thinking about it. In fact, I didn't want the experience to end so I immediately started the book over again. I loved it SO much! Unfortunately, every time I've sat down to write my review I've not been able to do anything but fangirl about it.

So I'm going to review this book a little differently than I have other books. I'm not going to tell you about the book, but about my reading experience. I finished this book weeks ago and I haven't been able to get it out of my brain. It was everything I wanted it to be and more! A Dragon who wasn't a dragon, a witch who doesn't do normal magic, and an amalgam of fairy tale elements were all rolled into this book and the product was absolute perfection! It has that modern fairy tale feel to it similar to that of Neil Gaiman's Stardust.

The storytelling style Naomi Novik invoked in this book was very reminiscent to that of Robin McKinley's work for me. It was a familiar yet new reading experience. When I read the last paragraph of this book, I felt the same way that I had when I had finished McKinley's The Blue Sword for the first time all those years ago. I wanted more. I wanted more pages and more books even though I knew that this was a standalone going in. Even knowing that, I was sad that I had to leave a world and characters that I had grown very attached to behind because there was no more story left so I could linger with them longer. Then I was happy as I realized that I'd be able to revisit this world as much as I wanted. Like hug my ereader to my chest happy that I'd be able to reread this exquisite book over and over again for years to come!

Maggie Steifvater's blurb said it best:
“Reading Uprooted was like rediscovering a favorite old sweater, familiar and beloved. It feels as if it has always existed and has been waiting patiently for me to return to it.” 
I wholeheartedly agree with that. Reading it felt like running into an old friend you haven't seen in ages even though this was the first time I read it. This book has definitely made my list of all time favorite books I've ever read. I think it may have even achieved a spot in the infamous Top Ten. I have so much love for this book already and I can only imagine how that love will grow with each rereading as little details make themselves known. I didn't even realize that it was a YA book until I was finished. It read like one of those books that transcends all age groups even though it technically belongs to one. I loved everything about it! The setting, the characters, the magic, the conflict... Everything.

Simply put, this is a book EVERYONE needs to read. Seriously. Go read it.

Recommended for fans of: 
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier

An ARC was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.

  5 / 5 Stars!!!

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