REVIEW: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Agnieszka loves her valley home and her quiet village, even though it’s close to the Wood, a corrupted place full of malevolent power. Close to her village in a tower lives the Dragon, every ten years he chooses a girl and keeps her for that time. The next choosing is fast approaching and Agnieszka, just like everyone else, knows the Dragon will take Kasia, her best friend who the most beautiful and talented. But events don’t go how everyone predicts and when the Dragon arrives it’s Agnieszka, not Kasia, he chooses.

Uprooted is a fantasy story with magical creatures and a beautiful magic system. How the magic worked for different characters and how different magic users would craft spells was always interesting to me. The Dragon is a wizard and he likes things in order and logical, especially when it comes to magic and spells. Agnieszka on the other hand, is more chaotic and organic when it comes to weaving spells. Her learning about her abilities and how it differs from so many traditional wizards and witches was both fun and interesting.

The Wood is such a unique villain as it were. It’s something that is alive and has thoughts and goals that are sometimes beyond what people could imagine. It’s an unsettling presence throughout the story and when someone is taken by the Wood, it won’t give them back easily. It corrupts creatures, people and the land around it. There’s not only the Wood to worry about, there is also political intrigue with Kings and courts that Agnieszka and the Dragon have to deal with.

The problem I had with Uprooted was I never felt the urge to pick it up and continue on to the next chapter until I hit the 300-page mark – that was almost three quarters of the way through the book! I think that was down in part to the writing style, it paints a very eerie yet beautiful picture, and while stuff did happen before page 300, it was all building to that moment but it hadn’t really pulled me in. I mainly read Uprooted for my A-Z Reading Challenge. It’s a few days before 2019, the only letter of the alphabet I hadn’t completed was the letter U, so I did persevere with Uprooted when under normal circumstances I would have probably put it down.

Uprooted is a good magical story that somehow manages to feel whimsical and haunting at the same time. The setting feels like a fairytale but it has a darker undertone too. On the whole, the characters and their relationships were compelling, but the story never did enough to enthral me. 3/5.


  1. Great review! I’ve been on the fence about this one… I think I’m going to hold off for a bit. I’m really looking for a dark tale that will totally captivate me. I’m just a bit weary after the last book like this that I read… though I can’t think of the title of that one for the life of me…

    1. Thanks! Yeah it’s definitely got its own style with the writing, the world, and the story. I can see many people loving it but it didn’t click for me.
      I like a dark tale every now and then too but I haven’t really read many recently.

  2. So I bounced off of this book very, very hard and DNFed it. I just could not with the relationship between the protagonist and the Dragon. I am really, really tired of seeing that kind of weird abusive relationship shit…and at the time I felt like I was the only one who felt like that about it, was almost only hearing raving about how good it was. I also have to say that the audio narrator also played a part, I didn’t love her delivery, and it didn’t help.

    1. Yeah, if I didn’t have a reading challenge I would have probably DNF’d it. In fact I did the first time I picked it up earlier in 2018. I didn’t mind the protagonist and the Dragon having a kind of antagonistic student/teacher dynamic but when it went into romance that put me off that part of the story.
      It’s a shame when narrators for audiobooks don’t click with you – they can really make or break a book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.