Author: Naomi Novik
Date of Publication: 19th May 2015
I finished this a couple of days ago but have been unable to form a full opinion until now of whether I loved this book or not. I liked it, for sure – no question. But I’ve not been feeling the books I’ve been reading lately; which naturally means that as soon as I realised that I was enjoying Uprooted, I clung to it the way a drowning man clings to a floating branch.
This leads to clouded judgement. So, in my couple of days of reflection, I’ve tried to focus on a few key points which I think made me love this so very much (yes, you guessed it, I decided that this love was a true one!).
Firstly, and foremost, is Agnieszka. She is my ideal main character. Imperfect and yet special, strong whilst also being afraid, and angry at her situation whilst still being a part of it. She is what makes the story as compelling as it is; her and her relationships with those around her. I loved her friendship with Kasia – I loved Kasia herself too – and felt that it, rather than the relationship between Agnieszka and the Dragon, was the truest romance within Uprooted.
Which leads me onto the romance. I struggled with this one. The Dragon is not a good person. He’s not a bad one either. He doesn’t treat Agnieszka very well; he doesn’t seem to respect her, he doesn’t sympathise with her situation or acknowledge her achievements. It made me unsure as to why I liked his romance with her so much. Then, after two days of puzzling, I came to a conclusion.
I don’t think the romance (as opposed to the lust and grudging friendship which I’ve categorised the rest of their interactions as) between Agnieszka and Sarkan began for me until the final page of the novel. Something which is not only unheard of (at least for me) but also cemented my adoration for this novel.
The Wood is terrifying. I have been getting lame villain syndrome from so many books lately, it was immensely refreshing to find a villain so complex and yet also so ethereal in its horror-inducing ways. For a key villain to also be part of the world building is also genuis – it meant that both were of a high standard.
I cannot recommend this enough. Read it anywhere and anytime…just don’t sit underneath the bough of any trees whilst doing so!