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
5 Reasons You Might Pick This Up
1. Hate to Love Romance. While the romance in this story isn’t a huge part of the story, it is there. There are two specific scenes that are very romantic and sexy. The two characters start out hating each other and unable to be in the other’s presence. And they end up yearning for the other’s company and kisses. I don’t lie. The dragon starts out as an asshole. You will read his dialogue and shout, “hey now!” But I realized about a third of the way through that he is just putting on a front. He pretends he is grumpy but really he is just overly logical. Think Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock. If you picture him as Sherlock, suddenly his actions make sense. The Dragon loves magic but mostly he loves order and reason. So falling for Agneiska wasn’t in the plan. If you are into these kinds of romance then you will definitely swoon as these two find their way into each other’s arms.
2. Fairytale esq themes and writing style. The author talks about how she welded a few different fairy tales together to make this story. The main story idea came from Pieces of the Sky by Natalia Galczynsk. Novik wove in parts of Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel, and other polish fairy tales. As such the writing reads like it’s own fairy tale. There is magic, evil villains, princes, love, and a setting that invites you to embrace the magic. The whole thing comes wrapped with a lesson about kindness and how hate can be contagious and suffocating even when you have good intentions. Also the book reminds us to think about how you treat people. The writing , while not overly wordy, did have that fluid feeling of floating down a river, smooth and easy. Novik is very descriptive without being boring so you really feel the setting.
3. Spunky/Stubborn Main Character. Agnieszka is one of the most stubborn characters I’ve ever encountered. She puts the Dragon in his place when he tells her what to do. She tells him what she wants without hesitation. And she doesn’t back down. When her best friend is taken by The Woods the Dragon says there is nothing to be done. So Agnieszka just takes some supplies and heads into The Woods herself. She is constantly defying the Dragon and not following the plan. But she cares deeply for her little Valley and won’t let them be overcome by The Woods. Nieshka is sassy. Which I LOVED. And yet she isn’t stupid reckless. I mean she does do dangerous stuff. But she doesn’t just do stuff because she can without any fore thought. She considers the facts and makes her own assumptions. She doesn’t let anyone put any unwanted boundaries on her. Agnieszka was a joy to read.
4. Constant Action. I’ve heard people complain about how boring this book was. But I felt like that was one complaint that didn’t have much ground. There was constantly something new happening. Its one of those books where something happens, they solve it, and then something bigger happens. Once that thing is solved, something even bigger happens. And so forth. I was always waiting for the next evil thing The Wood would do and would read into the night because I couldn’t stop in the middle of scene. There was always SOMETHING going down and I was here for it.
5. Heavy on the Friendship. Besides kindness or maybe along with kindess, another main theme of Uprooted is friendship. Agieszka has always known her best friend Kasia will be chosen by the Dragon but Agieszka is chosen instead. She misses her friend dearly and ends up risking her life to save Kasia’s. They spend the rest of the novel saving and protecting each other. They are constantly putting themselves in harm’s way so they can defend each other. The book explores how friendship can change someone for the better and lack there of can be a curse. I really enjoyed seeing how Agnieszka and Kasia’s friendship played out.
There you have it. My five reasons to read this book. I recognize that this book is not for everyone. It can feel long and if you aren’t interested in the characters then you will be bored. But I really enjoyed it and hope you will too.
If you’ve read this then please let me know in the comments down below. I hope you’re having a wonderful day! TTFN.