Author: Naomi Novik
Genre: Fantasy, Young adult, fiction, magic
Thoughts: I first noticed this book and picked it up at Dymocks a couple of months ago, because of its very cool cover. It is brilliant. (The cover I saw is the picture on the right. I didn’t like the other as much) I then read the blurb, was a little intrigued, but had enough books in my ‘to-read’ pile that I left it on the shelf. After that, I soon looked it up, and read some reviews that made me want to read it even more. So when it was given to me, for my birthday (thanks Mum and Dad), I started reading straight away. And loved it! But, let me make this clear. If you have seen this book and read the blurb, and then put it back down, thinking it wasn’t that good, give it another chance. The blurb is rubbish, and doesn’t do anything for the book. It describes, and then tries (and fails) to leave a cliff-hanger about just the first chapter. So definitely pick it back up and read it.
From reading the blurb, you are told there is a character called ‘The Dragon’. Now I was very confused at first, when I began to read, as ‘The Dragon’ was talking and walking around and living in a castle, and doing very human things. I then read the blurb, more carefully, and realised that ‘The Dragon’, is just the title for a wizard. This explains all the human things he did. This wizard also turned out to be my favourite character. I loved most of his characteristics, especially his non-caring attitude towards almost everything. I really liked reading the scenes with him in it, because I would try and figure out what was going on in his brain. Also Agnieszka is a good main character, although I didn’t like her as much as ‘The Dragon’. I think it may be that I didn’t agree with her about everything.
The setting is in a fantasy world, where it’s not normal for every person to have magic, but where wizards and witches are familiar. The main antagonist is The Wood, a dark forest which is alive and infects anyone who comes into contact with it. There are a few scenes where we meet one of the infected, and some of them are quite descriptive and gruesome. In fact, most of the book is very descriptive. I also liked the idea of the enemy force being not a person but a living, breathing something. And how the something is in The Wood, which stretches its roots as far as it can go and has been taking over the Valley where the characters live. I thought that it was a bit different from the usual good guy-bad guy relationship.
This book looks and sounds like your average fantasy, magic story, but Uprooted adds more levels into it, and goes deeper. You get to know the characters really well. There is a part where the wood has infected someone Agnieszka knows, and it is showing her all the other person’s fears, grudges and secrets that they have held against her. And this hurts Agnieszka. Badly. But it shows us, the readers, more about her then you can by just describing her, on the outside.
I think one of the things that let it down, from being a ten out of ten, is the complicated plot-line. At the start, it’s good, maybe even too simple, but by then end of the book, I was very confused. It was just so hard to follow. There was one part that I had to keep rereading over and over, because I didn’t get the point. If maybe there was a simpler ending then I would have enjoyed it more. The last chapter was very good though, I must say. I loved how Naomi portrayed The Dragon in it…
Sorry for taking so long to post another review, I have had a very busy two weeks and haven’t had time to open a book at all. I hopefully should have a little more time now.
Why should you read it: If you like the fantasy genre, for example the Spiderwick Chronicles, or Seraphina, then this is for you. Also for readers of magic books. Really, everyone who enjoys reading should like this book.
Book in a word: Enchanting