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Monday, January 29

Book Talk | Uprooted

Title: Uprooted
Author: Naomi Novik
Page Count: 438
Genre: Fantasy, Adult
Goodreads Rating: 4.12
My Rating: 4.0
Book Cover Rating: 3.5
Bad Book Review:
Review Type: Spoiler free
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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.

The Story
I already have such a hard time writing a review for this book, because my feelings are so mixed. Apparently this book is based off a Polish fairytale or has influences of it? I don't know the fairytale. For me it felt like a mix of Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel, but with more magic. This book highly confused me. I was confused about why the Dragon was taking girls and why every 10 years. I was confused about what the Wood was and what exactly it did. I understand that those were things that would be explained later on (turned out to be in the very end of the book), but as a reader I need something to build the world and its history in my head.
Don't get me wrong, when you finish the entire book it's a very well put together story that ends up being thought through pretty well (apart from some things that still confuse me). Maybe I was a bit disappointed was also because I went into this with very high expectations, since most people I come across absolutely love this book.
I did think this story was very unique, in a good way. I never read a story like this before and I really liked that. It was very refreshing. I liked the whole concept of the Wood and it being very scary, even though I didn't fully understand everything going on in there. And the whole magic system was really nice, also unlike anything I had ever read before.

The Characters
Something that really made this book better are the characters in it. First of all we have Agnieszka (pronounced as ag-nyesh-ka). She's not the prettiest girl out there, is clumsy and can't really do anything. I relate. She managed to trip over the air and is always covered in God knows what. But what I liked most about her was how headstrong she is. She wasn't gonna take any of the shit the Dragon was giving her for no reason at all. ''You're being awful to me for no reason? Well fuck you than.'' ''I'm not allowed to leave the tower? I'm gonna do it anyway.'' ''I can't do that? I'll show you I can.'' I really loved that about her.
Next we have the Dragon. First up I thought he was the biggest asshole on the planet for no reason at all. There was probably some very special reason why he was such a brooding bastard, but we never found out. But for some strange reason I actually started liking the guy throughout this book. I still don't know why, I think he grew on me and I started seeing the good parts to him. I think he genuinely wanted to do good things and I suppose he did like Agnieszka, in his own special way.
Lastly we have Kasia, Agnieszka's best friend and the best side character in the world. I really loved Kasia. She's the girl everyone thought the Dragon would choose. She's pretty, intelligent, likable and good at basically everything. When I first heard about her I thought that she would be your typical brainless pretty side character, oh how wrong I was. She turned out to be an absolute B A D A S S. Was I expecting her to pick up a swords and SLAY, NO. Did I love it? HELL YEAH. Please Kasia can you marry me.

 “Magic was singing in me, through me; I felt the murmur of his power singing back that same song.”

The Writing Style
I think the main reason why I had such a hard time reading this book was the way it's written. The reason why it's an adult book is not because of the age of the characters, but because of the writing style and I could really tell. I love YA books, because often they are quick to read. This book was the opposite. It was so slow. There were loads of massive paragraphs with information that could have been a small piece of text and the chapters were really long as well. There was a part where some magic ritual was explained and it was literally a full 10-15 page chapter. To me it was just so unnecessary. I'm sure there are many people who will like this writing style, but it just wasn't for me.

I wasn't planning on writing a 'negative' review and don't get me wrong: I did enjoy this book. I didn't give it 4 stars for nothing, but I just had quite some issues with it.


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