Review of Uprooted by Naomi Novik
ICYMI: Uprooted is a thoughtful, satisfying, grown-up fairy tale with gloriously imagined details. I ate it up and gave it four Bossy stars.
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 has grown up in a quiet village, surrounded by people she loves. But evil lurks in the nearby Wood, with the dark presence of the wizard they call the Dragon looming over all of them. The Dragon keeps them safe from the Wood, but at a high price: each year he demands one young woman from the village. She is taken for ten years to serve him.
The next choosing is coming up quickly, and Agnieszka is sure that her best friend Kasia will be next to go. She considers every desperate plan she can to try to save Kasia from this horrible fate, knowing all the while that she cannot prevent what is to happen.
Naomi Novik creates captivating reimaginings of fairy tales (check out my review of Spinning Silver). Uprooted is a thoughtful, satisfying grown-up fairy tale with gloriously imagined details. I ate it up.
I feel compelled to also mention that Novik has a series of nine books about dragons, the Temeraire series. The dragons talk and are haughty and greedy and intensely loyal to their riders, and Novik explores world politics and the intricacies of nations' relationships and airborne dragon battles within the books' alternate history, and the human protagonists are wonderfully faulted and fantastic.
Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?
I mentioned Uprooted (and Novik's Spinning Silver) in the Greedy Reading List Six Magical Fairy Tales Grown-Ups Will Love.