Book Review – Uprooted

UprootedUprooted by Naomi Novik

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this a long long time ago (as in around 6 months from date of review) and loved it with my heart and soul. Then I promptly forgot to review it.

#failfish

Part of the reason was that I was swamped with work around the time, and part of it was that I didn’t really know how to put down my feelings, because they were mostly incoherent noises.

Anyway, I’m going to just list the things I remember liking about this book, and hope it works.

1. The heroine, who we will just call Niska for short. I got annoyed at her a couple of times, but overall, she’s so likeable, positive and best of all, assertive in a good way. Her evolution into a magical badass does not hurt. How many girls do you know that can bring down a whole lightning strike to girl a rampaging monster?

2. Her best friend Kasia. I thought Kasia would be one of those side characters who you pledge eternal friendship to and then never see again, but she turns out to be a major player in the plot. Kasia’s and Niska’s friendship may be strong, but it’s not without its difficulties, understandably. Kasia also develops into a badass of the completely-immune-to-arrows-and-other-painful-things kind, so yeah. I like her.

3. The Dragon, whose real name I forget- is it Sarkan?. Everyone, repeat after me – dark brooding semi-immortal and incredibly powerful Darcy-like magician with a heart of gold. No further explanation needed for fangirling.

4. The romance. I was seriously worried this was going down like a certain other book *cough*A Thinking Woman’s Guide to Magic*cough* but thankfully it takes the route of certain awesomeness. The romance is not sudden, but you can see it growing and it reaches a super satisfying conclusion. Also just generally, rawr.

5. The pacing. Not gonna lie, this is a looooong book. But it never feels long in a bad way, I just kept turning the pages at a breakneck speed to find out what would happen next. It might take a while to get into, but it’s worthwhile.

6. The plot, which can be broken into three parts. The first is Niska’s magical training and general relationship building with the Dragon, the second is the whole rescue Kasia and recover her bit, the last is the showdown with the big bad. It’s an expansive plot and I loved every second of it, what with the world building and increasing tempo of tension. Also, Baba Yaga references.

7. The villain. The major antagonist of the book isn’t exactly one person – it’s an entire evil forest that slowly encroaches on to the settled areas and has trees that literally suck in people. Rather like M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, but at a faster, more gruesome rate. But as with any good book, the motivations of the trees aren’t simple, and there is more at work than some environmental rage.

So that’s it, though it doesn’t even begin to cover all that is good about Uprooted> Probably my favorite book of the year so far. GO READ IT!

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