Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border,...

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 it's 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 serves 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.

I liked this book, it was good, but I feel as though I could have - and should have - loved it. I found the plot to be enthralling and creative, but when I was reading it, I felt as though something was missing; I just couldn't put my finger on it. About three-quarters of the way through, I realised it was the characters - I didn't feel anything for any of them, there was no depth to their personalities, and I didn't believe in them half the time.

The Wood was portrayed as a character in its own right, despite the fact it is an inanimate object, as such. The villagers feared it and the way it treated people, but it was always a kind of unknown element to the story; nobody knew how it got there or why it remained to be. The Wood was dark, corrupt and mysterious in its own light (or dark), and I absolutely loved reading and finding out more about it.

Unfortunately, however, I didn't like the bond between Agnieszka and the Dragon as it felt ridiculously forced and not natural in the slightest - this was largely due to the fact that neither of them, as aforementioned, had any personality of which to speak of. Yeah, okay, the Dragon may have been a tad sarcastic at the beginning, but even that started to ebb away nearer the middle of the book. Let's just say I wasn't convinced!

The synopsis plot only lasts for about 100 pages before it becomes a different story entirely, which I do not mind in the slightest, as it was an intriguing tangent to what I thought this book would be about. Uprooted definitely has a fairytale theme entwined in its roots (geddit?!), and I am a lover of all things fairytale, especially dark ones - this was definitely my cup of tea. It had good and evil, right and wrong, and a question of those ideals came into play too.

The last quarter of the book was my absolute favourite, but firstly, I'll start with a negative to get that out of the way. Towards the end of the book, I felt as though characters were just added to make the story more interesting; I didn't know where they had come from, and we hadn't really been told anything about them leading up to it. It just really put me off and got me confused as to whether I had actually been reading properly or not. Now onto the positives: it was fast paced, action packed, and everything came to a head in the last quarter of the novel . It wasn't predictable in the slightest and I was truly excited to read on and find out how it all concluded. I was not disappointed!

Uprooted was definitely a good read with a few flaws that didn't quite make it an AMAZING one. It was on the right lines, but it just didn't quite hit the mark for me I'm afraid.

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