“Uprooted”.

It was a strange occurrence that I came to find this book. My fiancé had wanted for a long time to buy me a novel, but I was weary of doing so because it is hard to find a good book nowadays (without prior recommendation of some sort). So I kept looking over the same shelves in the book store that we went to. Took the same books out and read their descriptions to put them back once again, nothing seemed good enough! And most were part of trilogies, I really did not wish to buy something that was part of a series, lately everything is part of a trilogy! Can not they write one story within one volume?

Finally, I saw “Uprooted”. The cover mesmerized me, I read avidly the short synopsis and thought with gleaming victory “This is it! This is the book that speaks to me!”, I went quickly to one of the people in charge of the book shop and kindly asked them to search if it was part of some series, to my relief it was not, nor there was any prevision to have a second volume. I turned to my beloved and told him that that was the book I wished.

Picking up this book was a wonderful choice.

IMG_9832
Roses describe really well this novel.

“Uprooted” is a book by Naomi Novik, she is an American writer best known for her Temeraire series of nine novels. The first book of this series, “His Majesty’s Dragon”, won the 2007 Compton Crook Award for best novel in the Science Fiction/Fantasy genre during 2006 by a first time author. [1]

Agnieszka lives in a village set in a calm valley, next to it there is a dark enchanted forest that once someone steps in, they either never come out or come out so misshapen that you can not recognize them. A wizard called the Dragon protects them from the Wood, however, he helps in exchange for a young village woman who must serve him for ten years, leaving her family and friends behind.

Everybody expects him to pick Kasia at the next choosing, yet it is not her whom he takes.

As any book does, the beginning sets the ground of characters, situations, world and the atmosphere around the tale. As it slowly advances one can only feel but sadness towards the fate of Agnieszka; being taken away from her family from a rather young age, to then be closed in a unfamiliar tower with someone as cold as the bricks that make it. By continuing to read I see little by little where the development is going. However, I am not even half way through, what else could it come from it? I was rather confused at this point, as it turns out, the story has several bigger “stones” within its structure, each interconnected but described in detail, which gives one the sensation that nothing else can happen. With each step that I took I was only even more startled.

I really liked the depiction of magic that the authoress described, like river flowing through its vessel, in harmony if taught how to do so. If magic was present here on Earth, I would imagine that it would be something similar to that.

The characters are very different from each other and though Agnieszka might seem a bit the typical “clumsy but special” girl I did not have a problem with that, it was well written into the tale. Sarkan, or the “Dragon” was quite important but a bit less than I expected him to be, he is cold as if he wished to have no part in the joy of life and rather harsh and rude towards our main character, but we see that this also develops – without being a forced development of suddenly being the most kind person on the planet, since it would not be believable.

The novel might not be appropriate for very young people, or for people who do not handle well dark themed stories, it has a lot of pain, blood and hardship through its pages. However, it has many other things, like the wonders of magic or the strength of friendship. But all in all it has a mature/dark theme to it.

For me, it was a magical ride, full of horrors that the fairytale carries, as well as hope and the strength that we all have inside, capable of many wonders.

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