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Book Review – Uprooted

Uprooted by Naomi Novak

Agnieszka is an ordinary girl from a sleepy village, but she lives in the shadow of an evil forest. Every ten years a girl is chosen to serve the Dragon who protects them from its enchantments. Nobody expected Agnieszka to be taken but when she is, it starts her down a path she couldn’t have imagined.

This book surprised me. When I started, I wondered whether I was reading a YA fantasy – not that there’s anything wrong with that, and I do read it – but I quickly realised there was something grittier and darker about the story.

There’s plenty in here to keep everyone entertained. Novik builds her world effortlessly, laying out the landscape and setting the scene, but broadening it as the main character expands her understanding. Following heavily on the themes of morality, revenge, and the ties that bind, Uprooted consistently ups the stakes, building tension and a genuine fear for the protagonist and those around her. The descriptions are vivid and the action real – I’m sure I could read this again and find wonderful nuggets I missed the first time.

Filled with magic, adventure, and believable characters (ones with flaws – my favourite kind), Uprooted extracts elements of old fairy tales and turns them into something new. The best thing about the book is that it doesn’t always go where you expect it to, but it’s no less satisfying for it. A great read for anyone who likes unique fantasy and determined female leads.

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