5 Things About Uprooted by Naomi Novik

May 8, 2016 Review 24 ★★★½

5 Things About Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Macmillan
Source: Purchased
Pages: 438
Release Date: May 21st, 2015
Genres: Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology, Fantasy & Magic, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
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 its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, ambitious wizard, known only as the Dragon, to keep the wood's powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman must be handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as being lost 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 no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. And when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him.

It reminded me of Juliet Marillier novels… but not as magical

I enjoyed UPROOTED. But the entire time I was reading it I couldn’t help but start comparing it to Juliet Mariller’s novels, particularly HEART’S BLOOD, because the story is similar in style and plot. Unfortunately for Uprooted, it couldn’t even begin to compare to the level Juliet Mariller has set for characters, romance, writing, plot, emotions, world building, everything.


Creepy Ass Creatures

The wood was the villain in UPROOTED, which kind of reminded me of GREEN RIDER by Kristen Britain (and from the looks of things, evil forests may be an upcoming fantasy trend). Anyway, it was creepy. Those insect monsters I just *shudder*. It was really interesting to explore how the wood worked, its motivations, and how it came to be.

The description of the magic was lovely

I loved how the magic was described in UPROOTED. Silly me didn’t tab an example, but the imagery it painted was beautiful. It was a very visual experience that helped us grasp exactly what was trying to be achieved.


Some really interesting characters

UPROOTED is filled with intriguing characters who maybe weren’t explored as fully as they could have been. Honestly the secondary characters are some of my favourites and I want more background on them, particularly the Dragon. His past is hinted at when relevant but I want to know more. I also need a story about Kasia, my favourite character in the novel. She could easily carry her own book.

More time could have been spent on the romance

The romance didn’t take over the plot and there was some great tension between the Dragon and Agniezska, but there almost wasn’t enough romance. Only having a few scenes sprinkled here and there made the final stages of the romance kind of jarring. A few more scenes developing the romance would have helped.


hm-our-story-png-clipart-17UPROOTED was an interesting fantasy. The romance could have used more development, but there were some really interesting characters and some creepy creatures and villains. Unfortunately, I’ve been spoiled by Juliet Mariller and UPROOTED didn’t even begin to reach the standard HEART’S BLOOD and other Marillier novels have set for me. 

Rating Report
Overall: 3.6

24 Responses to “5 Things About Uprooted by Naomi Novik”

    • Bec

      There are a few books out there with similar sounding plots, and it is also sort of a Beauty and the Beast retelling so maybe that’s why? Thanks :)

    • Bec

      It was a nice book :D It could be a bit slow, but the writing was good enough that I had no trouble reading it

    • Bec

      I liked it well enough, but it is hard to compare to the gems like Juliet Mariller. More people really need to read her stuff. She’s so underrated.

  1. Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    So glad to hear you liked this so much Bec, even if you didn’t necessarily love it. It’s hard to love a book when you’ve already read and loved another book with a similar concept. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…A Little in Love

    • Bec

      Constantly comparing it to another book does make it harder to really enjoy it :/ Thanks :D

  2. Tasya

    I’ve been wanting to read this book since last year, but haven’t manage to read it until now XD It sounds really interesting, but also familiar with the whole dark-scary-woods. Great review!<3
    Tasya recently posted…Language Learning Apps

    • Bec

      It is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast but also has a lot of other elements to the story to make it quite different.

  3. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I’m glad you enjoyed this overall Bec but you’ve 100% made me want to check out Heart’s Blood (and Marillier for that matter) sooner, rather than later. I’ve been dragging my feet reading any book by her for NO reason and it needs to stop! I agree that the romance was a little bit bumpy here but I didn’t mind since I was swept away by the magic and the creeptastic woods! GREAT review my friend^^ x
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: Fifth Grave Past the Light

    • Bec

      Micheline, you NEED to read Marillier. You’ll absolutely love her books! She’s such a master of historical fantasy and fey. Seriously JUST DO IT.

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