By Naomi Novik
Del Rey, 2015. 438 pgs. Fantasy.
Uprooted is Naomi Novik’s first foray outside the
Temeraire series. Though still firmly set in the fantasy realm, this is quite a
bit of a divergence from the Napoleonic wars setting of her alternative history
series. Uprooted has far more of a traditional fairy tale feel and indeed pays homage
to the Slavic folk tale, Baba Yaga.
A mysterious wizard known as the Dragon selects a young
woman from a rural village near his tower every 10 years as payment for
protecting the region from the malevolent influence of the evil Wood. Agnieszka, always
muddy and disheveled, never thinks that she will be chosen, but when
she is selected to serve the Dragon, she soon discovers she has a rare and powerful
talent for magic. As Agnieszka's magic grows, her journey
sends her on a deadly quest where she will experience the terrible intrigue of the
royal court, a true and unbreakable friendship, and even a little romance.
While, there will always be a special place in my heart
for Naomi Novik's other characters, Temeraire and Captain Laurence, Novik should be applauded for her well-written
novel with beautiful descriptions, interesting characters, and action-packed
plot. Fans of fractured fairy tales will not want to miss this.