Goodreads: 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, 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 serve 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 started this book with high expectations and I’m happy to say it surpassed them by far, in fact, I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite books of 2019 so far.
I gave it 5 stars.
“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes.” Every ten years, the wizard known simply as Dragon takes a village girl to work for him and help him in his tower. He’s the lord of the vale and he protects them from the evil Wood. Uprooted reminds me so much of a fairy tale, with its wondrous magic, beautiful writing, high towers, evil forests, among other things.
The main character of this story is Agnieshka. This year she was the girl the dragon chose, because against all odds she has magic. Her whole life she was prepared to have her best friend, perfect, talented and beautiful Kasia taken by the Dragon, so this completely changes her life.
The Dragon and Agnieshka don’t get along at all at first. He’s arrogant and an utter perfectionist, who is shallow and treats her coldly more than once. He thinks she’s a waste of magic, as she can’t seem to understand or memorize the simplest things he teaches her. But when the time comes, she really steps up and saves his life.
This is a huge turning point in their relationship as Agnieshka’s somehow discovered how to do something that he doesn’t think is possible and it makes him forget about his perfect diction and spells for once and show that inner part of him that loves magic. I found these bits about magic fascinating and I didn’t want to put the book down.
Basically, to Agnieshka, magic is something to be felt and fed and it’s casual and comfortable like wandering through the forest; whereas the Dragon approaches magic in a clinical, calculated way (as all of the kingdom’s wizards do). He’s original frustration at Agnieshka soon turns to himself when he can’t perform or understand her magic. In the end, I loved how these characters’ relationship progressed.
The writing is superb, adequately lyrical and a bit whimsical even. It works perfectly for the tone and energy of the story, adding even more to the fairy tale feel of this book. There are several lovely quotes about books, but my favorite was by far:
“I don’t want more sense. Not if it means I’ll stop loving anyone. What is there besides people that’s worth holding on to?”
The conflict and the plot twists and dramatic events throughout the story were always completely unpredictable to me and I loved that.The ending was very satisfying. I just wish this wasn’t a standalone, l because I want to read more!
All that being said, this book wasn’t without its flaws, even if they were minor and completely unimportant to my enjoyment of this book. Personally, I found all the location names and how they were frequently dropped around without a corresponding or clear explanation – pretty confusing. Still, a very minor flaw to me.
Overall, Uprooted is a beautifully-written, incredible, truly unpredictable and magical story about love in all its forms and loyalty. I strongly recommend it.