Sunday, October 30, 2016

Crown Review #7 - Uprooted

Uprooted - Naomi Novik

Rating: 3.75/5 Stars
Series: Standalone
Length: 438 Pages
Purchase: [Amazon] | [Barnes & Noble]

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.

Uprooted has the perfect fantasy setting; witches and wizards, magic, and an eerie woods. The tale of a young girl who apparently wasn't expecting to get picked by "The Dragon" gets an unexpected surprise and an unexpected adventure as she is whisked away almost literally. 

In Uprooted, you get almost everything that you expect in a fantasy, especially magic. Even though the spells were spoken in a unique language that I couldn't even pronounced correctly, (I probably could only pronounce like 1 or 2 correctly instead of the 50+ that were mentioned.) the spells were a positive touch the story, in which made the setting and the story more unique. The perspective in which the story was told also gave this another another plus. 

I found it funny when I had problem with this book, and the main character had the same problem as well. There was a specific spell book that the main character would read for pages, and then suddenly realized that she couldn't remember what she read and had to turn back to reread it again. I found myself doing this, especially in the beginning. I do not know why this kept happening to me, but it was like I was lost in the words, fell into the book's spell, and I suddenly caught myself wondering what happened. (This book might be actually magical! Beware!)

The main character was also amazing to read about, even humorous at some time. I really enjoyed learning about the main character, who's name I still cannot pronounce. A sort of rebel, (though she probably wouldn't call herself that) she often set her own ground and took the lead in most cases from the dragon. It was amazing to see who the roles often switched among the two. If you're worried about any "quick relationship" right off the beginning, I'll tell you right now that you do not have to worry about it. Something bloomed among the two, but it wasn't two quick and it had progress starting from actual hate and annoyance and avoidance among the two. The relationship among the two were the most interesting in any of the other books I have previously read.

The ending was the better part of the story. The pace was picked up and the spell that was cast upon me was suddenly lifted. As the ending drew near, my understanding of everything that was going on became clearer. I just wished that it was like this for the entire book and this would've been a big hit for me, but it wasn't. 

The only other thing that bothered me were the constant switching of names among the wizards. The wizards had like two different names, and some of them were suddenly thrown without explanation. There was some time in the book that I thought 1 wizard was actually two wizards. It was confusing at first, but once I realized my mistake, I understood it better, and the storyline became much, much clearer. 

The Wood's setting was perfect. It almost used like every child's nightmare of the woods, but made it even creepier. Once you're in contact of the woods, you can't escape it. I repeat, YOU CANNOT ESCAPE IT. If you do, you're shunned, or even worse. Either way, it's bad for you, and you wouldn't even go near it in the first place. At the ending, when the origin of the woods was revealed, it was shocking, and almost changed the entire perspective. I am glad for ending, and couldn't imagine it any other way. 

Although I enjoyed the book really much, as a fantasy, and the first-ever stand-alone book I've read in the longest time ever, I only felt comfortable giving this a 3.75 stars. 3.5 stars was to low, and 4 stars just didn't feel right. If anyone wanted a good fantasy book to read, something with magic, this would be the perfect book to recommend. This book had it's ups and downs, but I truly believe most people would enjoy this book. As a reminder, just don't fall under the spell like I did.

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