Uprooted, by Naomi Novik is a lush and vibrant novel, rich with imagery. I’ve learned a lesson here about first impressions because somewhere during the first chapter I went, well, maybe this isn’t for me . . . then I read on and on and soon I was captured not only by the protagonist, who is not your average heroine, but by the unfolding story. Our protagonist, Agnieszka is awkward, clumsy and not a beauty. But she is determined, stubborn and she has a gift, a gift of magic, new, untried and untamed. Sarkan, the Dragon Lord of the country named, Polnya, is likable despite his asperity. He is a master of magic who holds back the evil that threatens to overrun the people and the country. The evil in the Wood is contagious, sending its vines and roots into the villages.
Ultimately, it is a fantastic story about the depth of friendship, love, betrayal, sacrifice and unyielding determination against the roots of evil. While I’m not generally a fan of fantasy novels, I couldn’t stop reading this wonderful book. I will note, however, despite the cover, which is beautiful and seemed clearly meant for tweens, is should be read primarily by young adults and adults due to some graphic sexual scenes. I loved this author’s writing and I’ve no doubt I’ll be reading more of her works.