Reread Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Rereading this book was interesting—I still loved it, but I loved different parts.

First reviewed: June 2015

Initial Rating: 5/5 stars

Reread Rating: 5/5 stars

First review here.

cover uprooted

Goodreads Description

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.

My Review

Uprooted blew me away the first time I read it. It took over my life, captivating me with the magic, the brutal fight scenes, and the fascinating characters.

The second time I read it, Uprooted still amazed me. Everything that I remembered loving was still just as powerful. I had been afraid that the story would not be as good as I remembered, and that fear was 100% unfounded.

However, different parts of the book stood out to me. The first time I read it, the plot took over my life. Everything was so intense, so unpredictable, that I honestly couldn’t stop reading. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about what would happen next. It’s the kind of book you can’t “snap out” of until it’s over (and even then, only barely).

Rereading it, I still remembered the plot, so I didn’t read it at such a breakneck pace. This was good, though, because it gave me a chance to really appreciate what was going on in the action scenes. Previously, I’d read them so quickly that I hadn’t been able to focus on the power of the imagery or the skill of the writing. This time, these were the elements that stood out to me, making the story even more impressive.

Additionally, the first time that I read Uprooted, I was consumed by the romance. It really isn’t a romantic book, which was what killed me. I loved the “ship” so much, and I was dying to see it sail.

Rereading the book, I already knew how the romance turned out, so I did not get the “ohmygod ohmygod” feeling, but I still enjoyed it. I think I was more focused on each individual’s character, though. The characterization is masterful, and reading is slower, I was better able to appreciate the complexity of each character.

The first time that I read this book, I categorized it in my mind as “dark YA” and was surprised when other bloggers referred to it as adult. This time, I was more aware of just how dark and intense some of the scenes are. I still think that the characters and the voice fit in with the YA world, but this book definitely is not for the faint of heart.

Finally, the best part of Uprooted both times I read it was the magic and the world building. I loved every scene that involved Agnieszka’s magic, and the way her magical abilities developed really added to the story. The Wood was just as terrifying as the first time I read it, depicted with gorgeous imagery even while it sent chills up my spine. Everything about this book has a fairytale feeling, but that feeling is woven together with truly terrifying and intensely human elements to create a realistic fantasy world.

Long story short, I’m still in love. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves gripping fantasy novels, strong characters, and impeccable writing. 

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