Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Uprooted is a standalone fantasy novel written by American author, Naomi Novik. It tells a tale about a village girl named Agnieszka who was unexpectedly picked by the village wizard, Dragon, to live with him in a tower as exchange for protecting the village from the Wood. Nobody from the village knows what Dragon does with the girls he picks. All they know is that every ten years, Dragon goes to their village and select a girl who comes home with him.
The premise of the story sounds very interesting. I think one of the reasons why I chose this book was because of the blurb. I had to know who Dragon was and what was the deal with getting village girls and locking them up in a tower. And, why do the people need protection from the Wood?
The beginning chapters really caught my attention because there was this big mystery I wanted to know about Dragon. Nieszka, on the other hand, sounded like the typical young-adult heroine: atypical compare to other girls her age, clumsy, and stubborn. Although I wanted to learn more about the plot, there are times I hated how Nieszka gets annoying.
On the contrary, I find the world-building of the Wood very interesting. There was so much about it I wanted to discover as I read along but found it a bit short. I was hoping the author would have expounded and explored the possibilities of the Wood more than the conflicts of the humans in the story. I think a prequel about the creation of the Wood is a good idea because of the potential story it might produce.
One of the questions I had during our book discussion was about fantasy novels always injecting romance. Can a fantasy novel (or just any novel) survive without the need of putting a side romance between characters? I mean, I was just looking for adventure and magical stuff but once there’s romance and their drama I kind of start cringing inside. Haha. Do any of you know of a fantasy novel without it?
PS: I thought Uprooted was a YA novel, it was not. 😉