Uprooted by Naomi NovikUprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted

byNaomi Novik

Hardcover | May 19, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info

$22.09 online 
$29.95 list price
Earn 110 plum® points

Out of stock online

Not available in stores

about

WINNER OF THE NEBULA AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL • Naomi Novik, author of the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed Temeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.

HUGO AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR | BuzzFeed | Tor.com | BookPage | Library Journal | Publishers Weekly

Uprooted is confidently wrought and sympathetically cast. I might even call it bewitching.”—Gregory Maguire, bestselling author of Wicked and Egg & Spoon

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

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.

Praise for Uprooted

Uprooted has leapt forward to claim the title of Best Book I’ve Read Yet This Year. . . . Moving, heartbreaking, and thoroughly satisfying, Uprooted is the fantasy novel I feel I’ve been waiting a lifetime for. Clear your schedule before picking it up, because you won’t want to put it down.”—NPR

“A very enjoyable fantasy with the air of a modern classic . . . Naomi Novik skillfully takes the fairy-tale-turned-bildungsroman structure of her premise . . . and builds enough flesh on those bones to make a very different animal. . . . The vivid characters around her also echo their fairy-tale forebears, but are grounded in real-world ambivalence that makes this book feel quietly mature, its world lived-in.”The New York Times Book Review

“Novik here delivers a tale that is funny and fast-paced, laced with hair-raising battle scenes and conspiracies; it also touches on deeper ecological concerns we grapple with today.”The Washington Post

“Novik takes us on a surprise-filled journey. . . . The resulting warmth and intimacy provide a nicely nurturing environment for her heroine’s unusual adventures.”The Seattle Times

“Breathtaking . . . [Novik] weaves a tale that is both elegantly grand and earthily humble, familiar as a Grimm fairy tale yet fresh, original, and totally irresistible. This will be a must-read for fantasy fans for years to come.”Pubilshers Weekly (starred review)

“An original and fully realized fantastical place guaranteed to enthrall her longtime fans and attract new readers.”Library Journal (starred review)
Naomi Novik is the acclaimed author of His Majesty’s Dragon, Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles, Tongues of Serpents, Crucible of Gold, and Blood of Tyrants, the first eight volumes of the Temeraire series. She has been nominated for the Hugo Award and has won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Wr...
Loading
Title:UprootedFormat:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 8.56 × 5.86 × 1.41 inPublished:May 19, 2015Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0804179034

ISBN - 13:9780804179034

Look for similar items by category:

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from In the top 10 books I've read this year It's been hard to decide how many stars to give this one. It grabbed me from the very first sentence and sucked me in until I was 2/3 through the book. I had trouble putting it down and had to force myself to go to bed. The second day I had to force myself not to pick it up because I had other things to do and knew I would not be able to pry myself away from the story if I opened it. I was ready to give the book 10 stars and call it one of the best books I've read this year. It is still in the top 10, but the last third of the book became a bit strange. I enjoyed it very much, but it felt a bit muddy compared to the first parts. I had to focus very carefully to make sure I understood everything that was going on, and why. That, and the totally out of nowhere, and badly timed, sex scene made me finally decide on 4 stars instead of 5. The book is a truly delightful fairytale, albeit a dark one, and the Polish-type, old world setting made it feel spooky and ethereal.
Date published: 2016-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! This book is exceptional. One of a kind.
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bought on a hope, was completely whisked away When I was at the store, I was unsure of buying this. But I read some pretty great reviews, decided to buy it, and I'm really glad I did. If you're reading this, trying to figure out whether or not you should take a chance on this book, you should. Uprooted has a great story to tell, and the way it develops is enchanting. Things you didn't expect to happen, happen. I devoured this book. Witches, wars, a malicious evil, and a heroine that finds herself and breaks the mold. You're going to love this story.
Date published: 2016-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it! I bought this book on a whim and I'm so glad I did. It has all the elements a great book should. I couldn't put it down. The magic is so creative and believable.
Date published: 2016-03-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Problematic, but an original and exciting read I have some important content warnings for potential that I have to address before starting to even think about writing a review. This book was filled with ableist slurs, as well as some sexist slurs. The characters using this language were never reprimanded for their word choices. The romantic relationship had abusive undertones. So, I'd like to post content warnings for potential abuse, ableist slurs, sexist slurs. With that said, it's hard to follow up with saying that I actually really enjoyed Uprooted. The magic mechanics were fantastic, and the protagonist, Agnieszka, became extremely capable, independent and compassionate. Agnieszka's relationship with her best friend was a delight to read about. However, I did have to push to get through the first 75 pages or so. Agnieszka's initial personality was uncomfortably close to Bella Swan, being super special while being utterly unaware and uninteresting. The romantic relationship was entirely off-putting, it had too many abusive undertones for me to enjoy even one moment of it. Instead of the creepy relationship we were given, may I suggest lesbians? The two girls already respected and adored each other, while maintaining whole personalities independent of each other and an awareness of the other's flaws. I also have to wonder if it was really needed to include yet another cliché experience where a peasant ends up nobility and the inevitable hijinks of her rejecting noble life? And why couldn't any of the characters be called on their ableism and sexism? Uncomfortable content aside, when those elements were not present I just couldn't put this book down. The magic was fascinating, this was unlike any other fantasy novel I've read. I will be checking out more of Novik's work, but if the slurs are as pervasive in her other writing I will likely be turned off for good. I would recommend this to fantasy lovers and readers in the 19-25 range (simply because I wouldn't feel right recommending something so problematic to teenagers). read more reviews at www.katielovestoread.tumblr.com
Date published: 2015-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic I was enchanted. I don't want to say to much but that there were times I HAD to put the book down because it was too intense. The build up was fantastic and the stories and backstories intertwined beutifully. A wonderful, magical, sorrowful and joyful tail.
Date published: 2015-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best one of her numerous novels^ This one is really different, with lots of surprising twists and turns. In a short period of time, the author manages to create an engrossing and interesting tale. When it was finished, I was left wanting more. I am not sure though that she has set this up as a series - it seems written as a "one of".
Date published: 2015-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from UPUPROOTED weaves a magical, haunting tale, one that will be on your mind long after you put it down. Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy: UPROOTED weaves a magical, haunting tale, one that will be on your mind long after you put it down. The Wood, the malevolent forest that attempts to destroy Agineszka's valley and her entire world, growing dark, poisonous trees and sending terrifying “walkers”, giant wooden stick insect-like creatures, out to grab villagers. Told in Agnieszka's perspective, the book does allow multiple looks at other characters' feelings and motivations through a special trick that is too good to spoil. It helps round out the other characters, but also exposes some seriously scary stuff. The writing is very well paced, with just enough description to immerse you in this fairy tale world without drowning the action. Although tons of characters introduced, the important ones are well described enough that I never got confused over who was who, and never had to stop and flip back a few pages to keep up with court drama, which I definitely appreciate in a fantasy book. The best part for me was the love story between Agnieszka and Kasia – the love between best friends since childhood, almost close as sisters. There is nothing they wouldn't do for another, even after they both become so changed by their different exposure to the Wood and the world at large. This love is more central to the plot than the romance, although the romance in no way feels extraneous; it's actually quite nice to have it there, as another side of the coin. I'd never read anything by Novik before, but having finished Uprooted, I am definitely going to add her to my to-read list. UPROOTED is truly gory and horrifying at moments, subtly funny at other times. It feels like a traditional fairy tale, without the gloss and guaranteed happy ending that Disney has enforced over the years. I absolutely recommend this beautiful book.
Date published: 2015-05-23

Read from the Book

Chapter 1Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.He doesn’t devour them really; it only feels that way. He takes a girl to his tower, and ten years later he lets her go, but by then she’s someone different. Her clothes are too fine and she talks like a courtier and she’s been living alone with a man for ten years, so of course she’s ruined, even though the girls all say he never puts a hand on them. What else could they say? And that’s not the worst of it—­after all, the Dragon gives them a purse full of silver for their dowry when he lets them go, so anyone would be happy to marry them, ruined or not.But they don’t want to marry anyone. They don’t want to stay at all.“They forget how to live here,” my father said to me once, unexpectedly. I was riding next to him on the seat of the big empty wagon, on our way home after delivering the week’s firewood. We lived in Dvernik, which wasn’t the biggest village in the valley or the smallest, or the one nearest the Wood: we were seven miles away. The road took us up over a big hill, though, and at the top on a clear day you could see along the river all the way to the pale grey strip of burned earth at the leading edge, and the solid dark wall of trees beyond. The Dragon’s tower was a long way in the other direction, a piece of white chalk stuck in the base of the western mountains.I was still very small—­not more than five, I think. But I already knew that we didn’t talk about the Dragon, or the girls he took, so it stuck in my head when my father broke the rule.“They remember to be afraid,” my father said. That was all. Then he clucked to the horses and they pulled on, down the hill and back into the trees.It didn’t make much sense to me. We were all afraid of the Wood. But our valley was home. How could you leave your home? And yet the girls never came back to stay. The Dragon let them out of the tower, and they came back to their families for a little while—­for a week, or sometimes a month, never much more. Then they took their dowry-­silver and left. Mostly they would go to Kralia and go to the University. Often as not they married some city man, and otherwise they became scholars or shopkeepers, although some people did whisper about Jadwiga Bach, who’d been taken sixty years ago, that she became a courtesan and the mistress of a baron and a duke. But by the time I was born, she was just a rich old woman who sent splendid presents to all her grand-­nieces and nephews, and never came for a visit.So that’s hardly like handing your daughter over to be eaten, but it’s not a happy thing, either. There aren’t so many villages in the valley that the chances are very low—­he takes only a girl of seventeen, born between one October and the next. There were eleven girls to choose from in my year, and that’s worse odds than dice. Everyone says you love a Dragon-­born girl differently as she gets older; you can’t help it, knowing you so easily might lose her. But it wasn’t like that for me, for my parents. By the time I was old enough to understand that I might be taken, we all knew he would take Kasia.Only travelers passing through, who didn’t know, ever complimented Kasia’s parents or told them how beautiful their daughter was, or how clever, or how nice. The Dragon didn’t always take the prettiest girl, but he always took the most special one, somehow: if there was one girl who was far and away the prettiest, or the most bright, or the best dancer, or especially kind, somehow he always picked her out, even though he scarcely exchanged a word with the girls before he made his choice.And Kasia was all those things. She had thick wheat-­golden hair that she kept in a braid to her waist, and her eyes were warm brown, and her laugh was like a song that made you want to sing it. She thought of all the best games, and could make up stories and new dances out of her head; she could cook fit for a feast, and when she spun the wool from her father’s sheep, the thread came off the wheel smooth and even without a single knot or snarl.I know I’m making her sound like something out of a story. But it was the other way around. When my mother told me stories about the spinning princess or the brave goose-­girl or the river-­maiden, in my head I imagined them all a little like Kasia; that was how I thought of her. And I wasn’t old enough to be wise, so I loved her more, not less, because I knew she would be taken from me soon.She didn’t mind it, she said. She was fearless, too: her mother Wensa saw to that. “She’ll have to be brave,” I remember hearing her say to my mother once, while she prodded Kasia to climb a tree she’d hung back from, and my mother hugging her, with tears.We lived only three houses from one another, and I didn’t have a sister of my own, only three brothers much older than me. Kasia was my dearest. We played together from our cradles, first in our mothers’ kitchens keeping out from underfoot and then in the streets before our houses, until we were old enough to go running wild in the woods. I never wanted to be anywhere inside when we could be running hand-­in-­hand beneath the branches. I imagined the trees bending their arms down to shelter us. I didn’t know how I would bear it, when the Dragon took her.My parents wouldn’t have feared for me, very much, even if there hadn’t been Kasia. At seventeen I was still a too-­skinny colt of a girl with big feet and tangled dirt-­brown hair, and my only gift, if you could call it that, was I would tear or stain or lose anything put on me between the hours of one day. My mother despaired of me by the time I was twelve and let me run around in castoffs from my older brothers, except for feast days, when I was obliged to change only twenty minutes before we left the house, and then sit on the bench before our door until we walked to church. It was still even odds whether I’d make it to the village green without catching on some branch, or spattering myself with mud.“You’ll have to marry a tailor, my little Agnieszka,” my father would say, laughing, when he came home from the forest at night and I went running to meet him, grubby-­faced, with at least one hole about me, and no kerchief. He swung me up anyway and kissed me; my mother only sighed a little: what parent could really be sorry, to have a few faults in a Dragon-­born girl?Our last summer before the taking was long and warm and full of tears. Kasia didn’t weep, but I did. We’d linger out late in the woods, stretching each golden day as long as it would go, and then I would come home hungry and tired and go straight to lie down in the dark. My mother would come in and stroke my head, singing softly while I cried myself to sleep, and leave a plate of food by my bed for when I woke up in the middle of the night with hunger. She didn’t try to comfort me otherwise: how could she? We both knew that no matter how much she loved Kasia, and Kasia’s mother Wensa, she couldn’t help but have a small glad knot in her belly—­not my daughter, not my only one. And of course, I wouldn’t really have wanted her to feel any other way.It was just me and Kasia together, nearly all that summer. It had been that way for a long time. We’d run with the crowd of village children when we were young, but as we got older, and Kasia more beautiful, her mother had said to her, “It’s best if you don’t see much of the boys, for you and them.” But I clung to her, and my mother did love Kasia and Wensa enough not to try and pry me loose, even though she knew that it would hurt me more in the end.On the last day, I found us a clearing in the woods where the trees still had their leaves, golden and flame-­red rustling all above us, with ripe chestnuts all over the ground. We made a little fire out of twigs and dry leaves to roast a handful. Tomorrow was the first of October, and the great feast would be held to show honor to our patron and lord. Tomorrow, the Dragon would come.“It would be nice to be a troubadour,” Kasia said, lying on her back with her eyes closed. She hummed a little: a traveling singer had come for the festival, and he’d been practicing his songs on the green that morning. The tribute wagons had been arriving all week. “To go all over Polnya, and sing for the king.”She said it thoughtfully, not like a child spinning clouds; she said it like someone really thinking about leaving the valley, going away forever. I put my hand out and gripped hers. “And you’d come home every Midwinter,” I said, “and sing us all the songs you’d learned.” We held on tight, and I didn’t let myself remember that the girls the Dragon took never wanted to come back.Of course at that moment I only hated him ferociously. But he wasn’t a bad lord. On the other side of the northern mountains, the Baron of the Yellow Marshes kept an army of five thousand men to take to Polnya’s wars, and a castle with four towers, and a wife who wore jewels the color of blood and a white fox-­fur cloak, all on a domain no richer than our valley. The men had to give one day a week of work to the baron’s fields, which were the best land, and he’d take likely sons for his army, and with all the soldiers wandering around, girls had to stay indoors and in company once they got to be women. And even he wasn’t a bad lord.The Dragon only had his one tower, and not a single man-­at-­arms, or even a servant, besides the one girl he took. He didn’t have to keep an army: the service he owed the king was his own labor, his magic. He had to go to court sometimes, to renew his oath of loyalty, and I suppose the king could have called him to war, but for the most part his duty was to stay here and watch the Wood, and protect the kingdom from its malice.His only extravagance was books. We were well read by the standards of villagers, because he would pay gold for a single great tome, and so the book-­peddlers came all this way, even though our valley was at the very edge of Polnya. And as long as they were coming, they filled up the saddlebags of their mules with whatever worn-­out or cheaper stock of books they had and sold them to us for our pennies. It was a poor house in the valley that didn’t have at least two or three books proudly displayed upon the walls.These might all seem like small and petty things, little enough cause to give up a daughter, to anyone who didn’t live near enough the Wood to understand. But I had lived through the Green Summer, when a hot wind carried pollen from the Wood west a long way into the valley, into our fields and gardens. The crops grew furiously lush, but also strange and misshapen. Anyone who ate of them grew sick with anger, struck at their families, and in the end ran into the Wood and vanished, if they weren’t tied down.I was six years old at the time. My parents tried to shelter me as much as they could, but even so I remembered vividly the cold clammy sense of dread everywhere, everyone afraid, and the never-­ending bite of hunger in my belly. We had eaten through all our last year’s stores by then, counting on the spring. One of our neighbors ate a few green beans, driven foolish by hunger. I remember the screams from his house that night, and peering out the window to see my father running to help, taking the pitchfork from where it leaned against our barn.One day that summer, too young to understand the danger properly, I escaped my tired, thin mother’s watch and ran into the forest. I found a half-­dead bramble, in a nook sheltered from the wind. I pushed through the hard dead branches to the protected heart and dug out a miraculous handful of blackberries, not misshapen at all, whole and juicy and perfect. Every one was a burst of joy in my mouth. I ate two handfuls and filled my skirt; I hurried home with them soaking purple stains through my dress and my mother wept with horror when she saw my smeared face. I didn’t sicken: the bramble had somehow escaped the Wood’s curse, and the blackberries were good. But her tears frightened me badly; I shied from blackberries for years after.The Dragon had been called to court that year. He came back early and rode straight to the fields and called down magic fire to burn all that tainted harvest, every poisoned crop. That much was his duty, but afterwards he went to every house where anyone had sickened, and he gave them a taste of a magic cordial that cleared their minds. He gave orders that the villages farther west, which had escaped the blight, should share their harvest with us, and he even gave up his own tribute that year entirely so none of us would starve. The next spring, just before the planting season, he went through the fields again to burn out the few corrupted remnants before they could take fresh root.

Editorial Reviews

“Uprooted has leapt forward to claim the title of Best Book I’ve Read Yet This Year. . . . Moving, heartbreaking, and thoroughly satisfying, Uprooted is the fantasy novel I feel I’ve been waiting a lifetime for. Clear your schedule before picking it up, because you won’t want to put it down.”—NPR   “A very enjoyable fantasy with the air of a modern classic . . . Naomi Novik skillfully takes the fairy-tale-turned-bildungsroman structure of her premise . . . and builds enough flesh on those bones to make a very different animal. . . . The vivid characters around her also echo their fairy-tale forebears, but are grounded in real-world ambivalence that makes this book feel quietly mature, its world lived-in.”—The New York Times Book Review   “Novik here delivers a tale that is funny and fast-paced, laced with hair-raising battle scenes and conspiracies; it also touches on deeper ecological concerns we grapple with today.”—The Washington Post   “Novik takes us on a surprise-filled journey. . . . The resulting warmth and intimacy provide a nicely nurturing environment for her heroine’s unusual adventures.”—The Seattle Times   “Breathtaking . . . [Novik] weaves a tale that is both elegantly grand and earthily humble, familiar as a Grimm fairy tale yet fresh, original, and totally irresistible. This will be a must-read for fantasy fans for years to come.”—Pubilshers Weekly (starred review)   “Drawing on her Polish heritage and fairy-tale tropes, [Novik] has penned an original and fully realized fantastical place guaranteed to enthrall her longtime fans and attract new readers. This exceptional fantasy for adult and teen readers should appeal to those who love fairy-tale influenced stories such as Robin McKinley’s Spindle’s End.”—Library Journal (starred review)“Every so often you come upon a story that seems like a lost tale of Grimm newly come to light. Uprooted is such a novel. Its narrative spell is confidently wrought and sympathetically cast. I might even call it bewitching.”—Gregory Maguire, bestselling author of Wicked and Egg & Spoon“The magic in Uprooted, with its realistic moral dimension, is so vividly believable that it almost seems you could work the spells. But the book will do that for you.”—Ursula K. Le Guin, award-winning and bestselling author of The Earthsea cycle   “Uprooted has everything I love: a great heroine, new takes on old myths and legends, and surprising twists and turns. A delight.”—Cassandra Clare, New York Times bestselling author of The Mortal Instruments series   “Magical and practical, otherworldly and planted in the real, I could not stop reading this book and neither will you!”—Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author of Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen   “Wild, thrilling, and deeply, darkly magical. An instant classic.”—Lev Grossman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Magicians Trilogy   “Uprooted is one of those tales you come back to over and over again because it’s just that enchanting. The adventure builds with such tension that you are peeking through your hands at the end, hoping it will all be okay, and Naomi Novik delivers a conclusion that’s deeply satisfying, earning a permanent space on my bookshelf that I’ll revisit often.”—Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author of Shattered   “Reading Uprooted was like rediscovering a favorite old sweater, familiar and beloved. It feels as if it has always existed and has been waiting patiently for me to return to it.”—Maggie Stiefvater, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy  “I didn’t know how much I wanted to read a book like this until it was already in my hands. Uprooted has everything I love about Novik’s writing style, with the added bonus of some old-world magic and the flavor of a dark faerie story.”—Patrick Rothfuss, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Kingkiller Chronicle series“Uprooted by Naomi Novik is enchanting, in every sense of that fine old word. A charming and inviting story that looks unflinchingly at the strangling roots of hurt and revenge.”—Robin Hobb, bestselling author of Fool’s Assassin   “The roots of Uprooted are planted deep in fairy tale lore, but the story that Naomi Novik has coaxed forth is fresh and compelling. It reads like a previously undiscovered origin myth in the best possible way!”—Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the Kushiel’s Legacy series   “I’ve been a diehard fan of Naomi Novik’s work since reading His Majesty’s Dragon, and her new fantasy, Uprooted, is an utter delight. Novik writes the kind of book that wins your heart and lights up all the pleasure of your brain.”—Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble   “Novik has written a living heart-book, its mythology vital, deep, and true. I am in awe.”—Rachel Hartman, author of Seraphina   “This is a beautiful book. The magic is true magic, and the human relationships—especially those between women—complex and believable.”—Ellen Kushner, author of Swordspoint   “The most darkly compelling fantasy I’ve read in ages, Uprooted is overflowing with profound dread and real beauty, and boasts a heroine who blazes with spirit and originality. Not to be missed!”—Christopher Golden, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Snowblind   “Naomi Novik’s Uprooted is a marvelous fantasy reminiscent of Howl’s Moving Castle. Her setting, characters, and the magic they use are all brilliant. I devoured the book in one reading. Well done! I want more!”—Todd McCaffrey, New York Times bestselling author of Sky Dragons