22544764“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley.”

Author: Naomi Novik
Category: YA, Fantasy, Fairy Tale
Pages: 435
Publication Date: May 19th, 2015

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I think my rating for this is going to be kind of harsh but I struggled not to DNF it.

I was really enjoying the early parts of the book, with the setup of the Wood and everyone’s opinions about the Dragon. I liked the fairy-tale vibe and the reveals about how Kasia felt about being pretty much destined to be taken by the Dragon and then having that turned upside down.

Then, and I have no idea at exactly what point this happened, I just lost interest. I found myself skimming, no longer immersed in the story.

Also, I am surprised that I don’t see more people talking about how awful the Dragon is to Agnieszka.

It is revealed later in the book why he takes the girls away from their homes for 10 years and we get some fairly solid motivations but he is really an asshole to her! I honestly wanted to feel the romance but I just could not forget all the awful things he said to her and called her. And I don’t think it was ever addressed within the story either. “Wretched idiot” just sort of became a term of endearment.

I am very much in the minority with my thoughts though as I know a ton of people have loved this book. Just not for me, I guess.



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8 thoughts on “Uprooted

  1. In numerous reviews there has been quite a lot of talk about the Dragon being an unfriendly male, etc. It’s the biggest point of criticism this book gets.
    I liked the book at first, but gradually lost interest, like you. The book becomes predictable, and as I wrote in my own review, terribly terribly binary in its gender approach.
    It’s is hyped and overrated: I doubt anybody will be reading it 50 years from now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder why I haven’t seen anyone talking about the Dragon, then. Strange. Maybe I was looking at exactly the wrong reviews? Ah well.

      Unlike some other very hyped books, I can kind of see why this one was somewhat hyped. I liked the concept of the Wood and the fairy tale approach but other than that didn’t feel like it did anything special. It did make me want to go read The Girl in the Tower (finally!) for a good fairy tale inspired read though!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it did so well because people crave for something both easy and ‘rootsy’, ‘different’, authentic: the whole Slavic angle and the quality of the first half lulls people into believing they struck gold, unable to recognize the last third of book is both generic and problematic. Unsurpisingly, as its genericness is what most people deep down really want: the same, safe and known. So, what you get is a recipe for both a bestseller and a critical success.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, I had not thought about it like that but it makes a lot of sense. You’re right, a lot of the bestsellers and hugely hyped books generally (but not always) seem more generic to me. I wonder if that has anything to do with the rise in self-publishing, some people looking for books that are less generic. I dont mean that all traditionally published books are that way by any means but with self pub there’s no chance of a publisher going “that’s great and all but this other thing will sell better.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have never read a self-published book, so I can’t really comment on that, but my guess is that a significant percentage of the books that are self-published are for FFF only: friends, family and fools.

        I do think that there remain publishers willing to take artistic risks, but I guess most of the big ones indeed don’t.


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