Author: Naomi Novik

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Posted March 31, 2016 by Anne in Book Review | , | 8 Comments

Uprooted by Naomi NovikUprooted by Naomi Novik
Narrator: Julia Emelin
Published by Random House Audio on 05-19-15
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Length: 17 hrs and 43 mins
Source: Library
Audio | Goodreads
five-stars

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.

Icon Library Book  icon AUDIOBOOK  icon 2016 Fave

I don’t think of myself as liking fantasy very much but Jessica from Rabid Reads had a high opinion of this and we seem to like some of the same things, so I read it.  There are limited humor and romance so why did I like it?  

The characters and world-building detail are so rich, so well written.  It is detailed without being boring or overwhelming.  The point of view belongs to Agnieszka. She is totally likable. She’s a bit messy and not always perfect in her plans and judgments. She is young but so compassionate.  

The setting is historical, a time with swords and canons and magic.  This is a dark story with battles between peoples.  There are many deaths and some dire circumstances for our heroes.  There are kings and queens, along with other nobility. Politics of a sort happen internally with the royal families as well as between peoples.     

The Dragon is a recognized wizard. He provides a small touch of humor as he has a grumpiness at times.  I love magic so it could be one reason why I enjoyed this so much. Or it may be just the writing was so excellent, I cared about the people and I FELT so much.  I was completely absorbed. And there is one small sex scene.

The narrator, Julie Emelin, contributed greatly to my experience. The tone and style of her speaking seemed perfect for this tale. Her voice is unusual but easy to understand.  

I highly recommend Uprooted.  If you like any kind of fantasy or even if you usually don’t,  this is the one to try.  It’s amazing.  It is a stand-alone novel.  

 

About Julia Emelin

Julia Emelin is an actress and a successful voice artist. Born and raised in Saint Petersburg, Russia, she moved to Hollywood over 15 years ago, where she has appeared in numerous television and film productions. Her recent work includes appearances on Fracture, Cougar Town, as well as dubbing the voice of Queen Elizabeth in The King’s Speech.

About Naomi Novik

An avid reader of fantasy literature since age six, when she first made her way through The Lord of the Rings, Naomi Novik is also a history buff with a particular interest in the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O’Brian and Jane Austen. She studied English literature at Brown University, and did graduate work in computer science at Columbia University before leaving to participate in the design and development of the computer game Neverwinter Nights: Shadow of Undrentide. Over the course of a brief winter sojourn spent working on the game in Edmonton, Canada (accompanied by a truly alarming coat that now lives brooding in the depths of her closet), she realized she preferred writing to programming, and on returning to New York, decided to try her hand at novels.

Naomi lives in New York City with her husband and six computers.