Uprooted

  • by Naomi Novik
  • Narrated by Julia Emelin
  • 17 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Naomi Novik, author of the New York Times best-selling and critically acclaimed Temeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.
"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 10 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 10 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.

More

What the Critics Say

"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 best-selling 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 best-selling author of The Mortal Instruments series)
"Wild, thrilling, and deeply, darkly magical. An instant classic." (Lev Grossman, number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Magicians Trilogy)

More

See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Fairy Tale for Grown-Ups (With Terrifying Trees)

"Uprooted" feels like a forgotten fairy tale that somehow slipped out of our common culture, but would be right at home next to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and all the rest. There's magic, wizards, princes, and evil forests. (WOW, the evil trees are AWESOME. But we'll come back to those later.) But despite that sense of familiarity, I can't think of too many other books like it. In some ways it reminds of Neil Gaiman's "Stardust," and in other ways of Susanna Clarke's "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell." Maybe a dash of Katherine Addison's "The Goblin Emperor." It's charming like those books, and yet it's also very much its own story.

Agnieszka is a fantasy heroine for the ages. She's messy, kind, stubborn, bumbling yet brilliant when it comes to magic. I loved how devoted she is to her friend Kasia (and how loyal Kasia is to her). Her relationship with the Dragon could've felt like a revamped Beauty & the Beast, or Pygmalion, and maybe there are hints of all that here. But Novik twists all those tropes and stories and comes up with a relationship and storyline that feels fresh. At it's heart, this is a story of love (not only the romantic kind, although there is that too) and friendship.

Can we talk about the forest and the trees? Because Novik has created some of the most horrifying evil trees I think I've ever read, and it's kind of delightful how vile and terrifying they are. The bark, the sap, the branches...the descriptions and details were terrifying (and delicious).

Julia Emelin's narration has come under a lot of criticism, which baffles me. Because of the Russian accent? Honestly, I cannot figure it out. After reading the reviews, I previewed the narration before I purchased the book, and remained puzzled -- Emelin's voice and accent helped ground tone for the story. I was captivated by every minute of her performance. Novik spun an incredible tale, and Emelin's narration complimented it to perfection.

"Uprooted" is one of my favorite listens in the last year. It feels like a story we've known our whole lives, even if we're just hearing it for the first time. And it's one I'll want to hear again and again and again.
Read full review

- Dave

A Wonderful Tale Well Told!

This is one of those stories that causes one to heave a contented sigh when it ends.
Naomi Novik has written a tale that reminded me of some of Peter Falk's lines from The Princess Bride, "revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes..." Yet none of this story is in the usual way. It is not a humorous story, but it is a tale of wonder.
Agnieszka, (a mouthful of a name), simple village girl, infuriatingly clumsy, untidy, seemingly slow; handed over to serve the wizard of the tower. He is called Dragon, impatient, cold, unkind, proud and arrogant.
There is an evil wood which is slowly expanding, overwhelming the land spreading grim darkness, evil and monsters. The Dragon is trying to keep the wood from growing but is not succeeding.
The tale unfolds with many other characters adding to a story more complex and nuanced with each chapter. It's quite a long tale and Agnieszka herself tells the story.
Some readers complained about the performance by Julia Emelin. I rather liked her Eastern European accent (though I have no idea how accurate it may be). It made the story more authentic in a way, even if it was at times a little difficult to understand.
Listen to the sample and judge for yourself. If you don't care for her performance, then read the book, it is a satisfying experience and worth the time.
Read full review

- pakkmom

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-19-2015
  • Publisher: Random House Audio