“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.
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Young Adult (mature teen), Horror, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Stars
When I first discovered this book, I was charmed by the cover. Then I read the extract in the synopsis, “Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley”, and I was hooked.
I read some of the negative reviews on this book on Goodreads and I don’t understand how some people didn’t appreciate this story. Me, I was impressed by the cleverness of this story’s plot-line, the characters, the conflicts, the setting, the intense emotions, the action scenes.
At first, I really liked Agnieszka’s voice. I really loved her name, and I found her life interesting. I could relate to her. As I read on, I didn’t like her much. She was awkward, clumsy and kept making all these mistakes and she didn’t seem to have much of a backbone. But I liked her defiant thoughts – “…looking like some sort of mad noblewoman who’d run off to the woods from a ball.” And she turned out to be stronger than I thought, stronger and empathic.
The wizard known as the Dragon is one of my favorite characters. He’s cold and sarcastic and bad-tempered and I absolutely loved him. I loved his snarky, sarcastic remarks, his bafflement over Agnieszka. It was so cute how he couldn’t seem to understand what made her tick. I love his real name, Sarkan, as beautiful as Agnieszka.
This book is one of those rare fantasy stories after Harry Potter that’s kept me hooked and at the edge of my seat. Seriously, all this stuff kept happening in it. You’d think you’d get a respite from one danger to the next, but no. You’d barely catch your breath before the next danger blew up in your face. It was terrific!
Uprooted was a wild, heart-palpitating, pulse-racing, roller-coaster ride. Add in an unlikely romance between two people who are complete opposites, an amazing plot-line, excellent writing and you’ve got a keeper. Straight into my favorite pile.