Standalone Sunday: Uprooted


Standalone Sunday is a weekly feature created by Megan at Bookslayer Reads which aims to showcase standalone books which you loved or would recommend.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik


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.

Uprooted is a hugely imaginative, engrossing and vivid fantasy novel, inspired by folk and fairy tales by Naomi Novik, the author of the Temeraire series. It is perfect reading for fans of Robin Hobb and Trudi Canavan.

Uprooted was on my to-read list for ages before I finally got around to picking it up, and once I finished reading it I wondered why I hadn’t gotten around to this book sooner. One of my favourite fantasy sub genres is fairytale retellings, and Uprooted has taken inspiration from folklore and fairytales to create a brand new story full of magic and danger.

More than a few times standalone fantasy books haven’t worked for me, simply because there’s not enough time to properly develop the world it’s set in, but Uprooted is one of the exceptions. A lot of page time is dedicated to the world building and the character development, and while the plot is slow to start there was plenty about this book that had me hooked from the beginning.

“Once we’re out of the Wood…” I said, but my voice died in my throat. I felt odd and sick. Did you ever get out of the Wood, if you’d been in it for twenty years?

You can check out my review for Uprooted here.

What did you think of Uprooted? Have you read it yet or is it still on your to-read list? Let me know in the comments and let me know if you took part in this week’s Standalone Sunday as well.


35 thoughts on “Standalone Sunday: Uprooted

  1. I read and enjoyed this, on the recommendation of Robin Hobb at a book signing. My main issue with Novak was when I tried to read her other books and found that her dragons were portrayed like fawning dogs. I couldn’t get my head around them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great to hear, and sounds like a pretty solid recommendation as well, from another author I mean. 🙂
      Yeah I prefer the dragons I read to have a bit more teeth to them. I haven’t read any of Novak’s other books yet though so I can’t say for sure what I’d think of them. 🙂


    1. Oh I thought this was a brilliant book, and yeah it has got some mixed reviews but I’ve seen some high ones for it as well.
      I’d say definitely if you’re a fan of fairytale retellings and/or fantasy books. It does depend what other kind of books you enjoy. Uprooted has a slow pacing but the character development is really good and the main villain of the story is pretty unique as well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have read so many mixed reviews for this book that it made it to my “maybe” list. I’ll probably get to it when I’m done with my TBR… Nah, that cannot happen so … When I’m feeling spontaneous and feeling like I need something really new! Yep, sounds better this way, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel like my friend recommended this book to me a long time ago but I forgot about it until now! I’ll definitely have to add this to my TBR now 😀 The premise sounds so unique and love retellings, too. The world-building for this one sounds like it was really well-done. Hopefully I can get to this one sometime this year! Thanks for sharing, Beth! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It doesn’t seem to be a book that is well known, people have either read it or forgotten it’s on their to-read list in my opinion! It’s definitely an amazing book in my opinion, the world building is fantastic and I hope you really enjoy it as well. Thanks Azia! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember your review for this one! I actually forgot to add this to my TBR for this yeah but so need to because I really want to read it if get the chance. I’m intrigued by the fact that the Wood is a character in itself in the book and I’ve actually read several reviews that have talked about that. It’s always neat when an author can give a sort of personality to a setting. I hope I end up enjoying this one as much as you did whenever I get around to reading it. Great pick for this week, Beth!! 😁💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think I reviewed this one all that long ago when it comes down to it, definitely after we started talking on WordPress either way. It’s a great book in my opinion so it’d be great if you do get a chance to read it soon. The Woods were an intriguing character/setting and it was really well written throughout as well so I think you’ll enjoy that part Melissa. I hope so as well, and thanks! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I don’t think it was too long ago. I really hope I do. I definitely need more great fantasy standalones. They’re so hard to come by. Or at least I’ve not come across very many. Not that I don’t adore series but sometimes it’s nice to not have to wait for the next book. 😂
        You’re welcome!! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There aren’t that many fantasy standalones I think are done really well. It takes time to develop a new world and it can be hard to fit that development into one book when it should be done in three or more you know? I adore series as well but yeah the wait for the next book isn’t something I miss in standalones! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Same. I completely agree. There is so much that really goes into a fantasy that it’s tough to put it all into one book and do it well. I think it takes a certain writer to be able to accomplish it. And with this one it seems like this author is exactly that kind of author. Same here. It can definitely be nice. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It definitely takes a certain writer and there have been one or two times when I don’t think it’s worked as well. There have been more standalones that I haven’t enjoyed than ones I have enjoyed.
        If you’re looking for standalone fantasy books this is one I’d highly recommend! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great pick, Beth! Uprooted is one of my favourite fantasy reads from last year; I just loved the fairytale retelling element of it (and boy did it feel really folk-tale-y, which was great) and the villain was also really menacing and scary. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this too – it’s definitely rare for a standalone fantasy to have a fully developed world but I think Naomi Novik did a really good job with it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Reg, yeah it ended up being a favourite of mine from last year as well, and I definitely kicked myself for not getting around to it sooner. Uprooted was unlike any other book I’d read before; both in terms of the folksy style of it and in terms of the villain as well (I loved the way Naomi Novik wrote the Woods).
      Uprooted is one of the only fantasy books I can think of that did the standalone thing well, others there’s always something that ends up underdeveloped.


    1. There are a fair few reviews for it already, and it’s been out for a while so I feel like most people have either heard of it or have it somewhere on their to-read list, but hopefully you’ll find the time to pick it up soon. At least you already own a copy so it’s just a matter of finding the time for it! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Standalone Sunday || 2.19.17 | :: bookslayerReads ::
  7. Great choice, Beth!! I absolutely loved this book! I thought it was such a unique retelling… and I loved The Dragon! All the characters, really. I love when a fairytale retelling is done right, and this one definitely was! Glad to hear you enjoyed it as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Megan, I thought this was an amazing book and when I finished I was definitely kicking myself for not having picked it up sooner. All the characters were amazing, even the Woods which I count as a character too! 🙂
      Definitely an amazing fairytale retelling, and a favourite of mine now as well! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! And I agree… the Woods is sorta like a character! 😉 Have you read anything else by Novik? I haven’t yet… but I’m sure when I do, I’ll be kicking myself for not reading more of her work sooner!! I’ve heard lots of great things about all of her books.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I haven’t read anything else by her yet. I’ll be honest I haven’t actually seen what else she’s released so I’m not sure what there is. I agree with you when I do get around to her book I’ll likely be kicking myself for not picking them up sooner as well! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I definitely NEED to read Uprooted! I have heard amazing things about it, plus it sounds like a book I would simply adore. Why haven’t I picked it up yet? Because I want to get myself the hardcover edition (the teal, purple and gold one), but it’s expensive plus it’s always out of stock when I’m ordering some books. XD Apparently I have no luck with it. But I’m hoping to get my hands on it soon, so that I can finally read it! (Though I have a feeling I’ll have to get the paperback.)
    Amazing pick for this week Beth! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Uprooted is a book I’d highly highly recommend, and I think you’d really love it as well Anna. Oh that does look like a gorgeous edition, but yeah hardcovers are always really expensive aren’t they? I’m sure that one will be worth it, and will be worth the wait as well when you do get around to reading it. I’m sure one day soon it will be back in stock for you, if not the paperback cover is pretty as well! 😀
      Thanks Anna! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

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