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.