Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#1
review This book felt like a traditional fantasy book crossed over with a old (albeit slightly darker and Grimm-esque) folk tale. I liked the themes and the structure of the book (training in the tower/capital/battle+resolution). The characters are good, but I didn't like how the Dragon was written in the first part of the book. Even when his behaviour was explained later on I didn't believe he should have been portrayed that way. Despite being an important character I've found him one of the least interesting, also didn't really like the love thingy in this book. Kasia was another character I've made no big connection with. Other than that, good prose and interesting all the way through.

I give this book a 7,5/10.
 
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Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#4
10/10

I love this book. I love it's characters, the world, the story itself and the writing style. Novik just won me over completely.
No! Noooo! I made the mistake of clicking on your 'Malazan reading order' link. You're telling me that there are 15 books, besides Erikson's original 10? Noooooooo!
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#6
5 of them are dedicated to Korbal Broach and Bauchelain. They aren't in any way necessary to read Malazan.
Thanks Griff. Just did some reading on Wikipedia. It appears there are 6 Esslemont books out. Guess my TBR shelf is going to get some new titles...

Ooh, and apologies for totally derailing your thread. I'll shut up now. :)
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#7
5 of them are dedicated to Korbal Broach and Bauchelain. They aren't in any way necessary to read Malazan.
I'm kind of a completist. Plus those two were interesting to me to want to read about them. Their novellas were fun reads.
Thanks Griff. Just did some reading on Wikipedia. It appears there are 6 Esslemont books out. Guess my TBR shelf is going to get some new titles...
Korbal Broach and Bauchelain novellas are the least of your problems when it comes to Malazan lol

To get back on the thread, everybody go and get a copy of Uprooted! It's a great book.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#9
@Alucard, what did you think about the character of the Dragon and the love thing?
I liked it. I thought it was believable (no insta-love) and I like the character development of them both. I think Novik did a good job on them as well as side characters. They all have distinct personalities.
 
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Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#10
I had a problem with the Dragon. He takes a girl with him every ten years to his abode and he doesn't explain anything to them about how everything is going to be. That isn't efficient at all. It creates tension. And since he has lived quite a few decades/centuries he should have realized that. I also didn't like his demeanor. He was grumpy, rude and a downright dick. I agree the love between them wasn't instant, but it was too soon for me nonetheless.

Apart from that I did really like the book. It was a pageturner and had a great story. Really recommendable to all!
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#11
I had a problem with the Dragon. He takes a girl with him every ten years to his abode and he doesn't explain anything to them about how everything is going to be. That isn't efficient at all. It creates tension. And since he has lived quite a few decades/centuries he should have realized that. I also didn't like his demeanor. He was grumpy, rude and a downright dick. I agree the love between them wasn't instant, but it was too soon for me nonetheless.

Apart from that I did really like the book. It was a pageturner and had a great story. Really recommendable to all!
I just spoiled that for people popping in this thread that havent read it. Hope you dont mind. Spoiled my previous post as well on second thought.

I thought his behaviour was quite understandable. As you know all the other wizards as well are quite cold, bit grumpy, and distanced from theirs or anyone else's humanity. The wizard lady who was a smith was the same and she had a husband and a family, and knew some of her descendants. That's what few centuries of living does to a person. The dragon has seen 6 kings live and die. He was an orphan on the streets of some city and 3 years old when he discovered that he was a wizard, almost burning down the place trying to start a fire because he was cold and in rain, and he was taken to serve the capitol and the king. He had nobody to give him love, no mother or a father. No wonder he grew up distant and cold. In his mind he was on a mission to hold the Wood's influence, when he took those girls. He wasn't there to hold their hands.
I had no problem understanding his motivations, as a man who was so meticulous in his work and driven in his goals. I quite liked him. He isn't a dick at all imo, when you take all this into consideration.

As far as the romance with Agnieszka went, as I said I quite liked it. It developed gradually and was quite natural. Remember, she always says that doing magic with somebody is very intimate, it's letting a person see the real you, in a sense it's like being naked with someone and more than that. It's why she was hesitant to do the spell with Falcon.
When they did the summoning spell together, Agnieszka and the Dragon , she saw the real him, and I understood why she fell for him. I got it completely.
He's quite a tortured character imo, accepting of being a "bad guy" or a "dick" as you say, if it means stopping the Wood. That was all that was important to him. Unitil Agnieszka, when his becomes fascinated with her magic. Something he doesn't understand, anymore than he understands the Wood.
 

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#12
I understand the relationship might have progressed in such a direction, but I still wasn't a fan. Most of the time I don't like romance aspects as it often feels thrown in for good measure (especially in movies, although not uncommon in books as well).

I understand the tormented side of the dragon, but still take issue with how he handled his new guests. It's not efficient. I would've thought it more realistic if he explained her how things would go in a brushed-up way, telling Agnieszka to leave him alone apart from bringing his food.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#13
I understand the relationship might have progressed in such a direction, but I still wasn't a fan. Most of the time I don't like romance aspects as it often feels thrown in for good measure (especially in movies, although not uncommon in books as well).

I understand the tormented side of the dragon, but still take issue with how he handled his new guests. It's not efficient. I would've thought it more realistic if he explained her how things would go in a brushed-up way, telling Agnieszka to leave him alone apart from bringing his food.
Well the thing is this is a kingdom, not a democracy. He doesn't need to be liked by the villagers, he's their lord. He did create a tension by taking girls, but they all fared very well, none of them died, he didnt rape or hurt any of them and they end up with a lot of money. The girls were all well off when they came back, so I dont think he created THAT much tension. The villagers pretty much knew their kid would be changed, but not for worse. And in all honesty he couldn't leave her to be his servant only, he took her because he realized she is a witch.
 

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#14
Even in a kingdom lords tend to give their subjects clear enough guidelines how to serve. I'm making such an issue of it because it changed how I saw him entirely.

About taking Agnieszka because she's a witch. That's true, but I thought it strange he initially didn't really plan to do anything with that knowledge. I'm attributing that to him not really knowing how to handle the situation. I did love how her magic diverged from his (and all the other magic users) and how they were able to still work together nonetheless.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#15
Even in a kingdom lords tend to give their subjects clear enough guidelines how to serve. I'm making such an issue of it because it changed how I saw him entirely.

About taking Agnieszka because she's a witch. That's true, but I thought it strange he initially didn't really plan to do anything with that knowledge. I'm attributing that to him not really knowing how to handle the situation. I did love how her magic diverged from his (and all the other magic users) and how they were able to still work together nonetheless.
I don't know what guidelines you are talking about. The villagers served him and they knew how. Every ten years they would prepare for choosing ceremony. What more did they had to do?
They were even proud of their lord as Agnieszka says, they didnt want to hear bards sing about the Baron, but the Dragon.
He couldn't very well explain to them what he was doing, they are simple peasants, they wouldn't even get it. Agnieszka got it and understood him, because they are two of a kind on a same mission to stop the Wood. None of the other girls did, because they weren't witches. He took them to sever their ties from the valley and the Wood.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#17
I meant serving in the tower. ;)
Well the way I understood it is I dont think he felt he needed to explain to them. A king does not explain, he commands. Dragon was a king of his tower, why would he need to explain things to simple peasant girls, who might or might not get it.
Plus all that reclusiveness only amplified his legend among the villagers. A lord needs a bit of that notoriousness, especially since his domain was right next to the Wood.

I understand you have a problem with him, but I really dont. I get him. It's just the way we experience a book, and I don't think our experiences will ever align lol
 

Ser Pounce

Journeyed there and back again
#20
I liked Uprooted well enough. The magic was interesting throughout, and I liked the background you finally get on The Wood at the end. The sentence structure could be awkward at times, at least. I didn't love the book but it was a nice change in pace and can see why it's so popular. I'd give it a 7.0 rating.
 
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