"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."
First off, I am pretty confident that you won't have read anything like this. This novel was nothing like I expected. I was expecting some sort of Beauty and the Beast retelling where the sole focus was a feisty girl who convinces her beastly captor to love her, and never actually addresses the fact that she is a prisoner. Boy was I wrong. Agnieszka was witty and rebellious, and my favourite bit: far from perfect. Instead, the plot centres around her and her character growth as she really comes into her own, addressing her own fears and discovering just how strong she is.
The magic is earthy and elemental, weaved and composed like a rich tapestry of stories and songs being weaved by expert hands. It was so refreshing and so different to anything I've ever read before. It is so so beautifully written I really cannot do it justice. I also adored the infusion of Eastern European names and settings, it has really sparked my interest into reading folktales that originate from that part of the world.
Uprooted is intoxicating and dark. A novel about friendship, family, and yeah, there is tinge of romance thrown in as well. But, the romance is never the sole focus, unlike many other YA novels out there at the moment. If any of this rambling has piqued your interest then I urge you to go read the excerpt I linked above. I'm quietly confident that you're going to want to have this book in your life.
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Thank you to Pan Macmillan and Netgalley, who provided the ARC in return for an honest review.