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Author: Naomi Novik

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Publisher: Ballantine Books, 2016

Summary: Every ten years, the Dragon (a wizard) takes one village girl to his tower. Initially, there is no explanation for . This year, Agnieszka is convinced that the Dragon will take her friend Kasia. Kasia has the qualities that the Dragon prefers: beautiful and talented. Plus, she has been trained since childhood to be the Dragon’s companion. Much to everyone's surprise, the Dragon chooses Agnieszka. Thus begins an intricate fantasy tale about the strength of magic; the power of relationships; and the journey toward empowerment. Part fantasy, part fairy tale, this is a young adult novel told through the eyes of the main character.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 12 and Up; 13 and Up

Interest Level: 12 and Up

Reading Level: 8.1

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: Uprooted is an enjoyable read. Kasia's and Agnieszka's relationship is the strongest point, as it demonstrates forgiveness and the enduring nature of friendship. Novik's world building is creative, with haunting imagery. There is a lot of "scene setting," and while it makes for a strong first half. Where the plot was concise for the first half, it deviates from that in the second half. Interpersonal conflict becomes a more “simple” power struggle between Agnieszka and the threat dominating her society. It keeps the plot moving fast, but the abrupt turn is a tad jarring and left me questioning the suddenly obscured motivations of the characters.

Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Pros: This is an adult fantasy novel that will appeal to young adults who love fantasy and fairy tales.

Cons: Mature themes, hints of violence, and a significant graphic scene near the end of the novel, make this more suitable for high school readers.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. If you like historical fantasy, this is your book.

If You Liked This Book, Try: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer; The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi THRONE OF GLASS  

Educational Themes: This is a book meant for pleasure reading.

Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She borrowed the book from their local library.

Literary Categories: Fiction - Fantasy, fairy tale, young adult, friendship

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2017

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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