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Cover image for Uprooted
Format:
Title:
Uprooted
Author:
ISBN:
9780804179034

9781447294146
Edition:
First edition.
Publication:
New York : Del Rey, [2015]
Physical Description:
438 pages ; 22 cm
Contents:
"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."
Summary:
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.
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FANTASY Novik, N.
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FICTION - NOVIK
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SCIENCE FICTION - NOVIK
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Novik, N.
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FIC (SF) NOVIK 2015
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NOVIK
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FANTASY NOVIK
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SF NOVIK
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Summary

Summary

WINNER OF THE NEBULA AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL * Naomi Novik, author of the New York Times  bestselling and critically acclaimed Temeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.

HUGO AWARD FINALIST * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR |  BuzzFeed | Tor.com | BookPage | Library Journal | Publishers Weekly

" Uprooted is confidently wrought and sympathetically cast. I might even call it bewitching."--Gregory Maguire, bestselling author of Wicked and Egg & Spoon

"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."

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.

Praise for Uprooted

" Uprooted has leapt forward to claim the title of Best Book I've Read Yet This Year. . . . Moving, heartbreaking, and thoroughly satisfying, Uprooted is the fantasy novel I feel I've been waiting a lifetime for. Clear your schedule before picking it up, because you won't want to put it down." --NPR

"A very enjoyable fantasy with the air of a modern classic . . . Naomi Novik skillfully takes the fairy-tale-turned-bildungsroman structure of her premise . . . and builds enough flesh on those bones to make a very different animal. . . . The vivid characters around her also echo their fairy-tale forebears, but are grounded in real-world ambivalence that makes this book feel quietly mature, its world lived-in." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Novik here delivers a tale that is funny and fast-paced, laced with hair-raising battle scenes and conspiracies; it also touches on deeper ecological concerns we grapple with today." -- The Washington Post

"Novik takes us on a surprise-filled journey. . . . The resulting warmth and intimacy provide a nicely nurturing environment for her heroine's unusual adventures." -- The Seattle Times

"Breathtaking . . . [Novik] weaves a tale that is both elegantly grand and earthily humble, familiar as a Grimm fairy tale yet fresh, original, and totally irresistible. This will be a must-read for fantasy fans for years to come." -- Pubilshers Weekly (starred review)

"An original and fully realized fantastical place guaranteed to enthrall her longtime fans and attract new readers." -- Library Journal (starred review)


Author Notes

Naomi Novik was born in New York on April 30, 1973. She received a Bachelor's degree in English literature at Brown University and a Master's degree in Computer Science from Columbia University. She participated in the design and development of the computer game Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide. Her first novel, His Majesty's Dragon, was published in 2006 and was the start of the Temeraire series. She has won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel, and the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Uprooted, won the 2016 Nebula Award for Best Novel.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Rumors abound about the Dragon, and although the villagers don't know why he chooses one of their 17-year-old girls every 10 years, they're sure it's not for anything proper. Agnieszka's timid presence in the Dragon's castle and attempts to learn magic are by turns cringe-worthy, hilarious, and touching. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this breathtaking departure from her Temeraire alternate history series, Novik drops readers into an instantly immersive Polish fairy tale. The so-called Dragon is actually a man-a wizard who takes young women from a rural village as payment for protecting the region from the poisonous influence of the evil Wood. When Agnieszka is chosen to serve the Dragon for 10 years, she finds within herself a rare and incredible talent for magic. She is disaster prone and homesick, but nonetheless steps up to the role of heroine when the situation demands it. Soon, Agnieszka's fabulous journey expands to encompass a deadly quest, the terrible glamor of a royal court, a true and unbreakable friendship, and just a touch of romance. Novik's use of language is supremely skillful as she weaves a tale that is both elegantly grand and earthily humble, familiar as a Grimm fairy tale yet fresh, original, and totally irresistible. This will be a must-read for fantasy fans for years to come. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Novik (Blood of Tyrants, 2013) swaps the fire-breathing dragons of her Temeraire series for a dragon of another sort in her newest fantasy. In the village of Dvernik, the powerful wizard Sarkan (the Dragon) keeps the nearby Wood's dark forces at bay. As payment, he takes a 17-year-old village girl to be his servant every 10 years, which is how dirt-smudged Agnieszka ends up locked in his tower. Though she loses her freedom, she also discovers she is a witch. Her magic lessons with Sarkan are soon interrupted as the Wood begins encroaching on villages, spreading illness and death. Throwing caution to the wind, Agnieszka takes on its horrors, aided by Sarkan, but are they strong enough to defeat such deeply rooted corruption? Novik's atmospheric tale blends folklore, magic, danger, and a pinch of romance into an enthralling narrative; however, it is the headstrong Agnieszka who drives the story. Readers will not falter in their devotion to this inspiring, yet down-to-earth heroine as she takes enormous risks and carves her own place in the world.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2016 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

OFTEN, READING a book that calls to mind your teenage favorites is, at best, an exercise in nostalgia: a slightly uncomfortable reminder of a time when coming-of-age tales seemed to offer magnificent maps of the possible. But under those bright, forthright tales with the air of the mythic about them, you could sometimes find a messier story (courtesy of Angela Carter or Tanith Lee, say) that struck deeper, a story that knew you had already seen the outline of the dark and understood that no easy map was going to work. Enter UPROOTED (Del Rey, $25), in which Naomi Novik skillfully takes the fairy-tale-turned-bildungsroman structure of her premise - the peasant girl selected to serve the terrifying magician, her undiscovered magical talent, an evil wood encroaching on the doorstep - and builds enough flesh on those bones to make a very different animal. Plain but hyper-talented Agnieszka could risk cliché, but even without Novik's tweaks to the formula, she makes for a gripping narrator, pragmatically personable but tapped into the lyric. The vivid characters around her also echo their fairy-tale forebears, but are grounded in real-world ambivalence that makes this book feel quietly mature, its world lived-in. Even the magic has the low-key, organic feel that you would expect from a farming valley. When the sinister wood infects some cattle, for instance, their owner doesn't immediately slaughter them - his family has no other animals, and he's so desperate he delays what's necessary. Even in the midst of chaos, the villagers don't vilify him for it. This is a book in which the thinnest threads of understanding can hold the whole enterprise aloft. None of these asides feel burdensome; the plot thickens as quickly as the thorn bushes of the wood cast shadows, and Agnieszka's brisk narration and shrewd, shorthand observations of character make "Uprooted" a very enjoyable fantasy with the air of a modern classic. FOR SOME AUTHORS, a collection of early work might carry an air of formality, like a curated museum exhibit of their careers. But that was never Terry Pratchett's style. It will come as no surprise to those familiar with Sir Terry's work that his annotated juvenilia, collected alongside more recent short fiction in A BLINK OF THE SCREEN (Doubleday $26.95), read decidedly more as if you're sitting in the author's parlor on a lazy afternoon, flipping through an album while he weighs in on - and occasionally condemns - those long-ago stories. "My word, how this brings back memories," he says of one of them; he introduces another with little more than "I'm quite glad I never tried to sell this one." Though Pratchett's tongue stays firmly in his cheek, that's not entirely self-deprecation; many of these stories are by their nature slight, and serve more as markers than as works in themselves. For every interesting foray into hard science fiction, there's a formulaic comedy about the author whose character comes to life, or a brief, surreal thought experiment about what it must be like to be trapped inside a Victorian Christmas card. Some are darker than one might imagine from the man whose Discworld seems like such fun, though readers who have kept up with those novels will recognize many of these early exercises of Pratchett's satirical eye. And if it's Discworld you've come for, "A Blink of the Screen" has some charmers, gathering a brief but enlightening collection of short stories and ephemera from fairly far afield - including a "national anthem" written for BBC Radio, a reminder of Pratchett's breadth of pop-culture influence. (Similarly, one of the non-Discworld pieces comes from an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.) The Discworld stories, unsurprisingly, are the collection's gems. In particular, an outtake from "The Sea and Little Fishes," which centers on Pratchett's hall-of-fame combination of Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, bureaucracy and magic, feels like a familiar page in the album full of beloved faces. Pratchett died in March after a long illness, leaving this collection as something of a farewell present to his fans; it's a book meant to be cherished by those who want a glimpse of both the work and the man. THE SELF-AWARE AUTOMATON is far from new territory - the theme has been examined by everyone from Isaac Asimov, in "I, Robot," to Ekaterina Sedia, in "The Alchemy of Stone." Now Ian Tregillis joins in with THE MECHANICAL (Orbit, paper, $17). This novel makes no bones about what it is: From the moment the automaton Jax observes his Dutch masters executing a fellow "Clakker" who achieved free will, the narrative is designed to be a thriller that concerns itself at every turn with what it means to be human. (In between chase scenes, characters debate at length the theological basis for the soul.) It's perhaps a fitting irony, then, that this alternatehistory fantasy sometimes feels less like a compellingly human story than a collection of carefully rendered attributes painstakingly assembled by machine. Tregillis's plot moves briskly across two continents and several points of view, and the calamities build in ways that can be just as unsettling as intended. But as one might expect from a narrative that so closely engages with slavery, occasionally the story bends under the weight of its own extended metaphor. Still, it's a story without easy answers, and one that's too big for a single book to contain; "The Mechanical" is the first of a series, as genre-savvy readers will guess when they're rounding third base without any sign of tidy plot resolutions. Even if the spark of life never quite ignites, however, this secondary-world series should offer a promising introduction to new fans; it's both high concept and built down to the smallest details, with alchemy and espionage to spare. IT'S ALWAYS INTERESTING when artists "emerge" in the American sphere after establishing a legacy in their home countries. The brothers Boris and Arkady Strugatsky were fixtures of Soviet-Russian science fiction; their work has been turned into movies, referred to by a new generation of speculative writers and rereleased, minus the censors, in the post-Soviet era. THE DEAD MOUNTAINEER'S INN (Melville House, paper, $17) is already considered one of their classics, having been adapted for film and as a video game, but this handsome edition arrives with Neversink Library's Wes Anderson-minimalist cover aesthetic and an introduction by Jeff VanderMeer to entice those unfamiliar with the Strugatskys. This dual existence - famous, yet undiscovered - seems to suit "The Dead Mountaineer's Inn" down to the ground. On the surface, it's a locked-chalet mystery in which the irascible Inspector Glebsky has his vacation interrupted by a cadre of the usual suspects: a blowhard millionaire, an androgynous teenager, a busybody innkeeper, an eccentric physicist, an incurable grump, a femme banal. In short order, the book seals its genre trappings with an avalanche and a corpse. It's the investigation of a lifetime, hampered only by the fact that Glebsky wants nothing to do with it. (He's a narrator fallible enough to fall into traps, and just mature enough to know better.) As translated by Josh Billings, the Strugatsky brothers' rhythms set staccato conversation alongside passages unsettling in their languid cadence; there's enough dry humor to spark kindling, underlaid with a seeping dread that lingers long after the mystery is solved. That delicious sense of the uncanny is the unseen guest in every room of this inn, and when the tale slips from a riff on Agatha Christie into something more like "War of the Worlds," it's with less surprise than relief that Glebsky is made to realize the universe is stranger than it seems. That the difference feels so slight is part of what makes "The Dead Mountaineer's Inn" delightful and melancholy by turns, and so satisfying to read. NEDI OKORAFOR HAS made a name for herself with novels that combine politically complex science fiction and lyrical fantasy. The worlds her characters inhabit are as messy as they are magical, the conflicts as pointed as the magic is mythical. The World Fantasy Award-winning "Who Fears Death" followed Onyesonwu, a mixed-race child of rape born amid genocide, and was an unblinking look at an upturned future that asked hard questions about the present. THE book of phoenix (DAW, $24.95), its indirect prequel, is less concerned with the immediate world of "Who Fears Death" than with how such worlds come to be in the first place. And Okorafor runs roughshod over every genre marker she can find on her way there, despite (or perhaps because of) doom as the inevitable endpoint. Phoenix is a superhuman being, held at a Big Eye facility in New York; in quick succession, she falls in love, recognizes the harmful experiments being carried out on her and makes a dramatic escape. Her inescapable existence as an overtly colonized body provides more than impetus for revenge; it's the jumping-off point for a book particularly interested in the ways globalism reinforces colonialism, the ways one can carve a life out of so unfair a world, and how even superpowers have their limits when pitted against human cruelty. Some parallels are subtler than others (the book contains asides pinned directly to the Middle Passage, Henrietta Lacks and Okorafor's own previous work), and some of the questions it raises go deliberately unanswered, but it's refreshingly direct in the ways it contrasts its everyday politics with its everyday magic. Despite some loose threads, Okorafor triumphs over the perils of the prequel by making the inevitable feel newly dreadful. Blending poetic passages with sharp observation and the occasional cadence of a story told by firelight, "The Book of Phoenix" is an assured introduction not just to her world's myths, but to the process of mythmaking. ANYONE ATTEMPTING TO encapsulate the Inklings - that club of devout writers and academics who occupied the Oxbridge academic stratosphere of England before and after World War II - has some challenges to overcome. At the height of participation, their members numbered in the dozens (all men, naturally, though Dorothy L. Sayers gets singled out among the almost-rans), and their careers followed vastly different paths, nearly all of which were overshadowed by the encompassing fame of C. S. Lewis. But in THE FELLOWSHIP: The Literary Lives of the Inklings (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $35), the husband-and-wife team of Philip and Carol Zaleski bring to bear both extensive scholarship and a neatly interwoven narrative; this is a story about storytellers, and it shows. While Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien take up the lion's share of the accomplishments, perhaps by default, the authors make good use of Charles Williams and Owen Barfield as barometers of the Inklings as a whole, as well as foils for Tolkien's quiet imaginings and Lewis's often-bombastic treatises. (Barfield's travails, with decades shackled to an office job and striving to recapture youthful success, come across as particularly poignant opposite Lewis's rising star.) Occasionally, some tidbits of trivia can feel as if they were included less out of direct narrative merit than out of a desire to justify the sheer effort expended to gather them - this is a book that features almost 100 pages of endnotes and bibliography - but for all that, things move nimbly across a century of deep shifts in England's political, religious and literary history. In all biographies, it's a trick to make the subjects seem interesting enough for a book while maintaining enough critical distance to acknowledge their flaws along with their virtues. In "The Fellowship," the authors never cease to feel for the Inklings, particularly sympathizing with their yearnings for spiritual and professional fulfillment, with occasional wry asides on the nature of their marriages and their politics to take note of shortcomings both personal and institutional. Taken together, it makes the overarching life of the group something greater than the sum of its parts. GENEVIEVE VALENTINE'S third novel, "Persona," was published in March. She is also the writer of DC Comics' "Catwoman."


Library Journal Review

Aside from her propensity for getting dirty, there is nothing obviously remarkable about Agnieszka, so no one is more surprised than she when it is Agnieszka, not her beautiful and accomplished friend Kasia, who is selected by the local wizard. Rumors abound about the Dragon, and although the villagers don't know why the he chooses one of their 17-year-old girls every ten years, they're sure it's not for anything proper. Agnieszka's timid presence in the Dragon's castle and attempts to learn magic are by turns cringe-worthy, hilarious, and touching. Although the premise of the seemingly ordinary protagonist who is really a formidable magician is quite familiar, Novik's modern fairy tale is much more than a coming-of-age novel; its richly imagined world, unflinching look at human nature, and underlying thread of humor make for a wholly compelling listening experience. Julia Emelin's expressive voice and multiaccented narration perfectly capture the novel's large cast of characters and Eastern European setting. VERDICT Highly recommended. ["This exceptional fantasy for adult and teen readers should appeal to those who love fairy tale-influenced stories": LJ 4/15/15 starred review of the Del Rey: Ballantine hc.]-Nicole Williams, Sharjah Inst. of Applied Technology, United Arab Emirates © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.