Uprooted by Naomi Novik
This is a really brief post, but I just started Uprooted by Naoi Novik.
Guys, this book is really, really, really good. I’m only about 100 pages in so far, but I highly recommend it.
Agnieszka is the daughter of the village woodcutter. She has a talent for getting messy, snagging her clothes, spilling things on herself, and snarling her hair. Her best friend is the most beautiful, most talented girl in the district. Which means that when the Dragon, the local magician, chooses his newest servant, he’s sure to pick her.
But instead, he picks Agnieszka. No one, including the Dragon, really seems to understand why it has to be this way.
The Dragon protects the district from the Wood. In return, every 10 years he chooses a girl to come live with him. They change while they’re gone. They’re grand ladies, unable or unwilling to settle back into village life. Sooner or later, they all leave, head to the capitol for richer husbands or more education.
But Agnieszka is not the sort of girl who could ever turn into a grand lady, no matter what the Dragon tries over the next 10 years. But he took her for a reason. Exactly who or what will Agnieszka become during her time with the Dragon?
Obviously, this book has a strong connection to the tradition of the Grimm’s fairy tales, but it is even closer to the wilder tales of Eastern Europe. Baba Yaga, Vasillisa the Brave, the Firebird… they all have something to add to Agnieszka’s story.
It’s beautiful so far. I cannot wait to come back and tell you more about it. Although, I do think we got cheated a little on the cover. I like the US edition, but here is another one that I love even more: