Written by Naomi Novik

Published by Del Rey, May 19, 2015

My star rating: 2.75 stars


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. Find it on Goodreads

spoiler free graphic


Oh boy. I had such high hopes for this book!! It had gotten such praise from people that have similar tastes as myself…… AND THAT COVER!! I mean, that cover alone is enough to scream “read me, love me”. But sadly, my reading experience fell flat. Maybe, in hindsight, I expected too much from the story. And maybe the reviews I read prior to picking this up tainted my opinions. Either way, this didn’t agree with me.

My first issue with this book was the writing….. but it didn’t start off all that bad. In fact, this is something that I normally live for! I absolutely love books that have lots of descriptions, info dumping, and elaborations. I actually fell in love with the first few chapters! But then things started to slow. I felt as though there was too much repetition, and it started to take way too long to get to the point. I found my mind wandering constantly wondering when we were going to get back to the point.

Along with the writing was the pace. The pace killed me. For a few chapters things would be moving too slowly. Then, without warning, something would happen and it would all go so fast that I couldn’t keep up. I would have to go back and reread an entire page because I wasn’t able to read at my normal pace and catch every detail. I had to really slow down during all the action parts which I found seriously annoying.

Another thing that made me slow down were the spells. I get it. When there’s magic in a book, the spells aren’t going to make sense. They’re not meant to. But at least they resemble words in some form. With this one it seemed like the author wanted to create a spell so she slammed her hands down on the keyboard and whatever keys her fingers touched was the spell.

The main character was ok, but I don’t like that she was placed in a position where she was basically stuck and didn’t know what to do. All her life she knew that she was born in the year that the dragon would be taking a girl. They spend their whole lives knowing that someone is going to be with him for 10 years but never knowing what happens. Ok, that’s fine. But then the main character is chosen and she’s basically dumped in a tower with zero instruction. She wanders aimlessly cooking and hoping that she’s doing what she’s supposed to do. I guess that this was meant to be a mystery to her and to us as the reader, but it bored me and made me wonder what she was even doing or supposed to do.

And then there’s the love interest. No. Just no.

The things that I did enjoy about this book – the world building. It was stellar! Like I said, details and info dumping are my wheelhouse. I love being able to take descriptions of a setting and paint the picture in my head. This was done so well! I also enjoyed the fact that this was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. But in the end, for whatever reason, I just couldn’t get invested with this story!!

Until next time, happy reading!

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Danielle @ Read.Disrupt.Repeat says:

    I agree I agree I agree! I wanted to love this book so much more than I did. I DNF’d it because I was so frustrated with the pace. Oops!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m always glad to see there are other people who feel the same way. I felt like I was doing something wrong lol. There are so many 5 star reviews for it!


  2. I TOTALLY feel ya! And the pace really killed me too. I’m a big fantasy fan so when everyone kept putting this book on their faves list I jumped for it but ended up disappointed. I didn’t actually get around to finishing it honestly, it was just too slow and failed to keep me interested. Ah well, not every book is made for every person.
    Great review though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to be honest, I skimmed the last 1/4 of the book. I just couldn’t force myself to read every word. I was at the point where I just wanted to know what happened without the filler!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Justine says:

    Hehehehehe noooo! I am personally so glad I read this before the hype kicked up or else I don’t think I would have loved it as much as I did. I really do think that hype can ruin books — what a shame!

    I do totally agree on the romance. She had so much more chemistry with her friend than with the Dragon (who was kind of a dick). I was really hoping for a f/f romance, it would have been so perfect 😦

    You might like Spinning Silver much more if you’re keen to give her another try! I’m only midway through and am really loving it. Some of the issues you had in Uprooted may be solved in Spinning Silver 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg I was terrified that you would see this review! I thought you would unfriend me forever! 😂 I’m so glad you mentioned the chemistry with her friend. That’s actually why I loved the first bit of the book. They were so close and the way their relationship was described made me love the book in the beginning. I’m totally fine with unlikable characters (Jazz from Artemis is one of my favourites and everyone HATES her!) but the dragon was just something else. I might see if I can get the audiobook for spinning silver. I’m not opposed to reading from her again. Like I said, the beginning was great and so was the world building. We will see 🙂
      Glad you don’t hate me!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Justine says:

        Never! It’s totally valid to not like a book (I should know, I hate everything :D)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. 😂 you’ve had a lot of high rated books this year actually!


          1. Justine says:

            That…is a very good point 😂😂

            Liked by 1 person

  4. jillianthebookbutterfly says:

    I didn’t love Uprooted either. I really liked the main character and her best friend, but you’re right on the plot being flat. I didn’t care for the Dragon either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t a fan of the dragon at all. I thought this would be a “bad guy shows his sweet side, and I’m really a jerk for a good reason” but it never came through for me 😢 glad I wasn’t alone in not enjoying this as much as I thought I would have

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beware Of The Reader says:

    Oh too bad it did not meet your expectations Shanah! And funny enough but the cover does nothing for me 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sad about it. I will always love that cover though. The UK one is even better!


  6. Haven’t read it, but I thought yours was an excellent review and all very legitimate reasons for your stars, or lack thereof.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I always worry about conveying my negative feelings in a way that isn’t an attack on the author.


  7. The Other Weasley says:

    I really thought I was all alone in my dislike of this book. I had lumped it in with all the other adult Russian type fairy tales that I didn’t like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve read a few of those and I enjoyed them SO much more than this one!!


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