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Uprooted
Cover of Uprooted
Uprooted
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NEBULA AWARD WINNER
  • HUGO AWARD FINALIST • "If you want a fantasy with strong characters and brilliantly original variations on ancient stories, try Uprooted!"—Rick Riordan

    "Breathtaking . . . a tale that is both elegantly grand and earthily humble, familiar as a Grimm fairy tale yet fresh, original, and totally irresistible."—Publishers Weekly(starred review)
    NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • BuzzFeed Tordotcom
  • BookPage Library Journal Publishers Weekly

    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
  • NEBULA AWARD WINNER
  • HUGO AWARD FINALIST • "If you want a fantasy with strong characters and brilliantly original variations on ancient stories, try Uprooted!"—Rick Riordan

    "Breathtaking . . . a tale that is both elegantly grand and earthily humble, familiar as a Grimm fairy tale yet fresh, original, and totally irresistible."—Publishers Weekly(starred review)
    NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • BuzzFeed Tordotcom
  • BookPage Library Journal Publishers Weekly

    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
  • Available formats-
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    Levels-
    • ATOS:
    • Lexile:
      960
    • Interest Level:
    • Text Difficulty:
      5 - 6

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    Awards-
    Excerpts-
    • From the cover Chapter 1

      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.

      He doesn’t devour them really; it only feels that way. He takes a girl to his tower, and ten years later he lets her go, but by then she’s someone different. Her clothes are too fine and she talks like a courtier and she’s been living alone with a man for ten years, so of course she’s ruined, even though the girls all say he never puts a hand on them. What else could they say? And that’s not the worst of it—­after all, the Dragon gives them a purse full of silver for their dowry when he lets them go, so anyone would be happy to marry them, ruined or not.

      But they don’t want to marry anyone. They don’t want to stay at all.

      “They forget how to live here,” my father said to me once, unexpectedly. I was riding next to him on the seat of the big empty wagon, on our way home after delivering the week’s firewood. We lived in Dvernik, which wasn’t the biggest village in the valley or the smallest, or the one nearest the Wood: we were seven miles away. The road took us up over a big hill, though, and at the top on a clear day you could see along the river all the way to the pale grey strip of burned earth at the leading edge, and the solid dark wall of trees beyond. The Dragon’s tower was a long way in the other direction, a piece of white chalk stuck in the base of the western mountains.

      I was still very small—­not more than five, I think. But I already knew that we didn’t talk about the Dragon, or the girls he took, so it stuck in my head when my father broke the rule.

      “They remember to be afraid,” my father said. That was all. Then he clucked to the horses and they pulled on, down the hill and back into the trees.

      It didn’t make much sense to me. We were all afraid of the Wood. But our valley was home. How could you leave your home? And yet the girls never came back to stay. The Dragon let them out of the tower, and they came back to their families for a little while—­for a week, or sometimes a month, never much more. Then they took their dowry-­silver and left. Mostly they would go to Kralia and go to the University. Often as not they married some city man, and otherwise they became scholars or shopkeepers, although some people did whisper about Jadwiga Bach, who’d been taken sixty years ago, that she became a courtesan and the mistress of a baron and a duke. But by the time I was born, she was just a rich old woman who sent splendid presents to all her grand-­nieces and nephews, and never came for a visit.

      So that’s hardly like handing your daughter over to be eaten, but it’s not a happy thing, either. There aren’t so many villages in the valley that the chances are very low—­he takes only a girl of seventeen, born between one October and the next. There were eleven girls to choose from in my year, and that’s worse odds than dice. Everyone says you love a Dragon-­born girl differently as she gets older; you can’t help it, knowing you so easily might lose her. But it wasn’t like that for me, for my parents. By the time I was old...
    About the Author-
    • Naomi Novik is the acclaimed author of His Majesty's Dragon, Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles, Tongues of Serpents, Crucible of Gold, and Blood of Tyrants, the first eight volumes of the Temeraire series. She has been nominated for the Hugo Award and has won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, as well as the Locus Award for Best New Writer and the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel. She is also the author of the graphic novel Will Supervillains Be on the Final?

      Fascinated with both history and legends, Novik is a first-generation American raised on Polish fairy tales and stories of Baba Yaga. Her own adventures include pillaging degrees in English literature and computer science from various ivory towers, designing computer games, and helping to build the Archive of Our Own for fanfiction and other fanworks. Novik is a co-founder of the Organization for Transformative Works.

      She lives in New York City with husband and Hard Case Crime founder Charles Ardai and their daughter, Evidence, surrounded by an excessive number of purring computers.
    Reviews-
    • Publisher's Weekly

      Starred review from March 16, 2015
      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.

    • AudioFile Magazine Novik's sure-footed fantasy about a young woman and a mysterious magician is destined to become a classic of the genre. However, Julia Emelin's narration, while not without its highlights, is not equal to the book. Emelin employs a thick Eastern European accent that helps solidify the setting, and she does an excellent job pronouncing the Russian- and Polish-influenced character names as well as the magical language used by witches and wizards. But her delivery ranges from expressive to wooden, and her character voices blend together to the point of indistinguishability. Also, mispronunciations marr the performance, included repeated mispronunciations of the words "iron" and "drawing." Dedicated fantasy fans will stick around for the wonderful story, but other listeners may be put off by the performance. E.C. � AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
    • Library Journal

      Starred review from August 1, 2015

      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 Journal, LLC Used with permission.

    • Ursula K. Le Guin, award-winning and bestselling author of the Earthsea series Advance praise for Uprooted

      "Every so often you come upon a story that seems like a lost tale of Grimm newly come to light. Uprooted is such a novel. Its narrative spell is confidently wrought and sympathetically cast. I might even call it bewitching."--Gregory Maguire, bestselling author of Wicked and Egg & Spoon

      "Uprooted has everything I love: a great heroine, new takes on old myths and legends, and surprising twists and turns. A delight."--Cassandra Clare, New York Times bestselling author of The Mortal Instruments series

      "The magic in Uprooted, with its realistic moral dimension, is so vividly believable that it almost seems you could work the spells. But the book will do that for you."
    • Todd McCaffrey, New York Times bestselling author of Sky Dragons "Wild, thrilling, and deeply, darkly magical. An instant classic."--Lev Grossman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Magicians Trilogy

      "Reading Uprooted was like rediscovering a favorite old sweater, familiar and beloved. It feels as if it has always existed and has been waiting patiently for me to return to it."--Maggie Stiefvater, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shiver Trilogy

      "Uprooted is one of those tales you come back to over and over again because it's just that enchanting. The adventure builds with such tension that you are peeking through your hands at the end, hoping it will all be okay, and Naomi Novik delivers a conclusion that's deeply satisfying, earning a permanent space on my bookshelf that I'll revisit often."--Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author of Shattered

      "Magical and practical, otherworldly and planted in the real, I could not stop reading this book and neither will you!"--Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author of Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen

      "Uprooted by Naomi Novik is enchanting, in every sense of that fine old word. A charming and inviting story that looks unflinchingly at the strangling roots of hurt and revenge."--Robin Hobb, bestselling author of Fool's Assassin

      "The roots of Uprooted are planted deep in fairy tale lore, but the story that Naomi Novik has coaxed forth is fresh and compelling. It reads like a previously undiscovered origin myth in the best possible way!"--Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the Kushiel's Legacy series

      "I've been a diehard fan of Naomi Novik's work since reading His Majesty's Dragon, and her new fantasy, Uprooted, is an utter delight. Novik writes the kind of book that wins your heart and lights up all the pleasure of your brain."--Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble

      "Novik has written a living heart-book, its mythology vital, deep, and true. I am in awe."--Rachel Hartman, author of Seraphina

      "This is a beautiful book. The magic is true magic, and the human relationships--especially those between women--complex and believable."--Ellen Kushner, author of Swordspoint

      "The most darkly compelling fantasy I've read in ages, Uprooted is overflowing with profound dread and real beauty, and boasts a heroine who blazes with spirit and originality. Not to be missed!"--#1 New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden

      "Naomi Novik's Uprooted is a marvelous fantasy reminiscent of Howl's Moving Castle. Her setting, characters, and the magic they use are all brilliant. I devoured the book in one reading. Well done! I want more!"
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