The opening line, “Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley,” made me fall in love with not only Novik’s writing style, but her world and the characters that we are only just meeting. Novik shows us a world that is in peril from the magical forest, known as The Woods, that creeps along its borders and the only thing that seems to keep it at bay is The Dragon that lives in the tower overlooking the town of Dvernik. Dvernik is where Agnieszka, our heroine, comes from and her connection to The Dragon is how our story begins. Taking a girl who did not think she could amount to much other than what her humble beginnings of peasant life were and thrusting her into so many changes molds her into such a wonderful role model for the reader. Agnieszka sticks to her guns and fights for what she believes is right. She might suffer some ill will from The Dragon at times but she follows her heart, sometimes denying what The Dragon wants and protecting those she cares about, like Kasia, Agnieszka’s dearest friend.
At the heart of “Uprooted” we have love of friendship. Agnieszka’s love for her best friend, Kasia, allows Agnieszka to overcome some difficult tasks all throughout the novel. She boldly lives with The Dragon even though she was never prepared to do so. She fights The Woods in order to get Kasia back from it once they had taken her, thrusting this novel into an adventure that will span across Polyna and keep you engrossed in the story into late hours of the night. Agnieszka’s growth is an adventure in itself, and as the reader you root for her all the way.
By Kayleigh Dyer
Library Assistant at Graham Library