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.
So. This book was ... weird. It was good-weird. Definitely good-weird.
So when Agnieszka is taken by the Dragon instead of Kasia, she expects to live the next ten years as a servant (and possibly sex slave). But that is so far from what happens, you'd almost laugh if you knew where the story really ends up going. It's so imaginative and interesting and moving. Really, really good read.
Uprooted is good old-fashioned high fantasy. It has all the ingredients - evil kings, magical humanoids, mad wizards, witches, villagers, and evil being and a farm boy/girl with an Epic Destiny. It reminded me a lot of Kristen Britain's excellent Green Rider series. In fact the more I think about it, the more it reminds me. Not that they havethe same storyline or anything, but the tone of the book was very similar (and I enjoyed Green Rider a lot as well).
I know practically nothing about Eastern European folklore or fairytales, so I couldn't say howmuch the author has borrowed, but it felt fresh and new and interesting. Agniezska has been one of my favourite characters so far this year - I loved how confident she was without being arrogant and how passionate and wild.
And a standalone fantasy. Hallelujah. Give me more books that I don't have to wait a year for the second part for, please.
And that ending. Brilliant.
I liked the understated romance vein that threaded its way through the story. I loved the way Agniezska made her own decisions and how she and her lover were totally different but complimented each other so well.
I've only just finished it and I wanted to write my review straight away before I forgot anything. I'm really glad I picked this book up. I've enjoyed it immensely.