Zebra (zebra363) wrote,

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

From reading reviews, I expected to like this book much more than I did.

I found the first half quite interesting as we got to know the world and how it worked, and the second half very boring. Too much fairly predictable action, not enough character development. An evil wood might make for a good adversary in a children's fairy tale, but it doesn't hold up very well in a novel for adults.

I wanted to know things like what it means that Kasia is now partly made of wood, other than how it affects her physical strength and ability to fight.

My favourite part was the magical process of reclaiming of Kasia from the Wood, which laid bare best friends Agnieszka's and Kasia's deepest feelings:

I saw my own face reflected in her wide glassy eyes, and my own secret jealousies, how I had wanted all her gifts, if not the price she would have to pay for them. ... I'd enjoyed a dream of being special and nursed a secret seed of envy against her, though I'd had the luxury of putting it aside whenever I chose.

I had to turn back to Kasia full of all my messy tangled thought and secret wishes, and I had to let her see them, see me, like an exposed pale squirming worm from under an overturned log. I had to see her, bare before me, and that hurt even worse: because she'd hated me too.

I wondered why Agnieszka didn't seem to know the name of her predecessor, who'd written her notes.

Part of my reaction is probably due to the fact that I just don't read many stand-alone fantasy novels and I'm not used to the format. I want a big sweeping universe with characters we follow for years, not one story that's inherently limited in scope. It was a good example of why I read fanfiction and prefer long-running TV shows to movies.

There are plenty of very good reviews for it out there, so I may be missing the point.

If any locals would like to borrow my copy, you're welcome!
Tags: books
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