Naomi Novik
Uprooted Cover

polish? essentialist? sexist?



Anyhow, Polish or not, the subject matter is straightforward and recognizable: nondescript village girl turns out to be hero extraordinary with the help of an elder mentor. The apprentice quickly outclasses the teacher, and together they take on the evil forces--an evil forest.

While Tolkien's forest-as-a-character already had ecological overtones, ecology as a theme is surprisingly absent from Uprooted--eco-warriors should look elsewhere for their fiction fix.

The first two thirds of the novel are a joy. Novik's pacing is great: this novel turns and twists rather unpredictably. The prose is clear and goes down easily. The atmosphere holds great promise. It's not nearly as dark as C.S.E. Cooney, and it could have been easily marketed as YA too, but that doesn't matter, as Novik manages to tap into the delight stories like this provide, and makes it look easy.

That's not to say there are no signs of trouble early on. Especially the philosophical foundation of this book is rather thin. Agnieszka's magic differs in quality and method from the Dragon's. All things considered, we are served a superficial, binary story about intuition vs. science. Granted, Novik admits both are needed, but the intuition method is portrayed as stronger and ultimately more 'true', better aligned with the Essence of things.


Please read the full review on Weighing A Pig...