ARC Review: UPROOTED by Naomi Novik

I received this book for free from Del Rey. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: UPROOTED by Naomi Novik
Uprooted

Written by: Naomi Novik
Published by: Del Rey
Release date: May 19th 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 438
Source: NetGalley
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Naomi Novik, author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Temeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.

“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.”

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.

MyThoughts_v2

I’ve been incredibly delinquent in writing this review, because this is one of those books that I just want to shove into people’s hands and say, “Just read it, you’ll thank me later.” What else is there to say, other than that?! Nothing, that’s what.

But I really need to try, becuase if you’re not convinced you need it yet, then I’m not doing my job right. So, here goes.

First and foremost: Reading Uprooted was an awesome experience, for me. I love re-reading books, and I often fantasize about being able to read an amazing book again for the first time — obviously, that’s impossible… but I think Uprooted is the closest I’ve ever come to what that would feel like. Reading this book felt like re-reading an old favorite, but getting to do so for the first time again. I felt such an intense familiarity with the tone, with the story, with the world and the characters — it reminded me of my favorite fantasy books, in the best way. But it never felt overly derivative — there were so many new twists and unique characters and such a sense of newness to the book, coupled with that old familiarity… It was just amazing.

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Book Review: THE REPUBLIC OF THIEVES by Scott Lynch

Note: This review doesn’t contain spoilers for the previous books in this series – however, the book synopsis (below) does contain some spoilers. Just skip over that if you don’t want anything given away. Additionally, as with Book 1 and Book 2, this adult title contains strong language and violence.

Book Review: THE REPUBLIC OF THIEVES by Scott Lynch
The Republic of Thieves
The Gentleman Bastards #3

Written by: Scott Lynch
Published by: Del Rey
Release date: October 8th 2013
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 650
Source: Library
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads


The synopsis below contains spoilers! Skip it and continue on to my spoiler-free review if you are avoiding spoilers for the end of Book 2.

With what should have been the greatest heist of their career gone spectacularly sour, Locke and his trusted partner, Jean, have barely escaped with their lives. Or at least Jean has. But Locke is slowly succumbing to a deadly poison that no alchemist or physiker can cure. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmage offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him or finish him off once and for all.

Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. If Locke agrees to play the role, sorcery will be used to purge the venom from his body - though the process will be so excruciating he may well wish for death. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean's imploring - and the Bondsmage's mention of a woman from Locke's past: Sabetha. She is the love of his life, his equal in skill and wit, and now, his greatest rival.

Locke was smitten with Sabetha from his first glimpse of her as a young fellow orphan and thief-in-training. But after a tumultuous courtship, Sabetha broke away. Now they will reunite in yet another clash of wills. For faced with his one and only match in both love and trickery, Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha - or to woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend.

MyThoughts_v2

Anyone who’s been near my blog or Twitter in the past couple weeks has surely noticed that my life of late has been completely taken over by the Gentleman Bastards. (#sorrynotsorry) This is something I do not regret in the slightest, because it’s been so long since I found a series that I wanted to sit down and binge-read, and one which I could sit down and do so — albeit with just the first three books, and not the series in its entirety. (Only three of seven books are out so far — this is why I have a Goodreads shelf called someone-find-me-a-TARDIS.)

One of the best feelings in the world is to read a series where you never want to leave the world, or the characters. It’s heart-wrenching and disorienting when you’re finally forced to do so. And wrenching myself out of The Republic of Thieves was no exception. I’ve spent the last 2+ weeks immersed in the world and lives of the Gentleman Bastards, and I still don’t want to let go. Let that statement stand as one of the main reasons why you should pick up this series — it’s so immersive and wonderful, and you will not want to say goodbye when you’re forced to.

That being said, I have to be honest about The Republic of Thieves: I’m really torn about it.

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