This is a review of Uprooted by Naomi Novik.
Every ten years a wizard named the Dragon comes to the valley and takes a girl to come live with him in his tower. The villagers accept this because the Dragon protects them from the dangerous woods around them. When these woods get to you they corrupt you in a way that death would be nicer. Agnieska never had to worry about being taken by the Dragon, everyone knew that the obvious choice would be her beautiful and talented best friend Kasia. However things never go as planned and the Dragon takes Agnieska. Here she discovers that she may not be as ordinary as she thought she was.
This book is based on folklore and has a little bit of a Rapunzel and Beauty and the Beast feel. It mostly reminds me of the once upon a time take on Beauty and the Beast with Rumple and Belle.
I loved the first part of the book. It felt real and honest. The worldbuilding of the woods, the valley and the tower felt great. The way the dragon (which is just a wizard not an actual shapeshifter) and Agnieska interacted seemed authentic. The way they went from strangers who acted distant to friends flowed well.
The last part of the book felt rushed and illogical at times. People being corrupted by the woods felt like an easy way to get action and in the end it felt repetitive. Besides the character developments kinda stopped at some point and the relationships between the characters fell flat. Which is so sad because I loved the book so much in the beginning and I tought it would become a 5 star book for me.
This book gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.