Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Del Rey, 2015. 978-0-8041-7905-8
I have not read any “grown-up” fantasy for some time, and this book reminded me of all the reasons I love the genre. The story is full of twists and turns, much like the roots of a tree, and all the best fantasy elements: magic, a darkly evil foe, armies, books, towers, palace intrigue, and a bit of romance. Every time I thought I knew where the story was heading, Novik threw in something new that at the same time felt familiar. Every plot point felt true and the characters were real people, not just symbols, and even the ones who committed evil acts had a believable backstory that left me feeling more pity than hate toward them.
The main character is a girl who has deep roots in her home and family, a girl who is often unsure of herself but strong enough to stand up for what she believes in even if it means going against the “experts.” She knows what she wants, and she knows what she has to do to achieve it.