Primarily, I read this book because I heard about Spinning Silver. Rumpelstiltskin is my all-time favorite fairy tale, and in fact the story that got me to love reading in the first place, so I go crazy whenever I hear about an adaptation. Spinning Silver, however, only came out in July, so it is too soon for me to pick up a copy at my local library. I decided to read Uprooted instead, to judge whether or not I should give Spinning Silver my time.
This is yet another adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, however, it is only a loose retelling of the story you know and love/hate. Every 10 years a powerful magician, the Dragon, visits the valley to select a woman to serve him. Agnieszka is his unexpected choice.
My one and only complaint about this book is how packed it is. So much happens in this book. So much happens, in fact, that in the hands of a typical YA author, this probably would have been two or three books. Condensing the story into one book is great because nothing in this story is pointless filler, but it is also hard to keep up in parts. I liked this book a lot, but by the end I was a bit tired from trying to keep everything straight.
Everytime I pick up a so-called Beauty and the Beast adaptation, I tell myself it will be the last but it never is. As long as adaptations continue to impress such as Uprooted, Cruel Beauty and Hunted, I will probably continue reading them. Perhaps the real trick to Uprooted is that it is only a retelling at the start. Quickly you learn that the Dragon was more a rumor than real, and that his real persona is not all that bad. Then the story dives into a lot of crazy magical stuff.
The Wood in this world is a living being. It hunts, it feeds, it destroys. It’s a completely unique manifestation of evil, and it was just as a much a character in this story as the next person.
This is one of those books you can’t predict. I only figured things out as Agnieskza did. She was a great voice, though a bit confusing at times. She has a knack for magic, but not the usual kind, so it’s fascinating to watch her find a way amongst people who aren’t willing or ready to accept her talent.
Uprooted is a book I would describe as unusual, though I mean that in a positive manner. If you like standalone titles, and want something different from the usual YA fantasy titles, try out Uprooted. Then try out Spinning Silver. I know I will!