September 6, 2018 by TinyNavajo
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
*Published May 19, 2015*
Another fairy tale retelling, kind of…not really, but this based off of Russian folklore and I found it really interesting. Not in a “this is cool but I don’t get it” way, but in a “this is unique and I love it!” way. I love folklore and fairy tale retellings, but I love ones that I haven’t run into before, such as Star-Touched Stories and now Uprooted. I love it when stories come from other cultures and countries and I can experience these stories in a way that is easy for me to access.
Agnieszka loves her home, her quiet valley, the forests nearby, and the sun-flecked river that runs nearby. But near her home is the corrupted Woods; Woods that you do not go into, you do not drink the water from, and you destroy whatever comes out of it. The Woods cast a shadow over her life.
Agnieszka and her people rely on a cold, aloof wizard to keep the Woods from consuming them, but as he does, he takes at least one girl to live with him every 10 years. After those 10 years, those girls return different and with a bag of silver. Eventually, they leave and never return to their parents’ home.
As the newest batch of girls, Agnieszka and her friend Kaisa included, are prepared for the possibility of being taken from their homes by the Dragon. And she knows, as does everyone, that Kaisa will be the one chosen by the Dragon to live with him for 10 years. They have prepared for this their whole life, but when the Dragon comes, they discover that they are not prepared at all.
This doesn’t feel like a retelling, and it kind of isn’t. What it is, is an exploration of different magics. I love it! It’s a story about what you think you know, is now what is actually happening. It’s about love, and family and how these can end up destroying you. It feels like such a new unique story and I love it!
What new stories/cultures do you like reading about? Why do they interest you? Comment below and let me know!