Book - 2015
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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.
Publisher: New York : Del Rey, c2015
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780804179034
Branch Call Number: SF NOV
Characteristics: 438 p. ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

June 12 - PoCo library staff’s picks

CoreneBee Dec 24, 2015

My pick for best fantasy novel of 2015.

From the critics

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Jan 27, 2021

I loved this book. It (like Ms. Novik's 'Spinning Silver', which I also loved) is a unique adult fairy tale. It isn't a 'Beauty & the Beast' redux, and it isn't "two people who can't stand each other fall in love" (which is a trope I also dislike & consider destructive). That's far too simplistic a reading of the protagonists' characters. It's a book about monsters, but a nuanced one - who is, and who isn't, and how you can be mistaken about which is which - and why. It's about people, but not invariably humans. It's also about love, loyalty, belonging, trust, courage, hope - all those people things. I had no problems with the pacing; I was enjoying the language and the characters as the story unfolded.

Dec 27, 2020

Echoing what others have said about this book having strange pacing. Some elements felt rushed and random (romance, actually learning magic) while others felt super dragged out. The friendship between women was the most interesting relationship and that would have been a more realistic romance to be honest. Got halfway through the book before putting it down. But if you don't mind slow pacing and bad romantic arcs then the plot is otherwise enjoyable and the Wood is veryyyy creepy.

Also appreciated the language aspect of the magic. Very unique magic system and kind of wanted to see more of that.

Oct 21, 2020

Overall, it's a pretty good story but please (SPOILER ALERT) let's get rid of the scenario where two characters can't stand each other until they realize they're in love! In fact, it's such an overused plot device that it's hardly a spoiler. My main objection is that it's such a harmful representation of the way that people form romantic relationships.

Toward the end, I got impatient with the excessive build-up to the defeat of the enemy: yet another danger or setback or enemy weapon. I would have cut about 100 pages, mostly from the end.

I appreciated the way Novik added nuance to the good/evil dichotomy once the story revealed the origin of the Wood's malevolence. Agnieszka realizes that true resolution to the story requires healing, not fire power.

Sep 25, 2020

Recommended by Tor - Sarah Waites and me

JCLAnneG Sep 09, 2020

This was a great romantic Beauty-and-the-Beast story that doesn't beat you over the head that it was a retelling. Superb world-building that makes me want to visit again.

Aug 15, 2020

I was hoping there was a sequel to this book, but it ended in a satisfying way. Love the writing. The magic felt so real I could picture it perfectly in my mind's eye.

JCLRachelN Jun 04, 2020

I love a strong heroine and Agnieszka delivers as she grapples with leaving her family and finding her purpose in a new role. The imagery is so well done that I do not want to find myself in a forest any time soon. Recommended for readers who love magic and adventure.

May 14, 2020

3 Stars - I might recommend if you enjoy fantasy novels.

Every ten years the Dragon, a wizard, takes a young girl from the village to live with him as payment for his protection from the invasive wood bordering the valley. No one knows what happens to the girls, but once they leave his tower they rarely stay in their home village. When Agniezka is unexpectly chosen, she finds that the tower, and the dragon are not what she expected. As the threat of the wood grows stronger, Agniezka will discover there is more to herself, and the world than she imagined.

This is the type of book I was hoping for when I picked up The Hazel Wood at the beginning of the year. I started out feeling very compelled by the world and the story, I liked the classic fantasy setting, and somewhat familiar story formula. I thought that the magic system was interesting, if not vague, and that the dual magic had a subtle sexiness to it. The first part of the book was compelling, but once Agniezka went to see the king it wasn't very interesting for me. Overall, that part dragged, and in the end the book felt much longer than it needed to. Once things synced back up it was more intriguing, and the ending was satisfying as well. I like where it ended up, and how it all came together. It does feel a bit like other stories in the end, but I'm not sure which ones... I didn't love it as much as I expected to, but that's ok.

Apr 24, 2020

This is a title that took me a couple of tries to get into, but looking back I can't explain why I had such trouble. I reread Uprooted recently and I was immediately drawn into the story. For anyone that has tried or thought what's the big deal trust me it's good and it's worth a second and third look plus a reread.

RCL_AnnaS Apr 23, 2020

Reading UPROOTED for the first time felt so much like a return to reading the fantasy books of my childhood. It was a beautiful hit of nostalgia while experiencing something new.

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Age Suitability

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Dec 24, 2018

KMAsh thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Nov 10, 2018

PayetteStAmour thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Oct 11, 2018

rapunzel454 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

May 22, 2017

Greyism thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Mar 16, 2017

tgabriel_0 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 18

Aug 21, 2016

momshoes1 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Jun 06, 2016

lynngin thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Dec 22, 2015

LauraSteinert thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 16 and 99


Add a Quote
AL_SARAHBR Oct 25, 2017

“There was a song in this forest, too, but it was a savage song, whispering of madness and tearing and rage.”

AL_SARAHBR Oct 25, 2017

“He wasn’t a person, he was a lord and a wizard, a strange creature on another plane entirely, as far removed as storms and pestilence.”

AL_SARAHBR Oct 25, 2017

"What an unequaled gift for disaster you have.”

Oct 04, 2016

Those the walkers carried into the Wood were less lucky. We didn’t know what happened to them, but they came back out sometimes, corrupted in the worst way: smiling and cheerful, unharmed. They seemed almost themselves to anyone who didn’t know them well, and you might spend half a day talking with one of them and never realize anything was wrong, until you found yourself taking up a knife and cutting off your own hand, putting out your own eyes, your own tongue, while they kept talking all the while, smiling, horrible.

Dec 22, 2015

"...vanishing like a statue under running water." p. 172

'Dearest," she said urgently, breathlesly, "what a brilliantly original angle [to wear a hat]--I've never seen anything like it before."
I blurted out, "Are you--are you trying to be rude?" As soon as the idea occured to me, all the odd things she'd said and done came together andmade a strange malicious sense. pp 259-260

She turned to me and said dourly, "There's always a price."
"Yes," I said, low and tired. And I didn't think we were done paying." p. 314

Aug 19, 2015

"...truth didn’t mean anything without someone to share it with; you could shout truth into the air forever, and spend your life doing it, if someone didn’t come and listen.”


Add Notices
Nov 10, 2018

Frightening or Intense Scenes: There is an attempted sexual assault/rape scene early on in the book that can be triggering for survivors if caught off-guard by it. The scene is swiftly ended by the victim of the attack and she is not "actually harmed" in any way, but the scene is quite intense at first.

Nov 10, 2018

Sexual Content: There is moderately graphic sexual content, but it's done "modestly" and in a way that is very healthy and full of love.

Aug 11, 2016

Sexual Content: There is a little bit of sexual content, but the romance isn't really the focus of the book. Also there is an attempted rape although Agnieszka proves resourceful.


Add a Summary
Oct 04, 2016

Agnieszka and Kasia have been best friends throughout their childhood in the village of Dvernik, bonded by the fact that they are both Dragon-born girls. Every ten years, the Dragon—the sorcerer who protects the valley from the dark magic of the Wood—takes a seventeen-year-old girl to live with him in the Tower, and both Agnieszka and Kasia will be seventeen the year his next servant is chosen. Everyone knows that it is Kasia, beautiful, and graceful, and competent, who will be chosen. And after ten years, she will emerge from the tower rich and educated, and leave the valley forever. But when the Dragon comes to make his choice, it is not Kasia who attracts his attention.

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