This isn’t Naomi Novik’s first walk around the fantasy block. She’s best known for her series Temeraire, a fantasy/alternate history saga that spans eight novels, the first installation of which was nominated for a Hugo Award in 2007. Uprooted is her first standalone novel, a fact that my series-tired self was glad to learn.
Uprooted is, ultimately, a fairytale that’s been upended on its head, and as such there are a lot of familiar elements that leap out at you immediately. There’s the peasant girl, the scary magician that lives in a secluded tower, the dark and sinister forest that may or may not contain evil beings, the handsome prince… it’s a familiar setup. But that’s the point, because Novik is here to pull the rug out from under you and reintroduce these characters as more than the fairytale clichés we’ve become familiar with.