Let’s discuss Uprooted! Read through my discussion prompts below, then add your thoughts on those or anything else you felt was important to you. If you have written a review please include a link to it, and ask a question for me (or other book club buddies) to answer. And remember to check back to see if people have replied to your comments.
On Sunday 1st of May I hosted a live discussion with @B00kstorebabe & @Ladybookmad via Youtube/Google Hangouts. You can watch it above!
Is Agnieszka a good role model?
Throughout Uprooted I really enjoyed Agnieszka’s agency and self determination, and I think those qualities make her a really interesting role model that I would be keen for older teens to be exposed to. One of the defining turning points for her as a character is during her ‘naming’:
I took a deep breathe and said, “There’s nothing wrong with the name I already have.”
Her decision to stand up for what felt right for her, and to refuse to be labelled by others gives momentum to her growing self belief, and felt like a powerful moment of leadership to me.
How did you feel about Dragon/Sarkan as a character?
One of my favourite quotes in Uprooted, that I think sums up all the things I liked about the Dragon was:
His name tasted of fire and wings, of curling smoke, of subtlety and strength and the rasping whisper of scales. He eyed me and said stiffly, “Don’t land yourself into a boiling-pot, and as difficult as you may find it, try and present a respectable appearance.”
I really enjoyed the interplay between the Dragon’s generally ‘good’ moral code and his abrasive personality. I thought that Novik presented him well, and didn’t fall into the trap of having him instantly turn out to be the hero of the story who was simply misunderstood and needed a woman’s touch to revive him. He is never the hero of the story as whole, or within it, the hero of Agnieszka’s story. Though he certainly supports her along the way, in the end it is her empathy that solves the riddle of the Wood. He stays true to the earlier elements of his character by leaving (but eventually coming back), and the ending had me grinning like mad because it felt so right.
What was your favourite quote?
Thought there were many beautiful passages, snide comments that made me smile, and charming descriptions, my favourite quote was a reflection on the futility of war. The whole section was heartbreaking to read, and definitely increased my respect for this book, in drawing attention to something that many fantasy stories would simply move past as a sad but necessary means to an end.
“…they all had stories… They weren’t alone in the world, mattering to no one but themselves. It seemed utterly wrong to treat them like pennies in a purse.”
Do you see Uprooted as a love story?
It’s hard to find a YA or even Adult fantasy novel that doesn’t have some element of a love story, after-all as humans we crave connection is various different ways. But to me Uprooted was more focused on friendship rather than romantic love. Agnieszka’s friendship with Kasia is challenged again and again throughout the novel, and yet it only grows deeper despite the trails they face both apart and together.
If you’re enjoying this discussion don’t forget to join me next month!
May book: Wuthering Heights