Uprooted, by Naomi Novik

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Sensational fantasy novel that invariably zags when you expect it to zig. It’s not a princess in a tower book, or an evil magician book, or a fish out of water book, or a heroic battle book, though it flirts with all of those. The very title itself changes meaning as the book progresses.

Instead, this is an adventure, a strong heroine book about a girl who has to change quickly as her life circumstances shift, but who manages throughout to find creative ways to be who she is and to problem-solve. I loved this book, loved that it pulled me along even when I had no clue where it was going. I loved our heroine, who has a Polish name pronounced “ag-NYESH-ka,” and her top skill at the start of the book is getting spectacularly dirty no matter what she’s wearing . This skews older teen, 17 and up, due to vicious violence, sexual content, and deeply disturbing fantasy imagery.

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