Agnieszka loves life in her quiet village, even if the threat of the corrupted Wood casts a shadow over her happiness. The Dragon, a powerful wizard, protects the town, but at a high cost.
Every 10 years, the Dragon is gifted a woman from the village. And this time, it’s Agnieszka he chooses.
A magical take on a traditional Polish fairytale, Uprooted was listed as one of the best books of the year by publications such as NPR, Buzzfeed, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal.
It was also shortlisted for the Hugo Award and won the Nebula award for best novel. Naomi Novik drew inspiration for Uprooted from the folk stories she heard in her youth, and it propelled her to the top of the literary world.
A New York Times Best Selling author, Uprooted was recognized for its lush storytelling and thrilling plot. When you’ve finished reading this twisting tale of magic and corruption, you’ll be desperate for more!
If you loved Uprooted by Naomi Novik, then you’ll love books like The Wolf and the Woodsman, Wildwood Dancing, Spinning Silver, and The Bear and the Nightingale. Check out this list to find 7 books like Uprooted to read next.
Themes In Uprooted
Inspired by Polish folk tales, Uprooted plays with the typical themes you might expect to find in fairytales.
Strong Female Protagonist
One of the draws to Uprooted for many readers is sure to be Agnieszka, the protagonist that guides us through the story as she discovers her own strengths along the way. She has both a magical strength and a growing strength in her own convictions.
Home And Family
The “Uprooted” of the title is about more than just the trees of the corrupted Wood. One of the key themes is the feeling of being “rooted” and finding your home in the world.
For Agnieszka, that home is her village. But the quest to find a place you feel settled is key to the journey of Uprooted.
Agnieszka finds her magical powers behave differently from those of the Dragon. She relies on intuition to guide her through spells. It’s also this intuition and vision that help her solve the problem of the Wood Queen, and restore peace.
Corruption And Power
There is a lot of power swirling around the world of Uprooted. There’s the corrupted Wood at the border, the Dragon swooping in to take young women, and the royal family of Agnieszka’s home throwing their power around. In Uprooted, power often leads to bad deeds.
Books Like Uprooted
The outskirts of the Russian wilderness can be a bleak place to live, as the dark and cold of winter persist for most of the year. Vasilisa and her siblings share their favorite folk stories to stave off the chill.
But when Vasilisa’s new stepmother prevents the family from honoring the household spirits, their village appears to fall under a curse. Dark spirits draw closer, and Vasilisa must discover her own powers to keep her family safe.
Like Uprooted, The Bear and the Nightingale uses a folk story base to build a dark modern fantasy.
- Vasilia is a bold protagonist who draws you in from the very start.
- Arden conjures up an atmospheric setting on the edge of the Russian wilderness.
- As the first part of the Winternight Trilogy, there are some loose ends left dangling.
Themes: Gender roles, morality, tradition, belonging.
Jena and her sisters live a dream life in the castle Piscul Draculi, deep in the woods of Transylvania.
Jena spends most of her days exploring the woods with her frog friend, but when the moon is full, she and her sisters head to the enchanted Other Kingdom. The sisters find their perfect life is shattered when their father dies.
Their cousin Cezar arrives, attempting to take over the house and enter the Other Kingdom. Meanwhile, dangerous spirits are threatening the happiness of the sisters.
- All of the sisters are wonderfully fleshed out.
- The blend of magic and drama creates a thrilling plot.
- The antagonist is hateable, but quite broadly drawn.
Themes: Love, magic, gender roles, misleading assumptions.
As the eldest of three daughters, Sophie is destined to spend her life stuck in her family hat shop. But Sophie has a power even she doesn’t know about — she can bring life to objects!
Threatened by Sophie, the Witch of the Waste curses her into an old woman. Now Sophie has no choice but to leave home. She finds herself working at the magical moving castle of the Wizard Howl.
If Sophie can help Howl break a contract, she can once again regain her youthful form.
- The quirky cast of characters adds magic to every page.
- Magic and mundane are effortlessly blended to create an irresistible fantasy world.
- The book is for a slightly younger audience.
Themes: Youth, destiny, gender roles, love.
A startling retelling of an ancient myth, Circe is for those who loved the way Uprooted explored the concept of home. Circe has a power that can threaten the gods themselves.
She’s a witch and can cause devastation with the magic of herbs. In fear, Zeus exiles Circe to the deserted island of Aiaia.
But the gods haven’t forgotten about Circe, and soon she must balance her affection for humanity with her true place among the gods.
- The focus on Circe causes you to rethink your old perceptions.
- Richly layered, the novel has a dreamlike quality that builds the mythic appeal.
- It’s slow going at first.
Themes: Feminism, self-preservation, power, and corruption.
Evike is a powerless outcast in a land where everyone has some form of magic. When soldiers working for the Holy Order of Woodsmen arrive to take a sacrifice, the village people are quick to hand Evike over.
But the journey to the king is disrupted by a deadly monster attack, leaving Evike alone with the mysterious Captain. Soon Evike discovers all is not as it seems at the Holy Order of Woodsmen.
- The religious and cultural tensions between the people in the story lift from the page.
- The complex morality at the heart of the novel adds intriguing layers.
- The plot can’t quite match the quality of the world-building.
Themes: Feeling “othered”, betrayal, religious persecution.
Everyone knows that sorcery is evil. For Elisabeth, the dangers of sorcery are an everyday presence, as she resides in the Great Library at Austermeer, between magical grimoires that transform into monsters.
When one of the grimoires is released, Elisabeth finds herself accused of the crime. But in proving her innocence, Elisabeth discovers there’s more to magic than the evil she’s been taught.
- For book lovers, the library setting has a magic of its own.
- The twists and turns of the plot ensure you never want to put the book down.
- The characters are a little predictable, and not as engaging as the story.
Themes: Trust, courage, discovering new perspectives.
If you loved Uprooted, why not try some more of Naomi Novik’s writing? Miryem has a sharp tongue and a talent for getting what she wants. When she attracts the attention of the fey creatures, her clever mouth just might spell trouble.
- The world of Spinning Silver is hugely complex. You’ll want to dive right in.
- Naomi Novik again shows her talent for crafting exciting female leads.
- The story follows three perspectives, and it’s easy to get lost in the narrative.
Themes: Community, compassion, power.
Uprooted draws its inspiration from traditional folk tales, and the blend of magic and reality recalls worlds where the supernatural was commonplace.
But Naomi Novik has updated the story for modern audiences, adding a complex background, inspiring characters, and timeless themes of home and power.
Uprooted is the kind of book you can read again and again. But when you’re finally ready to put it down, you might be wondering what to read next.
If you loved the modern take on an old story, try Circe by Madeline Miller, The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, or Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier.
If you were drawn to Uprooted by the way the magical world was so closely intertwined with reality, try Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson, The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid, or Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.
The fantasy genre is thriving right now! Fans of Uprooted should have no trouble finding books that blend magical creatures with engaging female protagonists and complex questions about power, corruption, and finding your place.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Read After Uprooted?
Uprooted is a book that updates old myths for a modern audience. Try reading The Bear and the Nightingale, Wildwood Dancing, The Wolf and the Woodsman, or Circe next.
Should I Read Uprooted Or Spinning Silver First?
Uprooted and Spinning Silver are both novels by Naomi Novik, exploring traditional myths with new settings and characters. You can read them in either order, but Uprooted was released first.