In one of my first post for this blog, I wrote about how much I loved “Uprooted” by Naomi Novik. Honestly, I think it might be one of my favorite books of all time.
I’ve been reading fantasy almost constantly since I read that book, and I’ve found a few that remind me of the same style — either in similarities of the plot, or that of the characters.
The Bird and the Sword
This is a fantastic, fairy-tale-like story by Amy Harmon. The best part about “Uprooted,” to me, is the way Novik describes how magic works. Harmon’s magic is made up of words, and all the power they hold.
The protagonist, Lark, also reminds me of Agnieszka, the heroine in “Uprooted.” They’re both delicate yet bold, and watching them grow into the best versions of themselves is really amazing.
Shadow and Bone
This book sent me to the teen section, but I think it was totally worth it. I devoured this series. Leigh Bardugo created a vast world, weaved together with a Russian-inspired flair, where those who posses magic abilities are outcasts on a mission. In this world is the Shadowfold, filled with dark creatures, which splits the kingdom in two. Will the main character, Alina, be able to stop it from spreading? Or will the kingdom be lost? (Also, there’s a map at the front of the book, and I live for maps. It was super pretty).
A lot of people on Goodreads didn’t really like the main character in this series, Alina, because they felt she was too weak. However, I never saw her that way. She grows at time goes on and learns how to use her power, and in turn her confidence grows over time as well. I feel like that path is really similar to Agnieszka’s.
The Queen of the Tearling
I recently reviewed this book by Erika Johansen, and it’s a solid read. (The first two, anyway). I think it’s worth checking out no matter what though, even if I wasn’t quite fond of how the series ended.
The one thing that this series has going for it is the world building — also, the protagonist, Kelsea, totally kicks ass from the moment she is forced to take the throne as queen. #teenkween.
The magical aspects of this book (basically Kelsea has a magic necklace and energy kinda flows through her, etc) are not as appealing as in Uprooted, if you ask me. But they’re still cool, and I feel like I got the same sort of vibe while reading this series.
The Bear and the Nightingale
OK, so admittedly I’m only like halfway through this book. However, it already has the same magical aura of “Uprooted.”
Written by Katherine Arden, the book follows a similar sort of Russian theme, like Shadow and Bone. It does an even better job, though, and it feels more like a fairy tale — which is a really good thing.
I feel like it’s a bit slower so far than “Uprooted” was, but it’s already proving to be my favorite out of the four books listed here. At the moment, I’ve seen Vasilisa the main character, grow from a young girl to a teen, and she becomes more in tune with herself as she ages (same with Agnieszka, though it’s not as dramatic for her).
I’m waiting for more magical elements to pop up, as there was a lot of world building for the first 100 pages or so, but I have a feeling I’m just getting to the good parts. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Novik herself praised the book:
““A beautiful deep-winter story, full of magic and monsters and the sharp edges of growing up.”