Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Having enjoyed some of the Tremeraire books I jumped at the chance to read this YA novel complete with dragons.
Ok so it's not very dragony but there is a dragon, albeit he's distant, focused and very out of sync with his latest virgin sacrifice. Oh, did I mention that every 10 years he takes, well is given really, a virgin from a local village.
Really the Dragon, Sarkan, is here to guard against the dreaded Wood that sends out all sorts of monsters to kill, overrun villages, create new monstrosities and turn humans into such aspects. (Of course there's a back story here!)
All very DARK, sort of like the things that come out of the Pelgairs in Mercedes Lackey's novels, only with a central malevolent force behind it all.
Well our heroine, Agnieszka, is unlike the other girls. She indeed marches to the beat of her own drum, is not beautiful and tends to well, really, she's always downright messy.
But as Sarkan knows, Agnieszka is more than the plain, strange girl...and as a person of the village near to the Wood comprehends the full horrors, and more as the story develops.
When Agnieszka gets dragged off to the Royal Court things definitely get more interesting, if not down right frighteningly and dangerously grim!
A NetGalley ARC