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Uprooted
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2015 Reads > Uprooted: The...Old Weird? (full spoilers)

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message 1: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3964 comments The Wood is creepy and dark and mysterious, pretty much right up to the end when we get a bunch of explanation.

Along the way it felt a lot like Area X from Annihilation. Strange, creepy and unknowable things happened inside. You could be transformed into something that looked like yourself, but wasn't.

Uprooted is clearly fantasy, and owes a debt to fairy tales. But it's not just a fairy tale story. Is this book part of the New Weird? Or maybe some Old Weird?


Lindsay | 593 comments I'm not sure if it was an influence, but Uprooted reminded me strongly of Chernevog by C.J. Cherryh. Similar enough to make me think that either it was a direct influence or that Novik and Cherryh were using similar mythic sources.


message 3: by Brendan (last edited Aug 11, 2015 06:56AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Brendan (mistershine) | 930 comments This trope even predates Old Weird. The lost woods/forbidden forest/haunted forest is a standard element of Slavic and Scandinavian mythology. Tolkien didn't even bother changing the name for his version (Mirkwood).


Michael Casey | 74 comments I finished the thing this weekend. I couldn't get my footing. It starts our feeling like a fairytale, moves to feeling like light fantasy, moves to dark fantasy with splashes of fairytale.

In one sense, it made the story feel disjointed, almost like the MC is schizophrenic, since our view of that world is through her eyes. On the other hand, it made the book more unpredictable, and I liked that about it. You really had no clue whether some cute pixie was gonna pop out, or an orc.

If I had to pick one, I'd pick New Weird, because this kind of crossing genres has a contemporary feel to it for me.


Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Michael wrote: "'d pick New Weird, because this kind of crossing genres has a contemporary feel to it for me."

Yeah, I have a similar feeling, like it's an extremely modern approach to an old, old, old kind of story.


Lina | 19 comments Brendan wrote: "This trope even predates Old Weird. The lost woods/forbidden forest/haunted forest is a standard element of Slavic and Scandinavian mythology. Tolkien didn't even bother changing the name for his v..."

I agree. One of the reasons why I really enjoyed this book was how strongly it reminded me of Swedish folklore and fairytales I read as a child. In my mind the Wood always looked a lot like how John Bauer (Swedish illustrator famous for his illustrations of fairytales) would have drawn it.
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Hesper | 85 comments Same. It didn't feel like a great departure from all the (mostly) Slavic folk and fairy tales I grew up with. More like, Novik left the setting more or less intact and reframed it to fit her characters and plot.


Sean | 350 comments I'm going to have to go with "no" as well. I feel like New Weird requires more departure from established genre tropes. Yes, the book isn't the typical fantasy story, but I think it relies too much on Slavic/Polish myths and fairy tales to be New Weird.


Adam Gutschenritter (heregrim) | 110 comments I like the dark myth style of writing, and I hadn't thought to compare it to Tolkien. Strangely by moving it from my folk tale imaginings to the realm of myth makes me like it more. I am a huge fan of myths; ancient, modern or otherwise.


Minsta | 103 comments I like the "old weird" and my favorite parts of this book were when the characters were in/with the Wood and/or interacting with the critters of the Wood. (an aside: I would love to have some of the walkers living in my backyard!)

The "old weird" atmosphere reminded me of Winter Rose by Patricia McKillip. Both novels have main characters whose magic is intertwined with their love of all things nature - with nature being in the form of an "old weird" forest. Also, they both make sacrifices for woman they love (for Kasia in this book, and for the main character's sister in Winter Rose) - a theme of sisterhood that I have seen in other "old weird" tales.


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