I think part of my bias comes from the narrator - she wasn't bad exactly, but her cadence really bothered me. The pauses and enunciation was not what I am accustomed to, and I found the narration robotic, which made it a bit difficult to listen to, especially since the audiobook was over 17 hours long. So there's that - maybe I would find this book less tedious if I had been reading it in hardcopy instead.
Even then, though, I'm not sure. There was a lot of ambling in Uprooted. The story didn't really start until almost halfway through, and even then it took its dear time. Uprooted felt like it should have been a trilogy, or it should have been a shorter, more concise book. I felt my mind wandering, only being able to truly focus when there was an action sequence or a particularly beautiful bit of world building.
Sometimes, when books move along like this, they are balanced by particularly interesting characters. Unfortunately, the only character I found vaguely interesting was Agnieszka, our protagonist. There didn't seem to be a lot of time spent on character depth in Uprooted, and Agnieszka had a few fun little quirks when we were first introduced to her. I felt this faded the deeper we got into the story, and the characters blended together after a while.
There is a romance in this novel, but it is an afterthought - a side branch, if you will. There was chemistry between the characters, but the whole situation was very stiff. I was rooting for the couple, but the relationships between characters were all awkward... whether it was a romantic interlude or a platonic friendship. I blame the flat characters for this, but it was still disappointing. I know I'm not usually the one pining for a good romance, but I'd rather have no romance than one that feels like an afterthought.
All the energy in this novel went toward the fairytale feeling, and in that, Naomi Novik succeeded. The Wood is so many different things and made me continually revise my opinion of it. There is a strange otherness to the world that is beautifully done. I adore stories about magic and forests, and in that, I liked Uprooted. I just didn't have the patience for how long it took the story to get moving, and keep moving.
Like I said, it's not a bad book, but it is not a world changing fantasy. It's a good book for those who enjoy dark fairytales, like Wintersong or The Hazel Wood - Uprooted has the same deep feeling to it that can wrap up the reader in its peculiar magic. I think that feeling is why so many people love it so much. I think that Naomi Novik is a very creative author, if a slow storyteller, and I intend to read Spinning Silver. Uprooted is a wonderful story for the right reader, but they must love fairytales and have a bit of patience.