I have to say, I am not a major fan of first person narrative in fantasy stories, since often I find that writers can sometimes struggle with characterisation when using it - just because you're telling a story from someone's point of view doesn't mean you don't have to think about this for your protagonist or anyone else! So I picked up my copy of Uprooted with some reservations, though I'd heard good things about it, only to be completely sucked into the story within a matter of pages.
The main character in the book is Agnieszka, who is a teenage girl brought up in the Valley, a place where they are under constant threat from the inhabitants of the nearby Wood and where, every ten years, the local wizard chooses one of the girls to live with him. Yes, this is a fantasy book with capitalisations of common nous, just go with it. Nobody knows what this wizard (the Dragon) does with the girls in question but the locals have a bunch of ideas about that and none of them are good - all anyone knows is that, at the end of their time with him, the girls come out of the tower but none of them want to stick around. As we start the book, it's time for the latest girl to be chosen and everyone expects it will be Agnieska's best friend Kasia, who is everything a wizard might want in a constant companion - instead, otherwise this would be quite a short book, he chooses Agnieszka who is basically a walking inkspot. We soon discover that his choice is based on the fact that Agnieszka can do magic too, though she doesn't know this at the time and his methods of teaching her leave much to be desired.
As the story progresses, Agnieszka comes to understand her magic and use it to great effect, even as the country is threatened by firstly the encroachment of the Wood and, secondly, by the single-minded focus of a prince and his desire to use magic to his own ends. A lot of thought has clearly gone into the plot and world-building, including the different ways in which magic works for different people - there's also a clever use of Eastern European legends as part of the storytelling (though I confess it took me a while to make the connection between Jaga and her namesake!). All in all, highly recommended and I fully expect to be reading this again some time soon.