Author: Rachel Hartman
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publish Date: July 10 2012
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman tells the story of Seraphina, a young woman living in a world where dragons exist. Not only do dragons exist, but Seraphina's mother was one, unbeknownst to her father. But dragons are feared and hated by humans in Goredd, and Seraphina fears what will become of her if anyone discovers her secret.
Seraphina starts off a little slowly, but as I read more and more, I found I couldn't put the book down. It was a thoroughly entertaining novel and I suggest, if you try it and find it a little slow, just keep reading. It became exactly the kind of fantasy novel I wanted to read. It had mystery, romance, and dragons! Come on, who doesn't love dragons? And just wait for the twist! I totally wasn't expecting it, but when it came it made perfect sense.
Seraphina, herself, is a little boring and cold in the beginning of the story. That has a lot to do with her upbringing. But once you get to know her she's actually pretty tough. My heart broke for her, having to hide who she was away from everyone, feeling like if anyone discovered the truth she'd be an outcast. I was so glad when she finally let go a little and let herself be happy.
And then there are the infinite side characters! Each lovable in their own right. Prince Lucian Kiggs? Oh, yeah. I fell in love! Seraphina's band of "grotesques" are, once she starts to meet them, each loyal and brave. Princess Glisselda was probably my absolute favorite, though. She's such a sweetheart and she's so sincere and sweet to Phina.
The storyline is really interesting, but there's just so much going on. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it's not. The history of Goredd is rich and wonderful. But, being honest, it did take me more than a few chapters to get into Seraphina. It took awhile to sort out all of the information I was given in the beginning, but once I sorted it, I was flying through the chapters.
I love that this book has a glossary, and you would do well to read it! Seraphina is such a rich fantasy novel, with such a unique and creative setting, it can be a little overwhelming at times. But it's a fantastic read that will leave you yearning for the next in the series!
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