Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Seraphina, Rachel Hartman

From the prologue: I remember being born. In fact, I remember a time before that. There was no light, but there was music: joints creaking, blood rushing, the heart's staccato lullaby, a rich symphony of indigestion. Sound enfolded me, and I was safe. 

Seraphina was a really good dragon fantasy. In a kingdom called Goredd, there is a forty-year old treaty between dragons and humans that has not eased mistrust all that much. Dragons transform into human shape, and teach at universities. But the treaty's expiration draws near. Seraphina Dombegh is a gifted musician, the court's assistant composer. She has reasons to fear both sides: for she is a half-dragon. Her mother was a dragon, her father is a human. A member of the royal family is murdered suspiciously, and Seraphina joins in the investigation with Prince Lucian Kiggs, the captain of the Queen's Guard. They begin to uncover a plot to destroy the fragile peace, while Seraphina struggles with her growing love for Kiggs and her terrible secret that could mean death if it is exposed.

There are a lot of names and terms that you have to remember in Seraphina. The first few chapters were kind of slow, as there was a lot of information thrown at you. But once I got the hang of the world and the terms, I liked this one a lot. Seraphina's garden inside her mind is quite interesting. If she doesn't "tend" to it each evening, she'll have visions.

I enjoyed the characters (isn't Seraphina such a beautiful name?), and the mystery. This one was a lot better than most dragon fantasies I've read. I liked the cover too; it's not too garishly bright like some YA covers can be. Understated, but elegant.

The plot gets more and more complicated as new developments and old histories come to light. I loved all the elements of Seraphina: the mystery, the dragons, the music, the romance.

Read Seraphina:
  • if you like dragon fantasy
  • if you like books with mystery and some romance
451 pages.
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!

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