July 25, 2012

Seraphina - Rachel Hartman

Young Adult
Pages: 480
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Release 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.

I honestly thought I would loveX3 this book. Like head over heels love. It started strong and luscious and intriguing. The world-building was rich and engaging. But at some point details and politics within the world and even certain interactions, started to bore me.

Now, I would honestly say this is a must-pick for hard-core high fantasy fans like, say Lord of the Rings fans, but it is somewhat centered around romance. Not exactly centered, but it does have a lot to do with the story. And basically, besides the confusion --which I can look past because there was a glossary and character guide at the end-- what let me a bit down was the romance. Lets just say it's one of the weakest romances that I've seen in high fantasy. I'm sure some of you might disagree but that's my take. Also, now that I'm complaining a bit... Where's my map!!?? Believe me, I looked everywhere. Sad though. They should make it a requirement. Just kidding.

I did like the fact that while I normally prefer my high fantasies told in third person and this one was in first, I didn't mind it a bit. The voice was strong and it fit the story perfectly. It wouldn't have worked so well had it been in third. It is as gorgeously written as many starred reviews have said, and it's indeed a very interesting take on dragons. It's a story worth reading for all high fantasy readers, I really enjoyed it and plan to read all sequels.


  1. I'm really intrigued by this one, but I'm a romance fanatic so I don't want to be disappointed by that. Plus, no map? Come on! I don't know if this will be a book for me, but I'll have to find out myself!

  2. I really loved this one! I loved the different take on dragons but I also really loved eragon, which can have a few slow parts

  3. I have this from Vine and I might be reading it next. I'm sorry that the romance didn't do it for you. And no map!? :'(

  4. I didn't feel like romance was that big of a deal to the story; I thought court intrigue and diplomacy toward the dragons were far more important. Thus while the romance wasn't entirely to my taste (I wish the male character was free), it didn't matter too much. I can't wait for the sequel!

  5. I agree Sabrina. I liked this book, but I didn't LOVE it. I wanted a more compelling romance and just more compelling characters all around. I thought it was imaginative, but I did get a tad bored.

  6. You know, even though it's not a requirement maps in High Fantasy books help you visualize the world better.

    I'm still on the fence about this book, despite the glowing reviews. Maybe I'm just not a dragon fan? Or the romance? I can't tell.

    Thanks for the review.

  7. I've seen a lot of glowing reviews, but I'm a romance fan at heart, and... :/ But it's about DRAGONS. So I just might have to take a look?

    Skyway Avenue Reads


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