Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Title: Seraphina
Author: Rachel Hartman
Publisher: Random House 
Date of Publication: Aug. 10, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, fantasy, medieval fantasy
Source: bought, hardcover, 512 pages


Goodreads Summary:
In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, "Some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy."
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.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed Seraphina!  It was a fun read with an interesting subject that you don't really see a lot of in young adult stories nowadays.  Especially being the main characters too.  Dragons!  Who doesn't love dragons?  Ever since I was a little girl I have been in love with the majestic dragon.  Yes, some are bad; but there are also some very good ones as well.  And I guess that is what made me love this story the most.  The idea that, just like humans, there is your good guys and your bad guys.  I love when a story shows us there is more to it than the stereotypes that the vast majority share.
Seraphina was an unique character with her many talents and difficulties that she had.  For the first few chapters, we aren't really sure why Seraphina is so afraid to bring attention to herself; only that she has some magical? abilities maybe and has to hide them from the rest of people.  And once we find out what the "secret" is, whoa boy!  It really is a big one that could bring about her death too.
I liked Seraphina.  I thought I would probably get a long with her if she truly existed.  She is quiet but awesome and caring even though she fears to get too close.  Funny that she ends up being friends with the prince and princess!
That is another character that surprised me: Princess Glisselda.  I automatically assumed she was a spoiled brat that would make trouble for Seraphina; but I was far from the truth.  The Princess was  actually very smart and paid attention to everything that Seraphina taught her.  And she was a caring princess too.  I can't wait to see how she does in the next book.
There is a slight love interest in the book but it doesn't take over.  Instead, it is light and fluttery, like a butterfly, that slowly comes to the forefront very quietly.  I don't know I liked that there was a love interest but I also liked that it wasn't the main story line too.
Really the main threads is the mystery and Seraphina finally coming to terms with herself; learning to appreciate her whole self and not just the parts that society would accept.
I loved this book!  I can't wait to jump into the next one as soon as I get my hands on it!  If you love high fantasy, dragons, and a great mystery then I insist you pick up a copy of Seraphina too!




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