Seraphina (Seraphina #1)
by Rachel Hartman
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Rating: Loved it!!
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.
Beautiful, captivating, and richly detailed, Seraphina is wonderful coming of age story...with dragons.
The characters throughout this book were simply wonderful. Seraphina is such a strong-minded, capable and resourceful young girl. Kigg's happiness was contagious and his brilliant mind was worthy of praise. Glisselda was so innocent yet hardworking and Orma was simply and wonderfully complex. Yet what was so extraordinary about all these characters were their flaws. You get a raw view of each character and their fears. It's all out in the open, yet that's what made it so beautiful. They weren't perfect, but I didn't want them to be. This story was about them learning about who they are and learning to accept it, flaws and all.
The world itself is rich and complex, yet easily read. The pacing wasn't fast, but it certainly wasn't slow and agonizing. It was the perfect journey, like taking your time to drink the perfect cup of coffee. The plot had a simple beauty to it, yet it was so wondrously complex.
The dragons in this book were a phenomenal mix of the well-known and the unknown. Don't worry, you get your fire-breathing, town-destroying action. But these dragons aren't all about plundering villages. These dragons can fold themselves into human-shapes and value knowledge above all else. They believe emotions add unnecessary baggage and only wish to gain knowledge. What was so intriguing about them was watching their awful attempts of humans customs. Honestly, it was like waiting for a train wreck to happen. Watching these dragons try and grasp an understanding of human nature and emotions was like watching Sheldon try and understand social customs.
But the underlying theme of love and acceptance is what truly makes this a beautiful book. These characters aren't without problems but its how they overcome these problems that make them so utterly wonderful.
This book is a beautiful story about accepting who you are, no matter what makes you different. Seraphina is such an honest, open book with a richly complex world and simply fantastic characters. It's creativity and beauty are astounding and truly worthy of praise.