Thursday, 26 July 2012

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

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Source: Giveaway from Bookurious!
Publisher: Random House
Format: Hardcover, 467 pages
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.
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.

I love dragons. I love fantasy. I love solid world-building. I love strong female leads. I love beautiful prose. I love thought-provoking themes.

I'm pretty in love with Seraphina because it has ALL of that.

Seraphina is a character that I had no trouble falling for. She gets grumpy and annoyed and is very much still trying to find where she fits into this world of dragons versus humans, despite the peace treaty that is currently in place. She's also a talented musician that can muster up plenty of courage and I am stoked to see just what she'll do in the next book.

The dragons in this novel are fantastic. Instead of jewels and treasures, these dragons hoard knowledge and keep their emotions tucked deep within their scaly exteriors. They also have human forms that they can shift into and are very much involved in the political decisions of the kingdom. I LOVED the politics and deep history of the dragons and humans. It's quite a heavy portion of the novel and it was just really fascinating to learn. In addition to that, there are some wonderfully thought-provoking topics such as acceptance and the importance of the arts.

Fantasy is and always has been my favourite genre to read and it's because of books like this. I feel connected, more so emotionally in this case, to Seraphina's world and every time I put down the book, I was scrambling to pick it back up again. There is a lot going on and I think it was one of those novels where you actually might need your thinking cap! Don't go into this book expecting fluffy romance and amusing one-liners. It is engrossing but not what I would call 'light.'

Written with fluid and gorgeous writing, Seraphina is definitely a novel that I hope you'll try!

Cover Comments: I love it to pieces! Man, wish I could sketch like that :)



  1. I've been wanting to read this book for AGES so I'm glad it's worth the wait. Sounds fantastic! Great review!

  2. YAY! So exciting that you enjoyed this one! It's such a vivid and captivating fantasy and I felt so sisterly toward Seraphina, simply because of all the STUFF she has to endure, the guilt, the self-loathing. *sniffles* I really felt for this girl. AND KIGGS. OMG, what a swoony guy. So swoon-worthy.


  3. Woo-hoo! I'm so glad you loved this one as I did too! :D Like you, I really liked Seraphina's narration and thought that the politics in this novel was superb! Plus, I loooved the relationships Seraphina sustained with Orma and especially Kiggs. I can't wait to see how that plays out in the sequel and I'll probably die waiting for it! ;) Great review! :D

    Ivy Book Bindings

  4. Yes yes yes to your first two paragraphs! Seraphina really had everything in it. And the dragons were freaking AWESOME. I loved how they were so different and how Seraphina struggled being part of both worlds. And the romance...sigh. It was amazing. Great review, Sonia! Majorly jealous of the cover you have too, it's so much better than the UK one!

  5. You loved it! YAY!! I've been hearing sooo many good things about this, so when the fantasy-loving Story Queen adds to that praise, I have zero hope of passing this by. I'm especially intrigued by the mythology and politics.... DRAGONS!! I was totally dragon-prejudice before I read Firelight and realised: HEY, THEY'RE COOL. Definitely want to add more fire-breathing books to my shelves.

    I really crave these deep kind of fantasies every so often, so I am insanely happy Seraphina delivers. AMAZING REVIEW!

  6. " I love dragons. I love fantasy. I love solid world-building. I love strong female leads. I love beautiful prose. I love thought-provoking themes."

    I CAN HAS YOUR BRAIN? Wait... I think... I kind of DO... except not halfway as brilliant... but... um... I'm not making sense >___<
    SONIA. YOUR REVIEW. IS PERFECTION. And this sounds AMAZING! I can't wait to read and... DRAGONSES! ♥

  7. This looks like such a cute book! Glad to hear it's one you enjoyed.