Review: Seraphina

Seraphina (Seraphina #1)
by Rachel Hartman
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Goodreads summary:
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.

What I thought:
I read The Audition, which is a prequel to Seraphina, about two months ago. It helped me be a little bit prepared for Hartman's writing and the story-book world she has created. Regardless, I still wasn't completely sure what to expect. I ended up really loving it!

There are some great characters in this book! There's Orma, the dragon who mostly raised Seraphina and is very much like a doting older uncle would be, although somewhat more reserved. Then there's the spoiled princess, Gisselda, who is very loyal and sweet regardless. There is the villain, or maybe I should say villains, who were very well done and who you're not exactly sure of until the end. I loved Prince Lucian Kiggs! He was definitely a favorite! He is betrothed to the princess, but is drawn to Seraphina. He tells her that he wants to be her friend, not that she really knows what to do with one of those.

Then there is Seraphina. She is such an interesting character. Someone born from two different worlds and who is trying to hide the fact. She is very intelligent and talented. I was a music major my freshman year of college, so I connected with the musical portions of the story and really enjoyed them! She has these visions that she must constantly be on her guard managing. The visions and characters in her garden were probably the only things that I felt distracted from the story a little bit, but I still understand why they were there. I'm sure they will play larger roles as the series progresses.

The story was very well written! We find out what is going on as things happen or as Seraphina relays them. I could visualize the world that the author created and loved it! You don't really know who the main villain is until the end, which can sometimes be hard to do. It was nice to be surprised. The author also doesn't just gloss over the tough spots. Such as when Seraphina exposes something and it isn't taken lightly. Princess Gisselda and Prince Lucian don't just immediately accept things. There is an adjustment period.

I'm really looking forward to reading Dracomachia! Unfortunately I have a while to wat as it won't be published until next year. If you like dragons, fantasy, or impossible love I highly recommend you read this one!

Content: Some innuendo - pretty much clean
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication date: July 10th 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: Library

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