Thursday, May 30, 2013

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman [Review]

Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)5 out of 5 Robots!
  


Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Series: Seraphina #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release: July 10, 2012
Hardcover: 451 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book 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. (Courtesy of the Publisher).

Shannon's Thoughts:
I adored this book!  It was a breath of fresh air after reading many many YA paranormal/urban fantasy.  I was more than happy to step into the fantasy world of Seraphina.  I love high fantasy, especially when it is done right.  And I felt that Seraphina had a lot going for it.  Hartman doesn't rush through her story and does a remarkable job of world building.  She has obviously put a lot of thought into her characterizations, history, politics and court intrigue.  I really appreciated that because I felt it lended the story more weight and resonance than if she had skipped over some the important background information in a rush to make her book action packed.  Because this book isn't really action packed.  It is more of a slow burn, but not necessarily less intense.  Hartman takes time to let her story build and increases the tension slowly and steadily.  By the end I was staying up WAY past my bedtime to see how it all plays out.

I thought Seraphina was a great character.  She is very logical and analytical due to her dragon half.  So she can be a little standoffish and "prickly", but she also experiences human emotions which sometimes confounds her.  Especially the feelings she develops for Kiggs.  The relationship between Kiggs and Seraphina is another thing Hartman really takes time to develop.  They start with mutual admiration that develops into a true friendship, then into something more.  But it is all the more sweeter once they get there. 

As I mentioned, I truly adored this book.  I think it is interesting and different than most other books out there.  I appreciate the care Hartman put into crafting her story.  I highly recommend this book!




1 comment :

  1. It does build slowly, but I loved how it brought the world to life. I liked the scientific dragons. It made my daydream come true of what it would be like for a modern person to live in the middle ages. It made for fascinating conflict. Great review!!

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