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 gradongs 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 ambassadoes, 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.
I have been wanting to read this book since I first head about it quite some time ago. When I learned about Tess of the Road (TotR)and found out that it is set in the same world as Seraphina, I knew I had to read Seraphina before starting TotR.
Before I started reading this book, I went back and read a bunch of reviews. Sometimes I get a little skeptical when I read so many reviews that talk about how great a book is, but Seraphina does not disappoint! It was AH-MAY-ZING!!!
I laughed, I cried, and I looked up a bunch of words that I didn't know the definition of (thank you Kindle app for your built-in dictionary).
I absolutely ♥ ♥ ♥ Seraphina, and I absolutely ♥ ♥ ♥ Rachel Harman's writing! Her world building and character development were extraordinary.
I also ♥ ♥ ♥ Orma! He was one of my favorite characters.
I was so thankful that I had access to book #2 right after finishing #1. I would have been very sad if I had to wait to see what happened next.
Shadow Scale (book #2) was not quite as good as book #1, but it was still fun and entertaining and well worth the read. Plus, to better understand TotR, I definitely recommend reading both books.
I loved that Rachel Hartman was able to discuss serious issues that are present in today's society while telling a story about dragons in a fun and entertaining way (and not preachy). She talks about racism and race relations, as well interracial relationships. She talks about religion and misplaced hate, disguised as religion. She even touches on gender identity!
I think Norah Piehl said it well on Teen Reads:
Rachel Hartman's debut fantasy is self-assured and ambitious, with a complicated plot that is nevertheless engaging from first to last. It also possesses a sly commentary on our own political landscape, as Seraphina urges her human companions not to paint dragons as evildoers with too broad a brush.
Seraphina is a dragon novel that seemingly has it all: political intrigue, an imaginative world that never overwhelms the suspenseful plot, a wry sense of humor, a genuine romance, and, as readers will be pleased to discover, not only a satisfying narrative arc of its own but also the promise of a sequel. The end of the book finds Seraphina satisfied, having found her own "place to stand." Readers will be eager to discover where she'll land next.I highly recommend this series! Check it out, then when you fall in love with Seraphina, read about her sister, Tess!
Stay tuned for my review of Tess of the Road! I will post it next week!