Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina by Rachel HartmanSeraphina (Seraphina #1) by Rachel Hartman
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers (2012), Hardcover, 482pg
Source: Library
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

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.

Dragons and an alternate medieval setting and did I mention DRAGONS!!

The dragons are not your typical European fantasy dragons. They can look like humans and live amongst us, but they’re basically Vulcans. They’re very logical and mathematical and don’t understand emotions (or refuse to?) and this causes conflict between everyone because idk, logical math-dragons freak people out.

The dragon-human war probably didn’t help, tbh. Seraphina is set in a world where dragons are not mythological creatures knights set out on quests against. They’re intelligent, soulful people and they don’t like their homeland being invaded by what they basically think of as rodents. Who would? 

However, since the humans and the dragons have come to a truce, the peoples in Seraphina must now learn to live with one another– and it’s taking a VERY long time. At the start of the books it’s been about 40 years since the truce between the two started, which is practically two generations’ worth of human life if this actually were the medieval era. 

There are those who move quicker than others, though! 

The protagonist, Seraphina, is half-human/half-dragon. This causes Trouble, of course, both internal (she doesn’t like her dragon side) and external (humans don’t like dragons, and nobody likes half-humans). Drama! Heartbreak! Other emotionally satisfying things! It’s very much a coming-of-age story as well as a mystery, AND it’s even got a little romance in it! There’s something for everyone. 

Special shout out to my favorite secondary character, Princess Glisselda! She’s upbeat and a little bit boneheaded, but she’s nevertheless competent and kind and I loved her. More books with kind and competent royalty, please!

I can’t WAIT for the sequel to come out. Yay!

Read: April 4-5, 2014

10 thoughts on “Seraphina by Rachel Hartman”

  1. Agreed! I really liked this book, and found I liked it more and more as I read. Glisselda really was a wonderful character as well! To be honest, I liked reading about all the side characters more than I liked reading about Seraphina herself. Orma is a delightful character. I really like the idea of dragons being able to fold themselves into human form, but wished they did more when in such form. Still, I really liked this one, and am glad you did too!

  2. I have had this out twice now from the library but each time things came up that cut down my reading time and I had to return it unread. I really need to get to it – it sounds so good!

  3. WHEN WHEN will the sequel come out? I want it very much!

    I love Glisselda too. I always love it when an author presents a character who you think is going to be ditzy and dumb but she turns out to be amazing. People are always thinking I’m sweet and dumb BUT I AM NEITHER, so I identify. :p

  4. I have been impatiently awaiting the sequel too! I think more so because at first it looked like it would be released early last year, so that makes the wait feel even longer..

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