Published by Random House Children's Books on July 10th 2012
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
In the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer. The newest member of the royal court, a uniquely gifted musician named Seraphina, holds a deep secret of her own. One that she guards with all of her being. When a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, Seraphina is drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive—and dashing—Prince Lucien. But as the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina’s struggle to protect her secret becomes increasingly difficult… while its discovery could mean her very life.
This review is going to be quite a pleasure to write – Seraphina is one of the best books I’ve read this year, and I’m excited to share my thoughts. And then, of course, to persuade you to read the book. 😉
First of all, I’d like to admire the beautiful prose of Rachel Hartman. She’s a wordsmith. My reading experience was enjoyable largely thanks to Hartman’s lyrical writing style. And maybe the lyrical style is due in part to Seraphina’s musical talent and the impact of music upon the story? Anyhow, the book flows seamlessly – one scene into the next. I couldn’t put it down because it was so fluid.
Seraphina is a very distinctive narrator and I loved her unique voice. She’s very literal and dry but also hilarious. She’s very relatable, and I know that’s a cliche thing to say, but I think it’s true. She’s struggling because she doesn’t fit in, and this is something many readers will understand and also sympathize with. But Seraphina isn’t whiny or self-pitying, and that’s what I loved best about her. She does what needs doing and nothing will stand in her way.
Enter Princess Glisselda and Prince Lucian Kiggs, who have also found places in my heart. At first glance, Selda seems to be the spoiled, stereotypical princess. I’ll give you a hint: she’s not. And Kiggs is absolutely endearing and adorable. The sparks between Seraphina and Kiggs gave my stomach butterflies. Also, Orma, who shares a special bond with Seraphina. I couldn’t be happier with the development of that bond.
Hartman has created an incredibly intricate story world. It practically leaps off the page. The history and the relationship between the humans and the dragons is rife with tension. The humans fear the dragons, and the dragons condescend to the humans. The dragons look down on the humans for succumbing to their emotions. So there’s the underlying theme of love – something the dragons adamantly avoid but are seeking to understand.
And as far as plot goes, it’s intriguing. There’s a murder and a mystery. Seraphina and Kiggs are detectives hot on the trail. So there’s the whole whodunnit? element, but also a good bit of politics. And it wasn’t predictable.
I’m super excited to get my hands on book 2. I’m totally invested in Seraphina’s story and her story world. Read it, read it, read it! Dragons, mystery, romance, humor, what more do I need to say?!
HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS!