Monday, August 6, 2012

Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

(Seraphina #1)

Author: Rachel Hartman

Publication Date: July 10th, 2012

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Genre: 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 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.

My Thoughts: I've heard a lot of great things about Seraphina, so I decided that I needed to give it a try. Am I ever glad I did! I haven't really had much of a chance lately to read some regular old fantasy, but after reading Seraphina, I've realized how much I've missed it.

Seraphina revolves around the upcoming anniversary of the treaty of peace between humans and dragons. All of a sudden the Prince has been murdered and it looks suspiciously like a dragon is the culprit. The protagonist of the story is Seraphina, a musician who works at court. She has a secret, she's half dragon, half human and nobody knows it, and she intends to keep it that way. She tries to blend in and be a nobody, but she still gains the friendship of the youngest Princess and her fiance, Prince Lucian Kiggs. Seraphina has so many secrets and is finding it hard to keep them all contained. She hides her scaly arm and waist beneath clothing, but how can she hide it forever. How can she keep  lying to someone she loves.

Seraphina is a very strong character, she has to be. If she lets anything slip, she could be killed for the abomination she is. She is adjusting to life at court and just trying to blend in, but her extraordinary musical gifts won't allow her to. She struggles to stay in the shadows, but when she uncovers a plot through her maternal memories, she has to help. The peace needs to be maintained and she might be the only one who can help figure out who is behind it. She struggles with her own emotions, knowing she's a monster and that no one will ever be with her. I felt so bad for her, always hiding herself and not letting herself feel any emotion. She is a great heroine and is incredibly brave. She puts everyone else before herself and I admire her for it.

I really enjoyed reading Rachel Hartman's debut into YA. She has done a wonderful job creating a world of fantasy that the reader only wants more of. I know I will be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. There was only one thing that bothered me, which is why I'm giving this one 4 owls. I know there are a lot of books that just throw you into the story, but for this one I found the beginning just a bit confusing and it took me a little bit to figure out what was going on. That might be my fault though for not reading the synopsis very well. I sort of just glanced at it. Once I managed to figure everything out, I couldn't put the book down and lost myself in the wonderful writing. This is definitely a debut you should read if you enjoy fantasy, or are even looking to try the genre. Rachel Hartman will be an author to watch out for in the future!

Thank you NetGalley and Doubleday Canada for the review copy!


  1. Yes! This one looks sooo good! I saw a pile of them in the bookstore one day, but never did get a copy. They did look quite beautiful. :)

    Great review!

    1. I know! I need a physical copy! I love the cover for this one!!


We love to hear your comments! Let us know what you think! Thanks for reading and visiting!
We are now an Award free blog. We love getting them and appreciate that you thought of us, but we really don't have the time to commit for the requirements of getting them.