Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book Review: Seraphina (Seraphina, #1) by Rachel Hartman

Rachel Hartman 


5 stars out of 5

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.

My Review:

Well, it has been awhile since I have entered into the world of Dragons! And Seraphina, well, it was amazing to say the least! I have always loved books about dragons; I remember when I went through a phrase when that was all I read! But lately, sadly, I haven’t been into dragon books like I used to be, let’s just say Seraphina reminded me why I love reading about dragons so much!  Reading Seraphina brought back some fond memories :)

Now, I was super excited to read this book!!! So, when I got it in my heads, I had the biggest smile on my face! Okay, it did take me a few days to read it, I have just been so busy as of late, and super tired every evening. But as I got deeper into the story, I couldn’t put it down. Hartman created such a unique story, and took an approach to dragons that I haven’t read about before, so I really enjoyed her approach towards dragons and ideas within Seraphina.

Rachel Hartman has created such an intricate world. Seraphina is majestically written, spun with a beautiful thread. I really enjoyed entering this world. Most dragon books are very political, or have a political aspect to it. However, even though Seraphina was like that, it wasn’t the main focus of the story. Or it didn’t feel like that to me.

In Seraphina, you are introduced to the main character, Seraphina (ha the title!!) and I really enjoyed this character. Very different in my mind, she is quite and keeps to herself, which you discover the reasons behind this just a few chapters within the story.

 Seraphina, even though she prefers to be a loner, always trying to keep others at a distance, you do get to see that she is a wonderful character. I felt so much for her, from all the things she goes through. All she wants is just to play and teach music. That’s all she cares about, but when a prince is murdered and a dragon is the suspect, Seraphina is thrown into the chaos. And as you dive deeper into the story, you realize Seraphina is more than meets the eye.

You see, forty years ago, Dragons and humans created a treaty, to stop their fighting and to attempt to live in peace with each other. And one way this is accomplished is that dragons have learned to take on human form! Yes, human form! That is what I loved so much about this book, very original in my opinion. However, even with forty years of peace, tension is still present and with the death of a prince, that peace is even more strained. And it seems that Seraphina might be the only one to not only keep the peace, but the save both the dragons and the humans.

With dragons having the ability to turn into humans, it gave the story something different, a different way to view not only dragons, but the world that Hartman created. It captured me and filled me with a sense of wonder and intrigue.

Okay, so as I have mentioned before, I really enjoyed the character Seraphina, she is so strong and even when she feels hopeless; she seems to always keep moving. She is special and she knows this, and that is her advantage. And then she has this way with music, she is extremely talent!

Each character in this book is splendid! I enjoyed learning and reading about each one. You also have the ‘guy’ *wiggles eyebrows* and the wonderful and fun filled side characters!!

Lucian Kiggs (love the name Lucian, sounds so sexy) is the ‘guy’ character, with him comes a mix of feelings, he did things that made me love him, and he did things that made me not like him at times.

‘He smiled at the sheer absurdity of me, and I could not stop myself smiling back.’

However, he is a smexy character in his own right, and all that and a bag of potato chips! Like Seraphina, he struggles to prove himself and he is a strong character, no matter what stands in his way he keeps fighting. And gosh, he says some things that just made my heart beat faster and I wanted to just…mmmhhhmmm. HA!

‘His enthusiasm made him beautiful. I was staring; I looked at my hands.’

Other characters I enjoyed so much was Oram and the Princess Glisselda. Oram is Seraphina’s dragon tutor. He takes on the form of a human to teach and guide Seraphina. And he is such an interesting character. In Seraphina, dragons are very analytical. Emotions are ‘things’ they just can’t comprehend or understand, they seem to only fluster dragons. They view emotions as unnecessary. There are also rules dragons must follow that deal with emotions. And such, Oram, comes off as a bit of a stiff character, but he has such a personality! I really enjoyed reading about him!

“I’m attracting small children,” Orma muttered, twisting his hat in his hands. “Shoo it away, will you?”

Then we have the princess, and wow, she is a character! She had me giggling so much and she kind of reminded me of Dee Black, from the Lux series. Princess Glisselda is Seraphina music student. And her personality shines like the sun!! She brings the relief to the tension and suspense filled parts of the book, and she does that well! I just adored her and her bubbly personality!

‘“They claim to have spotted a rogue dragon, flying around the countryside in its natural shape! Isn’t that awful”
Awful enough to have her grinning ear to ear. She was a strange little princess.’

As the story grows, the characters are thrown into a very dire situation; they are placed within the center of the struggle between dragons and humans. And as Seraphina tries to uncover what really happened, she makes friends and enemies along the way. She discovers she is strong and that her secret might be just what the country needs to save not only humans, but dragons too.

As I dived deeper into the story the more I enjoyed it. I found that each character had their own unique personality and that the story was really original. The pacing did start off a bit slow, but it did pick up more within the story. I felt the book itself made up for that.

I could see each character grow and become their own person, just as the story became a world I could get lost in.

Hartman created a beautiful story and I am so glad I got to experience it! 


  1. I remember being really excited for the release of this one, so I really dont know why I haven't read it yet. You make it sound amazing and now I cannot wait to start it. I am a sucker for dragons as well. If you liked this book, I am pretty sure you will like Firelight by Sophie Jordan (if you haven't read it already) that has dragon/people too and a yummy guy named Will.

    Amazesauce review =]

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

    1. I've heard of Firelight and if you liked it, I know I have to pick it up!! Plus a yummy guy! I'm sold! HA!
      Teresa you always make my day!

      Thanks for checking out my review :)


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