Friday 19 April 2013

Book Review- Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Title: Seraphina
 Author: Rachel Hartman
Series:  Seraphina #1
Published:  10 July 2012 by Random House
Length: 367 pages
Source: publisher
Other info: There's a prequel short, The Audition. Book Two, Drachomachia, should come February next year. 
Summary : 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.
Review: It’s been 40 years since the treaty ws signed, bringing peace between humans and dragons, in the medieval fantasy land of Goredd. Seraphina is a sixteen year old musician at the palace, hiding a secret. One day,Prince Rufus is murdered, in a method that points highly to dragons. The tension between humans and dragons rises, Seraphina gets dragged into this, and discovers that this may be just the beginning of the end of peace. Oh, and she also has to deal with the people in her head, visions of her mother’s memories and keeping her secret secret.
DRAGONS!! The mythology in this is amazing. The dragons are intelligent, have their own civilisation, and are able to fold themselves down into human form.
Seraphina is really well fleshed out, like all of the characters. You learn a lot about all of them, with little hints being dropped in steadily throughout.
The people in Seraphina’s head! I loved that element. The interactions are always informative, and a bit of comic relief. The supporting characters brought their own things to the story, especially Glisselda and Lucien. My favourite character was either Seraphina herself, or Orma, her mentor/dragon/guardian/teacher/cool person.
I’ve said about the mythology of Seraphina, but then there’s also the society. It’s a very easy to belive in medieval fantasy society, with segregation by species and a  full court.
The romance between Lucien and Seraphina was really sweet, and happily didn’t detract from the rest of the novel.
The writing is excellent. Really descriptive, with fitting language, and generally beautiful. There’s also some inworld expressions that really add to the culture and the atmosphere to this. I am so thankful for the glossary and the dramatis personae at the back.

Overall:  Strength 5 tea to a beautiful medieval fantasy. Highly looking forwards to book 2.


  1. Oh this was one of my favourite books that I read last year! It makes me happy to see other people falling in love with it too :)

  2. I can't wait to read this one - I even have the free short story prequel on my desktop just wAITING for when I have time to get to it.


Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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