Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Pages: 451
Received: Received from Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: July 10, 2012
Buy From Amazon.ca / Buy From Chapters.ca

Goodreads Synopsis:

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:

This is a hard book to talk about for me. I fell in love with this book at first sight, and I have to say I was scared to dive into, I was thinking I may have hyped it up a little too much in my mind, I mean dragons, politics, and murder mystery all in one... But Rachel Hartman did not disappoint at all! Everything about this book was awesome, from the dragons to the courtiers. 

Hartman does a great job with her world building in this book, introducing readers to how everything came to how it is today. She describes the treaty in great detail and makes the readers understand why the treaty was the best plan. This definitely wasn't an action book, which I loved about it. There is mystery and a political plot throughout. I also really enjoyed the idea of the strength of emotions throughout the book. Hartman really delves deep into the idea that emotions are a nuisance to the dragons because it takes away from the logical side of things.

I loved the character of Seraphina, she tries hard to keep her secret and stay behind the scenes but she continually gets pushed to the forefront of everything. She was a strong character that fought for what she believed in.

The best thing I loved about this book was Hartman's writing. She writes in a very sophisticated manner, not writing down to her readers but rather using a lot of intelligence in her writing to show how the dragons value learning. And if you have any issues with some of her terminology, there is a great glossary in the back of the medieval terms she uses. 

This is a beautifully written book, that I will be recommending to many people! It's a different kind of YA book out there, and I'm excited to see where Seraphina takes herself in the next book!


  1. This sounds like a great book! I have seen it around, but I haven't looked into it. I will definitely read it based on your review. I love that it has a unique story and that the writing is good. I often find that YA books have mediocre writing. I am glad to find one that is well-written!

  2. I have this book sitting on my kindle but have been hesitant about starting it because of the hype it has received, I don't want to be disappointed; but going by your amazing review I think I'll be picking up soon! everything you mention is what I enjoy in a good YA.

    Thankyou for sharing :)



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