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Seraphina (Seraphina #1) by Rachel Hartman: A Bok Review

Seraphina (Seraphina #1)
Author: Rachel Hartman
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2012
Pages: 528
Source: My State Public Library
Synopsis: Lyrical, imaginative, and wholly original, this New York Times bestseller with 8 starred reviews is not to be missed.  Rachel Hartman’s award-winning debut will have you looking at dragons as you’ve never imagined them before…

     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. 

      My review: In this fantasy series, dragons can take human form and live alongside humans in the kingdom of Goredd. However, many humans fear the dragons and some have formed a secret brotherhood to get rid of them. With the murder of a prince, the peace treaty between dragons and human seems to break. Seraphina, a court musician, is caught in the middle of the feud because of her secret. Seraphina strives to find ways to keep the peace between the humans and dragons.

     As the narrator, Seraphina’s voice is filled with wisdom and maturity, even though she is only in her teens. She has a good grasp of the political intrigue that surrounds her. She is very timid and shy, but she eventually becomes friends with the royal family. I found Seraphina to be a strong heroine. She is not a damsel-in-distress and is capable of taking care of herself and the situation. I also liked her romance with Lucien Kiggs because it is very real. They do not love each other from the start, but rather it grows from friendship. Lucien Kiggs is every inch her equal. He is smart, practical, and observant. He is a gentleman, and he greatly respects Seraphina.

     I loved Rachel Hartman’s world-building. The world. while complex, is very fascinating. I loved how religion is portrayed in this world. It is a world that greatly symbolized the medieval Catholic setting, with saints that are both human and dragon. I also like the mythical creatures in the novel, such as the quigutl, a cousin species to a dragon that eats the city’s garbage.

     Overall, this book is about friendship, family, and romance. It is about a woman who is trying to find her identity. This novel is filled with political intrigue, mystery, and suspense. Rachel Hartman’s world is creative and the characters are definitely complex. While the story is slow-paced, it gradually gains speed. Seraphina is a fun read and a really good treat. Soon you will want to read the sequel, Shadow Scales.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is the official book trailer of Seraphina:

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