By Elizabeth Wroten
Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
On 17, Apr 2013 | In Review | By Elizabeth Wroten
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.
This one took my by surprise. I really, really enjoyed it. So much that I didn’t really want to start another book after it, actually. And I’m hoping there will be a sequel.
Normally I am not a huge fantasy reader. At least not high fantasy and I would probably shy away from anything with dragons. I can’t really say why. Maybe because the world building gets a bit complex or intricate? Maybe because I start thinking of people who dress up to play Dungeons and Dragons? But Seraphina was so effortless to read and the characters are all so engaging. It’s just a well written story with well-fleshed-out characters and a world that is easy to slip into. Plus the mystery and intrigue is very captivating. I appreciated that the ending didn’t come abruptly and didn’t work out exactly how I would have expected. It definitely left me wanting more.
As a side note, this book made me think a bit of the Patricia Wrede series Dealing With Dragons which I read in middle school and absolutely loved. This was a bit darker and quite a bit more complex, but satisfied me in the same kind of way.