Thursday, July 26, 2012

Review: Seraphina

By Rachel Hartman
Published: July 10, 2012

My review:

The kingdom of Goredd is about to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Comonot's Treaty, a peace treaty between humans and dragons, when Prince Rufus is found murdered and it looks like the culprit is a dragon. Dragons or Saar, have the ability to take human form to live among humans and learn from them but there is still ill feeling and mistrust towards them which is only fueled by the murder. Seraphina Dombeh is new at the palace as a music tutor to Princess Glisselda. Seraphina is a talented musician but she wishes to stay out of the spotlight to protect her secret-she is half dragon and would be considered an abomination if people knew of her existence. Unfortunately she becomes unwittingly involved in the investigation when her knowledge of dragons comes to the attention of Prince Lucian Kiggs, Glisselda's fiance and Captain of the Guard.

Seraphina is a creative fantasy novel with detailed world building, humor, mystery, and a little romance. I enjoyed learning about the dragons but what I loved most about the book was the characters especially Seraphina and her uncle Orma. As a dragon, Orma is supposed to be closed off emotionally but he still does love Seraphina even though he it is against dragon ways and he isn't very good at showing it. The author does a good job of issues like family relationships, belonging, and rights within a fantasy background. 

The mystery surrounding the death of Prince Rufus and the escalating anti-dragon sentiment add a note of suspense and intrigue along with the puzzle of the identity of the people Seraphina sees in her visions. I enjoyed the mystery perhaps more than the romance. Really with the "love interest" engaged elsewhere it is mostly nice to see them develop a friendship and hope it will lead to something more without hurting the other person involved. 

I thought this was a fantastic debut and an interesting take on dragon lore. The addition of music and Seraphina's struggles to figure out how to belong in her world gave the story a greater dimension than the average fantasy novel. I look forward to reading more about Seraphina and the other characters as the series progresses.

Readalikes: Dragon's Keep by Janet Lee Carey

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes through the Amazon Vine program


  1. I definitely preferred the mystery to the romance for the same reason. And I really can't wait to read the next-there should be a lot to enjoy!

  2. I am so glad you liked this one. My sister is currently reading it and so far enjoying it. I can't wait to read it too!

    Thanks for the great review and for stopping by our blog : )

  3. Glad that the romance aspect develops with a friendship first. It sounds like I should pick this one back up again and read it entirely (instead of just 50 pages)!

    Nice review :)


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