Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman


Good Reads 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.

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 Thoughts

There have been few epic fantasies stories like this one that’s pulled me to a complete halt with the need to see the finish. There’s Belgariad, then Eon and then there’s Finnikin on my list. Now, I add Seraphina. One thing, there’s a lot in it. With dragons and people divided, and her being smack in the middle was errg... fascinating. And the better part of it is how it wasn’t just her story.

How she interacted with them. Not once did she come across as self involved. Always, I was aware that she aware of where she stood in relation to others. Her connection to Orma was the best part of this, I think. Who he was to her and who she was to him was a story I could not get enough of. If you consider what Orma was, and where he stood in his world, I found that his and her connection was complicated, sweet and sad all at once. My feeling for him (them) was amped up because of the kind of dragons present in this one. They’re thinking rather than feeling; rational but a bit disdainful.

And the humans? Oh my! Where some were insecure, fearful and paranoid, others showed a capacity for kindness that explained a lot of her conflict. Take Prince Lucian/Kiggs… who’s of the latter type but could be heartless at times. I take it back: the best thing about this is how NONE of the characters were simple ones. Where some did react as you think they would, others (most of them) didn’t. Take her friendship with the Princess and her being drawn to the Prince.

I would have loved to see more of those like her… particularly Lars and Abdo. But what I did catch glimpses of are enough to have me wanting the next one now (I do hope there’s a next one.)



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