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.
AH’s Review – 5 Skulls – A
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is easily one of the best fantasy books I’ve read this year. It’s a captivating story, one that will keep you glued to your book/ereader until the very last page. The author’s beautifully descriptive writing makes Seraphina’s world come alive. The characters are both intriguing and intelligent. This is a world where humans live alongside with dragons that shift into human form.
The dragons of this world are fascinating. They are the higher intelligence and much more advanced than their human counterparts. The author captures the nuances of dragon behavior well – these dragons are logical and hoard knowledge rather than gold. They have difficulty understanding human emotions and are constantly confused by human behavior. Their level of technology is way above the humans and they are interested in all sorts of contraptions.
Words cannot express how impressed I was with the main character Seraphina. Wiser beyond her 16 years, Seraphina is a special young woman. She is an accomplished musician, moving her audience to tears when she plays. She is a most unusual girl – she is able to understand the dragon language. Seraphina also has access to the royal court.
Seraphina also has a world of characters living inside of her head. These characters, or grotesques, as she refers to them, live in an area of her mind. Seraphina must meditate to keep these grotesques calm.
I must admit that I had a lot of fun reading this book. I enjoyed being lost in Seraphina’s world. I added some new words to my vocabulary – perspicacity. The book does contain a cast of characters listing at the end as well as a glossary of terms.
Seraphina is a book that both young adult and adult reader can enjoy. I can’t wait to read Ms. Hartman’s next book.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy of this book.
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