author : rachel hartman
pages : [hardcover] 467
memorable quote : “Sometimes the truth has difficulty breaching the city walls of our beliefs. A lie, dressed in the correct livery, passes through more easily.”
favorite characters : orma & seraphina
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.
I wanted to look into this book firstly because I was intrigued by the cover . . I can admit that much. But then I realized that the summary sounded wonderful as well (which is the real important part) so I waited and waited until I could get this at the library. Now I’m wishing that I actually bought it so that I could own this wonderful book.
Keep in mind that I started reading this thinking that it was a stand alone novel and not expected a second book. I was so intrigued about everything and sped through the pages waiting for all of the answers . . only to realize around page 400 that there wasn’t enough space for me to get the resolution I wanted (and by then, really, really needed). Because these characters got to me, fast. Even the ones that I thought that I’d hate were really connecting with me, which is strange in itself. Then the bad characters were so wonderful as well, and the plot twists . .
This is a book I could totally fangirl over. The prose is so beautifully written, piled together in something that almost seems so grounded in reality even in this alternate world. And the wonderful storytelling doesn’t detract from the humor of it, whether dry or blatant. There are beautiful depictions of the setting and I really feel like I can see the society that Seraphina lives in and has to deal with, including the tension between the humans and the dragons. It’s heartbreaking to think that the dragons aren’t supposed to learn to deal with human emotion, even when in their human forms. When that’s taken a step further . . You can bet I was hating some of those dragons even more and caring about a few more deeply than I would have thought possible for the first book in a series.
I don’t know how many of these there will be and I don’t really care. I just know that I’ll end up reading them all. Seraphina was so fantastic! I feel like it’s unlike anything else I’ve ever read, so please go pick it up and try it out!