Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Book Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Book: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
For: Fun
From: Gift from Deanna for Christmas!

Wow, I think this was one of the most buzzed about books last year! And now finally I can know what everyone was talking about.

If you love dragon stories, you can't miss this one. It's one of the most unique and original dragon worlds I've read. In this world, the humans and the dragons have worked out a hesitant peace between their species, but when the Queen's brother turns up dead, suspicion is instantly on the dragons and that perhaps they have broken the treaty.

Relations between the people and the dragons are very fragile anyway. Dragons are forced to take on their human persona (including wearing bells so the humans will know who they are, because otherwise they could totally blend in) and they have stay in their own spots and hangouts. They are really looked down on by the humans. When we join Seraphina, she is the music master's assistant at the palace and she has just discovered that she herself, is half dragon.... something that has never been heard of before.

This causes all kinds of internal conflict and external issues as well. She thinks maybe her grandpa is to blame for the recent death and she has no idea how to solve it all! And then there's the prince that she seems to be inconveniently attracted too, him being betrothed to his cousin the princess and all!

It's an awesome story with cool dragon-building-world things going on! Political intrigue and back family stories all included.

The writing is beautiful and amazing. There ARE lots and lots of "hard" words though! I should have kept a list of all the vocabulary words I could have come up with. Let's just say you need to bring your brain along for this read.... which depending on what was going on in real life, was sometimes hard to do!

Bottom line: I totally enjoyed it and can't wait for more. I'm assuming there's more. There's tons left to work out!

Other Reviews:

They [dragons] serve pretty well as a distant villain, since there’s all these stories of sacrificing maidens. But at the same time, dragons are famously sentient. Ms. Hartman does a good job of incorporating both sides of dragon nature. From Creativity's Corner

If I were to summarise my feelings for this novel, they would be expressions of love and joy. It is not often that right upon finishing an e-galley, I order the hardcover copy of a novel. Usually I wait for the paperback release. Not for this one though. From Iris on Books

Interesting world building, political machinations, and mystery--but what's really important is that there is now good reason to hope that Seraphina won't be sad and lonely forever. From Charlotte's Library

One of the things I most loved about this book is the use of 'girl power'. From The Written World

Seraphinais like a breath of fresh air. A story this beautifully conceived and well-crafted should stand the test of time. From omphaloskepsis

Finally! This is what YA fantasy should be about - a fabulous crafted story that does not rely on a teenage love angst. Yes, folks, I am tired of reading about teenage love triangles. From Polishing Mud Balls


  1. I love dragons. I've seen this book a lot, but I didn't really know what it was about. Now I need to read it!

    1. Kami: you'll love it, I'm pretty sure of it!

  2. so glad you enjoyed it. and yeah, Hartman does not skimp on the vocabulary words...


    1. L: You are so much more smarter than me I bet you didn't have any problem with them! :)

  3. I can't wait to read this one. I don't know why I keep putting it off. How cool that it uses big words. I'll have to remember to have a dictionary near by when I read it.

    1. Jenny: Yes, I highly suggest a dictionary. And here I thought I knew a few big words!

  4. I just checked this out as an audiobook from the library -- hopefully I can keep up with the vocabulary!

  5. Gayle: You'll have to let me know how it goes! I wonder if it will be different with audio? Maybe your brain will just skip right over the words you don't know? Hmmm...

  6. I just bought this one. I'm really excited to read it since it's gotten excellent reviews from some of my favorite book bloggers -- like you :)

  7. This has been on my shelf for forever! I really need to get to it!!!

  8. This one's coming up next on my list. (It has to, as it's due back next weekend!) So glad you enjoyed it. I'm seeing such great reviews for it! Can't wait to see what the shoutin' is all about. ;)

  9. I really enjoyed this one too and thought you summed it up very nicely. Great review :)



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