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Seraphina by Rachel Hartman Review

In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, "Some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy." 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.

Pages: 512
Source: Barnes and Noble

Whenever I pick up a book, I hope it will remind me why I love to read in the first place. Most books don't. It's not to say that they are bad books or are even disappointing, but there are only a certain few that are capable of completely mesmerizing me and pulling me into their pages. These are the books that I would give anything to read no matter what time of day or what tasks I need to accomplish. The book calls to me all day long begging me to open its cover and allow myself to be captivated by a wonderful story. I've loved thousands of books, but only a select few are able to distract me from everything else in my life.and this was one of those books.

     I'm a huge fantasy fan (as some of you may have noticed) so the synopsis of this book immediately captured my attention. I mean, did you read it? Dragons posing as humans? Music and mystery? Heck yes. And the best part of it is that Rachel Hartman blew away my expectations and gave me everything I love to see in a fantasy novel. Of course the setting of fantasy novels is incredibly important because it is what sets these books apart from other genres and this setting definitely delivered. The author manages to guide the reader through this society and its rules so that the dragons and other imaginative elements of this story are believable and understandable, but she doesn't reveal every mystery and aspect of this world in the process. Thank goodness there will be a follow up to this book because there were many threads in this world that needed to be unraveled. The dragons were phenomenal. I'm a sucker for dragons, so I really appreciated the unique spin she gave these mystical beasts. They value intelligence and abhor human emotions which creates an interesting conflict when they take to their human forms and are susceptible to those dreaded feelings. I love this world and I hope I will be able to return to it soon. 

All of the characters, no matter how small a role they played, were so vivid and alive that I really had a hard time drawing myself away from this book. I wanted to just dive right in and have a conversation with them! Seraphina was a wonderful protagonist and narrator. She carried the story like a true heroin without overshadowing or ignoring the imperfections that made her relatable and human. And I love all the individuals who occupied her garden. They were some of my favorite characters! (I guess you'll just have to read it to understand. Oh darn!)

And I know I have said it many times in previous reviews, but I really appreciate romance that doesn't detract from the story, but enhances it. I can get behind a love that doesn't drive the entire plot, but makes it all the more better. 

And last but not least, I cannot finish this review without gushing about the writing. Have you ever had to pick up the dictionary when you were reading? Yeah. I learned some new words for my vocabulary. Have you ever read a book where the writing was so good, it didn't even matter what the story was about because you would still read it anyway? Yeah. It's even more exciting because the story is so amazing as well. 

Yeah. You should read this one.

Oh hello there! My name is Emily, though some of you may know me as the Bookie Monster. As the name would suggest, I devour books like the Cookie Monster devours cookies. In my spare time, I like to bake cookies (and devour those as well) and dream about taking over the world. As if my book obsession wasn't life consuming enough,

I work in the children's room at my local library and I am currently a sophomore in college majoring in English. It's safe to say I'm a bit of a book fanatic. I discreetly shed a few tears on my eleventh birthday when I did not receive my Hogwarts acceptance letter and I waited seven hours outside in the rain just to get a good seat at the Hunger Games midnight premiere. I'm terrified of blood and Disney movies make me cry (in a good way). My passions include hippos, hugs, and Hans Zimmer…and uh,long walks on the beach. I'm just a normal girl w
ith a slightly abnormal and frightfully expensive obsession. Nice to meet you!


  1. Your review totally sold me on trying this book! Wonderful review!!

  2. LOVE Seraphina. It was just so creative and beautiful. I'm soooo excited for Shadow Scale. I can't believe how long the wait between books has been - not fair! Glad you enjoyed it (you should check out Rachel Hartman on twitter if you haven't already, she's lovely).

  3. I'm not much of a fantasy reader, I'm afraid but I can appreciate the talent it takes to create the worlds they envisioned. I think this is the kind of book that my boy could like though. :)

  4. I've been wanting to read this book for awhile. I adore fantasy. After reading your review, I'm moving it up on my TBR.

    Amber @ Fall Into Books


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