Series: Seraphina, #1
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on July 10th 2012
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.
Seraphina is quite possibly my favorite read this year. The beginning was a little slow as I adjusted to the world, but about 50 pages in, I just felt drawn in and captivated. Seraphina is hiding a secret, her mother was a dragon and she has a set a scales along her stomach and one of her arms. It is unheard of for dragons to mate with humans, so her father she insists that she does not draw attention to herself. Seraphina has just begun to apprentice to the leader of the court musicians and is wonderful when it comes to playing the flute.
The untimely death of a royal family member has caused quite a stir, as he was beheaded, which is the way the dragons kill their prey usually. With the renewal of a peace treaty coming up, Seraphina finds that she cannot help but get involved in finding out the truth behind the prince’s death. Prince Lucian Kiggs is also the Captain of the Guard and discovers Seraphina’s stubborn determination to help find the truth. Together they embark on discovering the truth and hopefully keeping their kingdom at peace. What Seraphina doesn’t expect is to fall in love with the prince who is already betrothed to another.
I loved everything about the book. The politics, the dragons walking around as humans, the relationships and the story. The pace really picked up about midway through the book and I spent one night up until 1:30 am reading until I was finished. First of all, I think Seraphina is a unique character. She is strong-willed but smart enough to know when to back down. She’s pretty but not without fault and she has a secret that keeps her grounded and safe. The world is unique and thrilling. I love the characters, the background story of how the humans and the dragons came to peace, and really the romance was so delightful. It’s so refreshing not to have a love triangle revolve around a girl. Instead, her love interest is already engaged and Seraphina’s guilt shows as she cares for the Princess as well.
There was a lot of action towards the end of the book that was just epic and wonderful and everything a girl could ever want from dragons fighting. YES! Dragons FIGHTING! So cool, so wickedly amazing I already want to reread it. I guess I will have to read book two really soon.
An amazing fantasy that may top my list of favorites this year. If you love dragons, romance or fantasy at all, read this book.