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.
The cover of this book has stood out to me for a long time whenever I went browsing for books. Finally I made the leap to read it as I found myself in the mood for some whimsical, dragon magic during this time of year.
Seraphina starts of as a very strong read and I liked her character right away. She begins by recalling her conscious being before actually having been born and the way she describes it just captivated all my attention. I was getting settled in for a great read, different from other middle grade books paving the way for future paranormal / fantasy book lovers in the making.
This book has been rated by the thousands, and it deserves it too. The characters and the world is wonderfully magical. Seraphina is half dragon, half girl. This creates certain dilemma's in either world, as she is trying to keep that a secret to protect herself as well as others.
There were however a few things that did not work for me. The level of writing seemed not to uphold it's high standard from the beginning throughout the book. The part where Seraphina is hiding her true identity keeps repeating over and over and she keeps asking herself the same questions. It was ok the first few times, but then it just got a little much.
Knowing I am reading a middle grade book, I certainly make amends in my rating, and I can imagine some youngsters will absolutely be amazed by this concept. Especially if they are new to this genre. So I would think that a reluctant reader might enjoy it more then an avid reader exposed to higher level reading, as the pace isn't very fast and many moments are repeated.