Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): 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.
My Review: Wow. This is one of those reviews that is going to be really hard. It's always the hardest thing ever to write reviews for books this good.
This book reminded me why I love fantasy (high fantasy to be more accurate, I suppose). Complete and utter fantasy. With dragons. And music. Fantasy is so unique and creative and wonderful and imaginative. It literally takes you to another world, and Seraphina was no exception. There aren't a lot of YA books like this one (Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue come to mind), and it's SO refreshing when I manage to find one that I fall in love with. By the first page of chapter one, I already knew I would love this book.
I love Rachel Hartman's writing style. It was descriptive and flowing and lovely and perfectly complimented her story. The world-building is something I pay a lot of attention to when I'm reading, and the world-building in Seraphina was practically perfect in every way (I'm also a fan of Mary Poppins. It takes a lot of self-restraint not to use that phrase in all of my book reviews ;). There was history, a very intriguing book of saints, a well-written kingdom and court with it's fair share of intrigue (which is one of the best parts of these sorts of books), a mysteriously beheaded prince, a seemingly-odd tutor, and very, very interesting dragons. (I love dragons).
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I drew this dragon to add some visual appeal. :)
I suppose I should mention something about the amazing characters as well, yes? Just, wow. There were so many important characters in this book (there was also a list of them in the back). There were so many different characters in this book. Seraphina was definitely my favorite, mostly because of the way she interacted with the other characters. She had a very unique way of handling each character, especially the very unique characters.
The plot was very intricate and captured my interest immediately. There were many different parts to it, and so many possibilities for the next book (hopefully being released July 2nd!). I was completely sucked into this world and this story, and I hated to see it end. (Did I mention I read this 451 page book in nearly five hours?)
Another major highlight of this book was the glossary. It was brilliant. I was very amused by it, but that may have just been the lack of sleep.
ANYWAY. I loved this book and I definitely consider it to be one of my favorites. I highly recommend it to my fellow fantasy-lovers, and really hope that even if you don't love fantasy, you'll give this book a go.
Thanks for reading!