Seraphina (Seraphina #1) by Rachel Hartman (2012)


YA Fiction | Fantasy
3.5 Stars

“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. ”

pooled ink Review:

A book with a strong female character with realistic and not blubbering or irritating self-confidence issues and who can save the kingdom without relying on a man to help her do so. Also, the kingdom is being saved not for personal safety or selfish reasons but because peace is truly desired and the will to do what is right guides these characters over all.

I loved the romance element and how it was subtle but true rather than making the book romance-driven which I don’t think would have worked as well for the story. Kiggs keeps honor first and it is this that makes him such a desirable character.

I love the development of Orma and Seraphina’s father. I absolutely love the dragons and humans and the realistic conflicts of their combination. Rachel Hartman displayed extensive creativity to such detail that one almost has to believe this world really existed. I appreciate how Hartman included and interwove religion throughout the book because it factually is such an important characteristic of the time period.

As a musician all of the musical elements were highly appreciated and I only wish I could listen to it all in this world and not just some half melody I create in my head as I read along.

Quite well written and highly intriguing. I cannot wait to save up to buy the next book and find out what will happen next!


Posted on Goodreads on June 9, 2015

amazon icon_tiny Purchase here: Seraphina 

Recommendation for similar books: The Waking Land by Callie Bates, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Lichgates by S.M. Boyce, Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Meet Rachel Hartman!


Rachel Hartman lives and writes in Vancouver, BC.
Her first YA fantasy novel, Seraphina, was published by Random House on July 10th, 2012.

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