- The hype brought this one to my attention.
Summary from GoodReads:
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.
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is making a splash in the book world, and every bit of that splash is well-deserved. This is a story for children and adults alike – with dragons, politics, war, intrigue, mystery, murder, and love.
I admit, I went into the book a bit biased toward loving it. The beautiful cover, the typeface, the idea of humanized dragons and a forbidden romance was enough to hook me – but once the story got moving Rachel Hartman’s astonishing writing and the complexity of what I was reading took me over. You see, it was so complex it was almost simple. I thoroughly enjoyed the Seraphina’s story as an adult and was able to appreciate the messages of acceptance, honesty, and forgiveness … but at the same time I know my nine year old nephew would love the action and the idea of old knights who speak of times when dragon fighting was the norm, and hidden secrets by a young girl who doesn’t know what to do with her life and the gifts she’s been given.
At the end of the book there is a page which details what influenced Rachel Hartman while writing this book and with the listing of polyphony, irish music, and more, it all began to make sense. There’s magic in this story. Dragons are treated here unlike any other fantasy I’ve read. At first I worried that it might come across dorky – like some mermaid books I’ve had the misfortune to read, but my worries were put to rest quickly.
This is a tastefully done fantasy, filled with everything one could hope for. If you try to steer clear of the hype on books, I advise you to ignore it and pick this one up on its own merit. If hype gets you, then trust me when I say the hype on this one is not wrong
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