Seraphina

( 83 )

Overview

Lyrical, imaginative, and wholly original, this New York Times bestseller with 8 starred reviews is not to be missed.  Rachel Hartman’s award-winning debut will have you looking at dragons as you’ve never imagined them before…
 
In the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer.

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Seraphina

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Overview

Lyrical, imaginative, and wholly original, this New York Times bestseller with 8 starred reviews is not to be missed.  Rachel Hartman’s award-winning debut will have you looking at dragons as you’ve never imagined them before…
 
In the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer.

The newest member of the royal court, a uniquely gifted musician named Seraphina, holds a deep secret of her own. One that she guards with all of her being.

When a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, Seraphina is drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive—and dashing—Prince Lucien. But as the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina’s struggle to protect her secret becomes increasingly difficult… while its discovery could mean her very life.
 
"Will appeal to both fans of Christopher Paolini’s Eragon series and Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown." —Entertainment Weekly

“[A] lush, intricately plotted fantasy.” —The Washington Post

"Beautifully written. Some of the most interesting dragons I've read."
—Christopher Paolini, New York Times bestselling author of Eragon

Winner of the 2013 William C. Morris YA Debut Award
A 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Fiction Honor Winner

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

This promising teen fiction debut plucks its youthful title character heroine down into the mythical medieval court of Goredd. All is not well in the kingdom: A member of the royal family has been recently murdered and after a forty year peace, tensions between humans and dragons are once again escalating. As a lowly musician, Seraphina would seem to have little connection with these troubles, but a secret that she must hold close could endanger her life and shake the kingdom. One early reader praised Seraphina as "a book worth hoarding, as glittering and silver-bright as dragon scales, with a heroine who insists on carving herself a place in your mind." A young fantasy author to watch.

Publishers Weekly
In this complex, intrigue-laden fantasy, which establishes Hartman as an exciting new talent, readers are introduced to a world in which dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce, with dragons taking human form, dwelling among their former enemies, and abiding by a strict set of protocols. Sixteen-year-old Seraphina, assistant to the court composer, hides a secret that could have her ostracized or even killed: she’s half-dragon, against all rules and social codes. Along with the distinctive scales she keeps hidden, she has a mind filled with misshapen personalities whose nature she doesn’t quite grasp. As Seraphina navigates the complicated politics of a court where human-dragon relations are growing ever more fragile following a royal murder, she has to come to terms with her true nature and powers, the long-dormant memories her mother hid within her, and her growing affection for charming prince Lucian. There’s a lot to enjoy in Hartman’s debut, from the admirably resourceful heroine and intriguing spin on dragons to the intricately described medievalesque setting and emphasis on music and family. Ages 12–up. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (July)
VOYA - Lindsay Grattan
In the kingdom of Goredd, tensions exist between humans and dragons, even though it has been forty years since a peace treaty was signed. Sixteen-year-old Seraphina Dombegh holds the esteemed position of assistant to the court composer due to her exceptional musical gift. While preparing for the celebration of the treaty's fortieth anniversary, she is drawn into the rising tensions that are all the more difficult for her because she is half-dragon, a secret she is ashamed of and could prove fatal if revealed. She often has visions of strange, deformed creatures that seem to be tied to her past. To control her visions, she has built a garden in her mind where she treats her visions like people, maintaining them and keeping them content. Seraphina offers a unique take on dragon lore. The dragons in the kingdom of Goredd are intelligent, mathematically inclined creatures that can easily take on human form, only distinguishable by a silver bell pinned to their shoulders. Being a half-breed, Seraphina is an interesting mix of human and dragon; she struggles to reconcile the two while living in a divided kingdom. The line between reality and illusion is a thin one and often crossed, making Seraphina's world all the more intriguing. Reading this novel is like falling into Alice's rabbit hole and never wanting to come out. Fans of fantasy will devour this book, and with a little pushing, this novel could appeal to just about anyone who appreciates a fantastic read. Reviewer: Lindsay Grattan
Kirkus Reviews
In Hartman's splendid prose debut, humans and dragons--who can take human form but not human feeling--have lived in uneasy peace for 40 years. The dragons could destroy the humans, but they are too fascinated by them. As musician Seraphina describes it, attempting to educate the princess, humans are like cockroaches to dragons, but interesting. As the anniversary of the treaty approaches, things fall apart: The crown prince has been murdered, anti-dragon sentiment is rising, and in the midst of it all, an awkward, gifted, observant girl unexpectedly becomes central to everything. Hartman has remixed her not-so-uncommon story and pseudo-Renaissance setting into something unexpected, in large part through Seraphina's voice. By turns pedantic, lonely, scared, drily funny and fierce, Seraphina brings readers into her world and imparts details from the vast (a religion of saints, one of whom is heretical) to the minute (her music, in beautifully rendered detail). The wealth of detail never overwhelms, relayed as it is amid Seraphina's personal journey; half-human and half-dragon, she is anathema to all and lives in fear. But her growing friendship with the princess and the princess' betrothed, plus her unusual understanding of both humans and dragons, all lead to a poignant and powerful acceptance of herself. Dragon books are common enough, but this one is head and talons above the rest. (cast of characters, glossary) (Fantasy. 12 & up)
The Washington Post
Full of grace and gravitas, Seraphina's first-person voice is a welcome change from today's snark-infested YA novels…[a] lush, intricately plotted fantasy…
—Mary Quattlebaum
From the Publisher
A New York Times Bestseller

An Indie Bestseller

An Amazon Top 20 Teen Book of the Year

A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book

A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year

A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

A Library Journal Best Young Adult Literature for Adults Selection

A Booklist Editors' Choice

An ABA Top 10 Kids' Indie Next List Selection

An ABC New Voices Pick

Nominated for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction

Winner of the Cybil Award for Teen Fantasy and Science Fiction

A Publishers Weekly Flying Start Author

An ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book

An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults Books

Winner of the William C. Morris YA Debut Award

A YALSA Teens Top Ten Nominee

Christopher Paolini, New York Times bestselling author of Eragon:
"Beautifully written, well-rounded characters, and some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy for a long while. An impressive debut novel; I can't wait to see what Rachel Hartman writes next."

Naomi Novik, New York Times bestselling author of the Temeraire series:
"A book worth hoarding, as glittering and silver-bright as dragon scales, with a heroine who insists on carving herself a place in your mind."

Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author of the Beka Cooper series:
"Seraphina is strong, complex, talented—she makes mistakes and struggles to trust, with good reason, and she fights to survive in a world that would tear her apart. I love this book!"

Alison Goodman, New York Times bestselling author of Eon and Eona:
"A wonderful mix of thrilling story, fascinating characters, and unique dragonlore. I loved being in Seraphina's world!"

Ellen Kushner, World Fantasy Award-winning author:
"Just when you thought there was nothing new to say about dragons, it turns out there is, and plenty! Rachel Hartman's rich invention never fails to impress—and to convince. It's smart and funny and original, and has characters I will follow to the ends of the earth."

The Washington Post, July 3, 2012:
“Full of grace and gravitas. Readers loath to turn the last page of this lush, intricately plotted fantasy will rejoice in the knowledge of next summer’s as-yet-untitled sequel.”

Entertainment Weekly.com, June 19, 2012:
"A novel that will appeal to both fans of Christopher Paolini’s Eragon series and Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown."

io9.com, September 21, 2012:

"Seraphina makes dragons fascinating once again."

SheKnows.com, June 19, 2012:
"A beautifully-written fantasy debut about a young girl's journey to gain acceptance of herself."

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2012:

“In Hartman’s splendid prose debut, humans and dragons—who can take human form but not human feeling—have lived in uneasy peace for 40 years.

The dragons could destroy the humans, but they are too fascinated by them. As musician Seraphina describes it, attempting to educate the princess, humans are like cockroaches to dragons, but interesting. As the anniversary of the treaty approaches, things fall apart: The crown prince has been murdered, anti-dragon sentiment is rising, and in the midst of it all, an awkward, gifted, observant girl unexpectedly becomes central to everything. Hartman has remixed her not-so-uncommon story and pseudo-Renaissance setting into something unexpected, in large part through Seraphina’s voice. By turns pedantic, lonely, scared, drily funny and fierce, Seraphina brings readers into her world and imparts details from the vast (a religion of saints, one of whom is heretical) to the minute (her music, in beautifully rendered detail). The wealth of detail never overwhelms, relayed as it is amid Seraphina’s personal journey; half-human and half-dragon, she is anathema to all and lives in fear. But her growing friendship with the princess and the princess’ betrothed, plus her unusual understanding of both humans and dragons, all lead to a poignant and powerful acceptance of herself.

Dragon books are common enough, but this one is head and talons above the rest."

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, June 6, 2012:
"In this complex, intrigue-laden fantasy, which establishes Hartman as an exciting new talent, readers are introduced to a world in which dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce, with dragons taking human form, dwelling among their former enemies, and abiding by a strict set of protocols. Sixteen-year-old Seraphina, assistant to the court composer, hides a secret that could have her ostracized or even killed: she’s half-dragon, against all rules and social codes. Along with the distinctive scales she keeps hidden, she has a mind filled with misshapen personalities whose nature she doesn’t quite grasp. As Seraphina navigates the complicated politics of a court where human-dragon relations are growing ever more fragile following a royal murder, she has to come to terms with her true nature and powers, the long-dormant memories her mother hid within her, and her growing affection for charming prince Lucian. There’s a lot to enjoy in Hartman’s debut, from the admirably resourceful heroine and intriguing spin on dragons to the intricately described medievalesque setting and emphasis on music and family."

Starred Review, Shelf Awareness, July 13, 2012:
"Rachel Hartman's captivating debut novel explores the pains 16-year-old Seraphina suffers as an outsider as well as the rewards of excelling in something she loves.

In medieval Lavondaville, an uneasy truce exists between dragons and humans. Narrator Seraphina is the product of a dragon mother and a human father. Dragons can disguise themselves as humans, so everyone believes Seraphina to be entirely human. Only when Seraphina's mother died in childbirth did Seraphina's father learn her true nature. Her mother left Seraphina a gift of "mind-pearls," memories triggered by specific events, and also her talent for music. Dragons are known for their technical skill, and that, together with the empathy Seraphina gained from her human father, makes her one of the finest musicians in the land. She has won a coveted position assisting the court composer.

After the death of Prince Rufus, in a manner suspiciously like a dragon's preferred means (decapitation), tensions run high between humans and dragons. Seraphina's position at court exposes her to aspects of both dragon and human societies. When she decides to trust Prince Lucian with her suspicions about Prince Rufus's killer, they embark on a journey that tests her loyalties and strength, and also awakens Seraphina's feelings for him.

In this first of two planned books, Hartman creates a world simultaneously strange and familiar. Her dragons are as magnetic as her human characters. Teens will readily identify with Seraphina's conflicting desires: to please her family or to make her own future."

Starred Review, Booklist, May 15, 2012:

"Hartman proves dragons are still fascinating in this impressive high fantasy. Equal parts political thriller, murder mystery, bittersweet romance, and coming-of-age story, this is an uncommonly good fantasy... An exciting new series to watch."

Starred Review, The Horn Book Magazine, July/August 2012:
“To the innovative concept and high action, add Seraphina’s tentative romance with Kiggs, rich language lively with humor and sprinkled with an entire psaltery of saints and an orchestra’s worth of medieval instruments, and a political conspiracy aimed at breaking the dragon-human truce, and what you have is an outstanding debut from author-to-watch Hartman.”

Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September 2012:
"The medieval-esque world, filled with saints and dragons, is as deftly crafted as the characters themselves; Goredd has a distinct history, fraught with struggle and survival, and its residents reflect the conflicting ideologies and traditions that inform their world. Seraphina’s voice—passionate, wry, and wise—easily conveys her internal battle as a half-breed: the nonchalance of her self-loathing makes her struggle for identity even more heartbreaking. Secondary characters are given just as much nuance, and the romance between Seraphina and a bastard prince proceeds with believable hesitation and wariness, given the complications it will bring to both their lives... Readers will want to plan to return to this richly developed world to see where this intricate fantasy goes next."

Starred Review, Voice of Youth Advocates:
"Reading this novel is like falling into Alice's rabbit hole and never wanting to come out. Fans of fantasy will devour this book, and with a little pushing, this novel could appeal to just about anyone who appreciates a fantastic read."

Starred Review, School Library Journal, August 1, 2012:
“Hartman creates a rich story layered with intriguing characters and descriptive settings. This unique novel will surely appeal to fans of Christopher Paolini's "Eragon" books and wherever readers enjoy fantasies.”

Bookpage
“[Hartman's] world-building is so detailed and well-integrated, one wonders if they truly exist somewhere. An engaging and innovative fantasy that uses the plights of dragons and humans as an allegory for the real prejudices we all must face.”

Children's Literature - Annie Laura Smith
Humans and dragons mistrust each other and remain adversaries in the kingdom of Goredd in spite of decades of peace. This fantasy introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini observed, "...some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy...." The dragons in this story assume human shapes, and share their mathematical wisdom as scholars and teachers. Sixteen-year-old Seraphina Dombegh, a gifted musician in the royal court, is caught in the middle of these tensions, and in the subsequent murder of the Queen's only son, Crown Prince Rufus, by decapitation (dragons' preferred method of killing). Seraphina is the daughter of a dragon mother and a human father, but is assumed by others to be entirely human. She forms an alliance with Prince Lucian Kiggs, the captain of the Queen's Guard. They try to uncover who is trying to destroy the peace in the kingdom. Can Seraphina herself continue to hide the source of musical talent she inherited from her dragon mother, and survive the unrest in the kingdom? Rachel Hartman creates a complex, original world that will intrigue readers of both fantasy and science fiction. Young readers will identify with Seraphina's dilemma of trying to please her father and chart her own future at the same time. A Cast of Characters in the back of the book identifies the participants at various locations throughout the story. A Glossary defines terms and locations of this fantasy world.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—For nearly 40 years, the treaty between the humans of Goredd and the dragons of dragonkind has held strong. Humans must not enter dragonkind territory and dragons, upon entering human lands, must take their human shape, or saarantrai. In Goredd, Seraphina's human father, a high offical, needs her to stay anonymous. The dark secret that she must hide is that her mother was a dragon. Because of her musical talents, Seraphina becomes Goredd's music assistant, helping prepare for the anniversary celebration. Layers of clothing disguise the scales on her arms and stomach, but unlike dragons, her blood runs red, not silver. Also, to keep from having fainting spells in which she relives her deceased mother's experiences, Seraphina must clear her head each night. She calls the figures in her vision grotesques, and each night, she must ensure all is calm in her mind-garden. When the decapitated body of Prince Rufus is found just days before the anniversary festivities, many humans are quick to accuse a dragon of breaking the pact. Seraphina's grotesques begin acting strangely, and the whole court is investigating the murder. When the celebrations are in full swing, all hell breaks loose as the rogue dragon that killed the prince enters Goredd in his dragon form and attempts to take control. Seraphina must risk revealing her true identity (and that of her fellow hybrids) in an attempt to save the kingdom. Hartman creates a rich story layered with intriguing characters and descriptive settings. Seraphina is a complex and fully developed protagonist. Although long, this unique novel (left open for a sequel) will surely appeal to fans of Christopher Paolini's "Eragon" books (Knopf) and wherever readers enjoy fantasies.—Lauren Newman, Northern Burlington County Regional Middle School, East Columbus, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375866562
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/10/2012
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 39,721
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Rachel Hartman

As a child, RACHEL HARTMAN played cello, lip-synched Mozart operas with her sisters, and fostered the deep love of music that inspired much of her award-winning debut novel, Seraphina. Born in Kentucky, Rachel has lived in Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, England, and Japan. She now lives with her family in Vancouver, Canada.  A New York Times bestseller, Seraphina won the William C. Morris Award, received eight starred reviews and was named to multiple “best of” lists. To learn more, please visit SeraphinaBooks.com or RachelHartmanbooks.com.

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Read an Excerpt

"He was going to kill you," I said, my chin quivering.  "I had to do something."

Damn propriety.  Forgive me, St. Clare.  

I stepped forward and took him in my arms.  He was exactly my height, which surprised me; my awe of him had made him seem taller.  He emitted a whimper of protest, or maybe surprise, but wrapped his arms around me and buried his face in my hair, half weeping, half scolding me.

"Life is so short," I said, not sure why I was saying it, not even sure if that was really true for someone like me.

We were still standing there, clinging to each other, our feet ice-cold in the snow, when Orma landed on the next hilltop, followed closely by Basind.  Kiggs lifted his head and stared at them, big-eyed.  My heart fell.

I'd told him I had no devices.  I'd lied right to the prince's face, and here was the proof: the dragon I'd called, and his dimwitted sidekick.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 83 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(58)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 83 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 10, 2012

    Spoiler Free: Political, Fantastical and Dragon-Galore Novel - With a Few Flaws!

    Minimized for Length Requirment.

    Full Review @ thereadersheartstring . blogspot . com

    REview:

    Seraphina by debut author Rachel Hartman is an intricate tale filled with exquisite world-building, rich, lush characters and political drama that is a powerful match to the fantasy that readers will be expecting and will love.

    To be honest, the book had a rocky start for me, simply because not a lot was happening. The world was being introduced and set up as well as the many, many characters, the physical and the mentioned. It was just a lot to take it, a lot to remember and to try to understand, but once that happened and the main plot of the story was revealed, things really kicked in and I was able to enjoy the world, the characters and the writing.

    And did I enjoy!!

    This book was fantastic. It reminded of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, which I adore, in the sense that this was an alternate old timey reality that was mixed with odd technology, though the technology of Seraphina's world is a great deal simpler when compared to Lyra's world.

    Which brings me to our protag -

    Seraphina is the MC of this novel, which only makes sense since the novel is her namesake and she was, thankfully, a huge breathe of fresh air for the YA world.

    For those of you who are tired of love being the main point of your YA reads know this: this book is about love. It's about love for a mother, a father, a uncle, the people and one's self.

    Perhaps my favorite part of this novel was the writing, which did take a minute to get in to, but once I did, it just made everything richer. I loved the world and the complexities of the government, the religion and the characters.

    Hartman's writing style is very mature and complex for YA and based on that, I could have easily seen this book as a real treat for adults. It was just refreshing to see a really captivating and at times, challenging novel made for teens.

    Though I loved the writing style, things did get somewhat confusing. One moment we are in a memory that Seraphina is having and the next we are in present day . . . or so I think. Around one or two times, I was not sure if Seraphina was having a flashback or if the event that was occurring in the novel was actually happening at the present moment.

    I did a little rereading and was still, a tad confused, but it truly did not deter me from the story in the slightest.

    Like mentioned before, things did take a while to get in to and I read on due to my own stubbornness, which in the end paid off, but I'm not sure if everyone will do the same, which I hope they do, 'cus it is worth it.

    ~V

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 16, 2012

    Seraphina is a breathtakingly beautiful fantasy book. It simply

    Seraphina is a breathtakingly beautiful fantasy book. It simply sweeps
    you away into its own little world, and is a prime example of good
    fantasy. It's enchanting, reads like a dream, and leaves you pondering
    its story and characters after finishing it. I would say, however, to
    be cautious with what you expect with this one. It may not appeal to
    every reader right away, and takes some growing into. But it's well
    worth it for the experience, as it slowly grows on you and steals your
    heart. Reasons to Read: 1.A clever, intelligent heroine: One of my
    favourite things about Seraphina is that it features a heroine who's
    defining character traits include her cleverness and intelligence.
    There's so much more to her than just that, but it's clearly an integral
    part of her personality. And it completely shines through in everything
    she does - she's a little bit quirky, but totally brilliant. I love that
    we get to see a character like her, who is a bit socially awkward at
    times, but still fantastic in her own way. And the same thing goes for
    the love interest - we don't get constant descriptions of his eyes or
    body or overall good looks. 2.A mysterious plot, full of unexpected
    twists: I really thought I had figured the mystery out. I thought I had
    solved it not even halfway through the book and was less than enthused
    that the characters hadn't figured it out like I had yet. So imagine my
    surprise when I was wrong - totally, completely wrong. There are so many
    layers to the plot, it doesn't seem possible to guess it all in
    retrospect. And I was so caught off guard. But I LOVE it when I'm wrong
    and the book surprises me. 3.Bewitching secondary characters: I don't
    know how Rachel managed to do this, but she took cold, distant,
    emotionless characters (dragons) and somehow made them come to life.
    That's HARD to do, because of their (lack of) personality for the most
    part. But she succeeds. And not only that, but the rest of the cast of
    characters from Lars to Glisselda just lept off the pages for me. I
    couldn't get enough of Selda, and I was pleasantly surprised by how
    taken I was with her. 4.Rich details and complex storytelling: This
    is one area where I think some readers may have a harder time with the
    book and it can take a little bit of getting used to. The world Rachel
    created for Seraphina is vibrant, and overflowing with details. It
    really takes on a life of its own. I found the glossary and cast of
    characters in the back of the book to be indispensible while reading.
    But this is what made the world really come to life for me, and made me
    fall in love with the book. 5.Brilliant thinking: Seraphina is
    obviously intelligent. But I can tell that Rachel is, too. It takes a
    very thoughtful person to craft such a rich story, and I found myself
    questioning so many ideas and rethinking some standards I held to, and
    ultimately making comparisons to real life. I especially appreciated her
    twist on dragon mythology (nerd alert: I studied a little bit of this in
    some POLITICAL SCIENCE classes in university. I know, that sounds very
    odd, but it was incredible) and I could really tell that Rachel had
    researched this and had a solid background in it. Especially with the
    concept of hoarding. I LOVED that. That's not to say that I didn't
    have a hard time with it, because I was completely confused at certain
    times. The book is rather long for YA, and there are so many characters
    and words that I just wasn't familiar with so it took some getting used
    to. And there were a few instances where I found myself
    second-guessing my infatuation with Kiggs. He won me over, eventually,
    and I know it really wasn't fair of me to expect him not to struggle
    with a few things but I think I was really expecting better of him. And
    he did let me down once or twice, even though I know it's because he's
    flawed. Seraphina is just another reminder of why I adore fantasy - I
    love it to the moon and back. You have no idea what I'd do for more
    books like this one (good thing Rachel's working on a sequel)!
    E-galley received from Random House Canada for honest review; no other
    compensation was received.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

    This richly textured novel is not just for fantasy lovers and no

    This richly textured novel is not just for fantasy lovers and not just for teens. It is beautifully written, with a strong, intelligent, delightful heroine and a refreshing approach to dragons,

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 3, 2012

    INCREDIBLE!!!

    UTTERLY AMAZING! ONE OF THE BEST FANTASY BOOKS EVER!!!!!!
    I loved every page of it, every character, dialogue, event. The idea of the plot was absolutely amazing and unique, and the book engulfed me not only by the whirlwind of events, but aslo by the awesome characters, the relationships between them, their feelings and emotions. The way the author writes about music and love - it's just incredibly beautiful and precisely astute, her style of writing is captivating and fluent, I haven't even noticed when I've come to the end of the book - that's how skilfully it's written.
    The characters are real masterpieces - Seraphina, Selda, Lucian were great, but my personal favourites were Orma, Comonot and Viridius. The idea of the garden was original, and I enjoyed all the emotional peculiarities of dragons and their way of thinking. All in all, this book is an unputdownable kaleidoscope of a perfect writing, offbeat fantasy element, riveting plot, touching moments, unforgettable characters and an impeccable pacing. Just go and read it - believe me, no blurb or reviews will prepare you for the awesomeness of this book! Don't deprive yourself of an immense reading pleasure!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    LOVED IT!!!!!!!

    One of the best dragon books I've ever read! Plot kept me guessing the whole time and I couldn't put it down!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2012

    LuvluvluvluvluvluvluvluvluvLUV this book

    Luv it times a million and fourty three plus one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Seraphina starts of with a traditional medieval fantasy setting,

    Seraphina starts of with a traditional medieval fantasy setting, including the rich backdrop of medieval music which I loved. There’s an entire mythology of Saints to this world, none of which are very saint-like and it made me laugh. The conflict was a typical one about the mistrust and prejudice between two races. But further along in the story the author developed it into something more. It became about the struggle between emotions and reason. The dragons felt like modern people sent back to the middle ages with their emphasis on science, reason, and invention. I’ve always wondered how people from the middle ages would clash with modern people and it was very interesting to read. The writing was beautiful and the pace was relaxed but still kept my interest. The story reminded me in an odd way of Jane Austen. There was a focus on propriety, lots of personal and political intrigue, a respectful mixing of the classes not to mention lots of balls and dancing. Overall, it kept the spirit and style of traditional fantasy with just enough slight twists to keep it fresh. By far the most interesting and creative aspect of the whole book was the character Seraphina herself. It was an enjoyable read and the index in the back had my Google-loving self smiling with glee.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Recommended

    AWESOME!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    highly recommend

    you should definately read this book. i couldn't put it down. i can't wait for the next one.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Love or Hate...no in between

    Brought to you by OBS reviewer Valerie

    I had to read a ton of reviews for Seraphina before deciding to read it. Yes, it does have a really high rating, but I wasn’t really exuberant about the synopsis. I totally loved the cover, but I still wasn’t interested. Then I read it on a whim. I don’t know why I did. Things just sort of happened, if you know what I mean.

    It was just okay.

    One thing I will praise is the plot. Drop dead amazing, one of the most gorgeous plots ever. It intertwines dragons, action, and music with a tiny bit of love and death. Of course, that’s always the best way to get a great plot. I admit, there are tons of twists that I totally didn’t expect. I can’t say too much, but let’s just say the ending was really unexpected. The person or possibly dragon you thought was the villain really wasn’t. The person or dragon you didn’t even think about turned out to be a traitor. And then things just sort of happen, and by things I mean bloody action things. That’s totally fine by me.

    I really couldn’t get into the writing. Seraphina’s voice is kind of boring. No offense or anything, but she seems to have gotten way more of the serious dragon personality than most dragons have. Seraphina just seems a little too serious of a protagonist, and that really makes the writing style boring. Sometimes, having a first-person narration seem like a third-person narration works. It didn’t this time though. Either I’m an easily bored person or Seraphina is unable to make an epic plot interesting. Take your pick.

    I love how Seraphina is a musician. That’s something I genuinely appreciate. Music isn’t a very popular subject in YA reading, so I was pleasantly surprised with Seraphina’s love for music. I think she actually did a good job choosing music as a passion. Well, I would probably hate Seraphina if she didn’t love music, but hey, at least I tolerate her now! For the love of music, I will love Seraphina. (Or at least not hate her…)

    I admit, Seraphina’s got it all. It’s got a decent love interest, a fantabulous plot, an amazing part about music and dragons. Honestly, it’s got fire-breathing, scaly, fantastic dragons! Who has the mental ability to pass that?

    I don’t…

    I think Seraphina’s one of those books that you either love or hate. It’s bound to be a good book, if you really put your mind to it. Just think about the dragons and don’t let the possibly boring writing stop you from loving Kiggs or the music. And then you will LOVE Seraphina.

    This review and more at openbooksociety dot com

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    When I finish a book and go right back to the begnning to re-rea

    When I finish a book and go right back to the begnning to re-read, it HAS to be a good book! Amazingly, I found it better the second time around.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Seraphina by Rachel Hartman tells the story of Seraphina, a youn

    Seraphina by Rachel Hartman tells the story of Seraphina, a young woman living in a world where dragons exist. Not only do dragons exist, but Seraphina's mother was one, unbeknownst to her father. But dragons are feared and hated by humans in Goredd, and Seraphina fears what will become of her if anyone discovers her secret.

    Seraphina starts off a little slowly, but as I read more and more, I found I couldn't put the book down. It was a thoroughly entertaining novel and I suggest, if you try it and find it a little slow, just keep reading. It became exactly the kind of fantasy novel I wanted to read. It had mystery, romance, and dragons! Come on, who doesn't love dragons? And just wait for the twist! I totally wasn't expecting it, but when it came it made perfect sense.

    Seraphina, herself, is a little boring and cold in the beginning of the story. That has a lot to do with her upbringing. But once you get to know her she's actually pretty tough. My heart broke for her, having to hide who she was away from everyone, feeling like if anyone discovered the truth she'd be an outcast. I was so glad when she finally let go a little and let herself be happy.

    And then there are the infinite side characters! Each lovable in their own right. Prince Lucian Kiggs? Oh, yeah. I fell in love! Seraphina's band of "grotesques" are, once she starts to meet them, each loyal and brave. Princess Glisselda was probably my absolute favorite, though. She's such a sweetheart and she's so sincere and sweet to Phina.

    The storyline is really interesting, but there's just so much going on. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it's not. The history of Goredd is rich and wonderful. But, being honest, it did take me more than a few chapters to get into Seraphina. It took awhile to sort out all of the information I was given in the beginning, but once I sorted it, I was flying through the chapters.

    I love that this book has a glossary, and you would do well to read it! Seraphina is such a rich fantasy novel, with such a unique and creative setting, it can be a little overwhelming at times. But it's a fantastic read that will leave you yearning for the next in the series!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Believe in yourself...

    I really didn't know what to expect when I started reading Seraphina probably because I was not one for the dragon genre. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this novel. The novel starts off with introducing Seraphina who is half human and half dragon. She feels not only alone but also like a monster. Her mother died in child birth and her father hasn't been the father he should be because of who she is. Her uncle Orma is the only one that has been there for her. The kingdom is on a brink of war with the dragons and no one knows her secret. The novel is about the journey Seraphina goes through to understand that she is not alone because there are others out there like her. It is a great coming of age book at all ages.

    We were all monsters and bastards, and we were all beautiful. We are all beautiful when we find out to believe in ourselves.

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  • Posted July 9, 2014

    I really enjoyed Seraphina!  It was a fun read with an interesti

    I really enjoyed Seraphina!  It was a fun read with an interesting subject that you don't really see a lot of in young adult stories nowadays.  Especially being the main characters too.  Dragons!  Who doesn't love dragons?  Ever since I was a little girl I have been in love with the majestic dragon.  Yes, some are bad; but there are also some very good ones as well.  And I guess that is what made me love this story the most.  The idea that, just like humans, there is your good guys and your bad guys.  I love when a story shows us there is more to it than the stereotypes that the vast majority share. 
    Seraphina was an unique character with her many talents and difficulties that she had.  For the first few chapters, we aren't really sure why Seraphina is so afraid to bring attention to herself; only that she has some magical? abilities maybe and has to hide them from the rest of people.  And once we find out what the "secret" is, whoa boy!  It really is a big one that could bring about her death too. 
    I liked Seraphina.  I thought I would probably get a long with her if she truly existed.  She is quiet but awesome and caring even though she fears to get too close.  Funny that she ends up being friends with the prince and princess! 
    That is another character that surprised me: Princess Glisselda.  I automatically assumed she was a spoiled brat that would make trouble for Seraphina; but I was far from the truth.  The Princess was  actually very smart and paid attention to everything that Seraphina taught her.  And she was a caring princess too.  I can't wait to see how she does in the next book. 
    There is a slight love interest in the book but it doesn't take over.  Instead, it is light and fluttery, like a butterfly, that slowly comes to the forefront very quietly.  I don't know I liked that there was a love interest but I also liked that it wasn't the main story line too. 
    Really the main threads is the mystery and Seraphina finally coming to terms with herself; learning to appreciate her whole self and not just the parts that society would accept. 
    I loved this book!  I can't wait to jump into the next one as soon as I get my hands on it!  If you love high fantasy, dragons, and a great mystery then I insist you pick up a copy of Seraphina too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2014

    Great book, don't worry, the text is not in Spanish

    The book is really good and attention capturing. Interesting twist on dragons. I actually got the sample to make sure the text wasn't in Spanish, and its not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2014

    Looked good but in spanish ..

    It looks good but ots in spanish i think so yeah werid !!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

    Why is it in Spanish?

    The summary is all in Spanish- same with the Enders series. Why is this? Post please to #artemisfowl reply if you can help me!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2014

    Nice

    Nice and engaging, loved the character. Not crazy about it being a series, yet it was worth reading it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Different...in a good way

    I read a lot of fantasy, so it is always good to me, when a book comes along that is not typical; one that has a new twist on things and new ways/points of view to an old story. This was one of those books where I really don't know what to say at the end of it. It was very poetically written for one. Very lyrical, which fit the personality of the main character and set the mood of the story so well. I enjoyed it, but there were so many reasons for the enjoyment and so many ways to express it that I am blank. It helps to list them.

    1. The world building is great. As well as the magic and how it was explained and incorporated into the world so it made sense. Two lands...one human and one dragon, and how those two land coexist. It only makes sense that it a dragon could take human form....that at some point one would be curious enough, or the mixing of the two cultures would produce a situation where there is interbreeding. Anything is possible after that as far as what these dragon/humans could and would be capable of. I enjoyed the twist on the mental capabilities of the dragons. Instead of being monsters driven by emotions and instinct...instead they were logical creatures...who looked at humans and their emotionality was something of a weakness. That creates an interesting dynamic when these logical and emotionless dragon take human form. That is ripe for conflict. All of these leaves plenty of content for the writer to explore further, and by the end of the book it looks like there will be more to the story I look forward to it.

    2. I also liked the characters. Seraphina like her biology is such a good mixture of the two species. Emotional and irrational and everything humans are, but due to the life of lies she had to lead...she is also very logical and precise. She is an excellent bridge. And Kriggs and the Princess...were so not typical royal characters. I liked them both. Kriggs especially was very interesting in his own right. Despite the signs I see of a triangle coming...I do not foresee it annoying me. Since all the characters are likeable and mature and seem to respect each other.

    3. I liked the mystery and intrigue that slowly built throughout the tale as we tried to figure out what exactly the plot was and who was involved. Up until the big reveal...I did not suspect who the traitor eventually turned out to be, but in hindsight, I can now spot the clues. I would call that a success, because I always figure it out. This means that the plot was not too predictable. It kept me thinking and guessing until the end.

    But all in all I liked this because it was a story about self-acceptance. Learning to love who you are and value yourself despite what society or others may think of your value. What matters and what counts is what you think. Others follow your lead. That is a good message in the end. Of course the best compliment I can give this book is that I am now looking forward to learning more: about the history of the world. About the half-breeds and what they are capable of...and about Seraphina's love and what becomes of it. A very good story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Fantastic!

    Seraphina is a magnificent story with beutiful detail and a very entertaining plot. I absolutely could not stop reading it and i enjoyed it every bit of the way. The characters were well written and I would have to say that my favorite was Orma; he was was really quite funny in his own dry, non-comical, draconian way. I was a little conflicted about the ending. On one hand I was a bit upset that it kind of had an open ending that leaves you somewhat hanging but in the other hand I think it worked well with the story and I was not displeased. I very highly recommend this book and if you are put of by the strange, unknown words just keep reading and you will eventually find out their meaning, or can just look them up in the glossery in the back of the book. Happy reading!

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