Title: Seraphina (Book 1)
Author: Rachel Hartman
Publisher: Random House, July 2012
Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy
Page Count: 512
My Rating: 4 stars
Where to Purchase: Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes and Noble
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.
I was warned going into this book that it is a very slow read and I am so grateful for that, because I was prepared. This book weaves a very interesting and complex world by showing us what is going on in the present as well as some events from the past. It takes it’s time. It is built around mystery, both with the murder mystery element going on, as well as the mystery of the dragons and how they fit into society. I found the world very interesting, but it did make it hard to connect to the characters. I tend to prefer character driven narratives, and this tended to focus more on the world. While I did like the characters overall, I didn’t find myself pulling for them. Also, the love interest part was almost too much of a slow burn, which I usually love but this was just dragged out a little more than I would have preferred. It took a solid 300 pages for me to get into this story.
Overall, I really enjoyed the world that was presented in this story, and some of the events that happened towards the end of the book have me really interested in the sequel that is coming out this year. Fans of slower paced book with lots of world building will enjoy this one.
Let me know what you thought of Seraphina in the comments and if you plan to pick up Shadow Scale when it is released!