Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman | Book Review
The Children’s Book Review | March 9, 2015
Age Range: 12 and up
Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Ember, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books (2012)
What to expect: Fantasy, Dragons, Royal Family, Music, Romance, Action, Mystery
In the kingdom of Goredd, humans and dragons have lived and worked side by side for more than forty years, a treaty of peace signed, and the past war forgotten. But when a member of the royal family is brutally murdered and the finger of blame points to dragons, it appears that not all is forgotten, or forgiven.
Seraphina, the newest member of the royal court, a mysteriously gifted musician, has spent her whole life trying not to be noticed, for she bears a secret that doesn’t only threaten her own life, but also threatens to capsize the already fragile balance between peace and war in the kingdom. When Seraphina is unwittingly pulled into the murder investigation and into the limelight, she finds that secrets are much harder to hide, especially from the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian.
It’s not often that I’m left wanting to read a sequel immediately after reaching the last page of a book, but with Seraphina I find myself needing to know what’s going to happen next in Rachel Hartman’s original and enthralling story of humans and dragons.
Hartman deftly weaves a world so seamlessly that the result is rich and complex, a landscape that’s convincing and refreshingly unique. While the dragons of this novel may struggle to understand the complexities of human emotions, Hartman has had no problem in digging deep to understand the characters she’s writing about, creating fully-rounded renderings of dragons that we’ve all read before—yet not quite like this.
In Seraphina, you can expect a story of love, without the typical ploy for heartstring tugs; action and mystery without predictability or cliché; laughter, sorrow, self-acceptance and a bold and fearless protagonist you will root for throughout. Hartman’s writing is intelligent and beautiful, setting an example for smart and genuine storytelling. This is a debut novel quite like no other, a fantasy painted in the most intricate and believable manner, one that will take a hold on the imagination of readers’ young and old.
Add this book to your collection: Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman
About the Author
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. To learn more, please visit RachelHartmanBooks.com and follow her on Twitter @_rachelhartman.
Enter to win a copy of Seraphina, written by Rachel Hartman, and the newest release, Shadow Scale (Seraphina: Book Two). Giveaway ends April 8, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.