Wednesday, February 13, 2013

SERAPHINA

Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)Book Review:  Seraphina

Author:  Rachel Hartman
Published:  2012
Series:  Seraphina # 1

I have a confession to make.  Are you ready?  I love the fantasy genre but I have NEVER read a book about dragons.  Whew...I'm glad that's off my chest!  I find dragons awesomely cool, in a nerdy book loving way, but I've never taken the leap of faith to dive straight into a story about them.  So with good reviews and an alleged strong female lead I purchased this book.  I think I'm glad I forked over the cash...

The Setting
While Seraphina comes off as the bossy, prickly and proud music assistant, she is anything but sure of herself.  And because she is physically different than anyone in the kingdom she feels alone with her secret about herself.  Because if anyone found out what Seraphina is hiding, well, let's just say hell would be a vacation.  But things are about to change for Seraphina in a very drastic way.  In a city where there has been peace with dragons and humans for almost 40 years there happens to be a mole in the city (actually a very large dragon) who is plotting assassinations and wants to overthrow the current government and peace treaty. 
But because of Seraphina's heritage and abilities, she seems to be the only one with helpful information about the mole.  So who will listen to the lowly music assistant?  Enter the charming and hardworking Prince Lucian (who also happens to be engaged...drag).  Together the Prince and Seraphina track down the traitors and try to save the royal family from death, with the help of a few of Seraphina's friends.  But can there be continued peace between dragons and humans?  Will Seraphina come to accept herself so she can save the ones she cares about?  And will the Prince and Seraphina kiss?

What I LIKED about this book
I loved the coming of age story with Seraphina.  She has a lot to overcome and I think she did it with bravery and grace.  The Prince of course is admirable and hot, oops did I just say that out loud?  Hartman crafted character development well with all of the players in the book, and her writing style is sophisticated and exhibits quite the vocabulary in this book.  I was tempted to grab my dictionary several times while I read Seraphina, a reaction that hardly happens when reading YA fiction.

I also loved how the dragons could take their true form (all scales and breath of fire) but when conversing around people they transformed into a saar, one resembling a human.  A very unique yet ingenious idea that I felt made this book more relate-able across varying ages.

What I DISLIKED about this book
A love triangle...and this time it's two girls and a guy.  I really hated the relationship between Seraphina and the Prince.  I mean they where meant for each other but someone else kept getting in the way!

Parting Thoughts
I've been mulling this one over for days and I think I'll award Seraphina 4.5 out of 5 stars.  Not a fast, page turning read but really enjoyable and original.  This one is for fans of fantasy.  I liked these dragons.  I will read the next book in the series to see more of them...My eyes have been opened! 

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