Hartman, Rachel. Seraphina. (2012) Random House: New York City, NY. 512 pages.
Ages 12 and up.
Rachel Hartman’s debut novel, and winner of YALSA’s William C. Morris prize, is an epic tale of music, forbidden love, royalty, religion, politics, secrets, murder, misfits and yes, dragons. Sixteen-year-old Seraphina is adjusting to her new life at court as the assistant to the royal composer and although her passion and talent for music make this a dream job, she must constantly guard her terrible secret - she is half-dragon. Dragons in this world have the ability to take human form but are considered cold, soulless beings that have been at war with the people of Goredd for centuries. A child between the two species would be considered an abomination. A tenuous treaty barely holds the peace and when the crown prince is found murdered in a suspiciously dragon-like manner, it appears it may crumble. Seraphina finds herself in the middle of this investigation as she begins to understand her mysterious new abilities and tries to conceal her dragon-ness from those around her. Hartman’s beautiful prose, rich descriptions, and full-fledged characters help elevate Seraphina from becoming just another fantasy book about dragons, and instead is one that readers will find themselves instantly pulled into by the intrigue, suspense and magic of this ambitious new YA favorite.
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