* Prices may differ from that shown
Fantasy is by far by far my favourite genre, so when I read the press release of Seraphina that explained it was story with dragons that take on human form; I just knew I had to get my hands on a copy. Therefore it came as no surprise that I ended up loving the book. It proved to be the kind of YA fantasy novel that I could put on par with works by authors such as Garth Nix, Tamora Pierce and Maria V Snyder. A truly fantastical read!
The story is set in a world where for the last forty years, a tenuous peace has been kept between humans and dragons. Yet the bloodshed between the two species has not been forgotten - leaving the protagonist Seraphina literally caught between two warring worlds. Born from the forbidden love of her parents, Seraphina is a half dragon half human, a creature that divine law states should not exist.
Hiding her true identify away from everyone, Seraphina does her best to fit in among humans. Then she stumbles upon a plot to destroy the fragile peace of the treaty and bring back the days of war - leaving her morally obliged to investigate further. Only now, working side by side with the Prince whose speciality is in uncovering the truth, Seraphina must work doubly hard to keep her heritage a secret - otherwise her family, her life and even her heart, she stands to lose them all...
I truly did love this book. However I have to say that the first chapter is confusing and pretty hard to get through - I don't know if this was just first chapter jitters from the author but I really do recommend you persevere, the writing style really relaxes after that first chapter and you'll find yourself truly locked into the story.
The world that the author Rachel Hartman creates is simply amazing. Very intricate and descriptive - it is full of philosophy, religion, music, mystery and of course dragons. It is all extremely well developed and simply sets the imagination soaring.
The plot contains many twists and turns and there is always much more to each character than first meets the eye. Seraphina for instance makes a remarkable heroine, she has a quick mind and a kind heart which more often than not leads to trouble. Her love interest Prince Kiggs is also very endearing and I really liked the slow burn of their romance.
However every character in the story is equally unique and interesting, Orma, Fruit Bat, Vivirdius, Princess Glisselda (just to name a few) play such fantastic parts and are so refreshingly individual! The dragons themselves also bring a dry humour to the book as they fail to understand human emotions and customs. Generally they ignore social etiquette and unintentionally, are often quite rude.
Overall I loved it. However this is a high fantasy book so I know it won't be for everyone but for those of you who do love fantasy, Seraphina is a must read! 5 stars!
Seraphina is a spectacular debut novel by writer Rachel Hartman. It has everything you'd want in a fantasy novel - great characters, well-built world, good plot and, most importantly, dragons!
Good writing and a meaty plot are definitely something that most young adult books lack nowadays but this is not the case with Seraphina. Although there are some hiccups along the way, it's presented to its readers in an intelligent way, without dumbing it down. Along with the main plot, there are good discussions about love, philosophy, music, art and religion.
The characters are fleshed-out, one can relate to them easily and develop as the story progresses. There are great examples of strong female characters, especially in the face of the main protagonist Seraphina. She is intelligent, talented, strong-willed, loving and caring. She is also kind and very brave. Prince Lucian is another brilliant character, witty and charming. Princess Glisselda is another great character, showing off her intelligence and quick wit when most needed.
The villains are equally multi-dimensional and definitely fun to read as well. The secondary characters bring a lot to the plot and overall feeling of the book and complement it perfectly.
Cannot wait for book number 2 (est. 2014)!