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Author:  Rachel Hartman

The kingdom of Goredd is populated by humans and by dragons who fold themselves into a human form. Though they live alongside each other, the peace between them is uneasy. 

But when a member of the royal family is murdered, and the crime appears to have been committed by a dragon the peace and treaty between both worlds is seriously threatened . . .

Into this comes Seraphina, a gifted musician who joins the royal court as the assistant to the court composer. She is soon drawn into the murder investigation and, as she uncovers hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace in Goredd for good, finds herself caught desperately in the middle of the tension. 

For Seraphina hides a secret - the secret behind her musical gift - and if she is found out, her life is in serious danger . . .

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Sep 07,2014

Book Review

The novel “Seraphina” is one of the best books of all time that I have read throughout my existence. “Seraphina” written by Rachel Hartman contains many original literature themes, which makes this book stand out above others.

Some of these unique themes which makes this book different and stupendous is the connection of the story between the genres, Fantasy and adventure. The author has incorporated a new spin off of the relationships between dragons and humans. There is also the invention of new languages, places, species of animals, religions, and other subjects.

The use of vocabulary and language inside “Seraphina” is much higher than most books that I have read, using a number of words which I would estimate to be of an adult reading level.

Rachel Hartman has made well researched notes and incorporated such facts and information inside “Seraphina”, which is similar to the time period that is being created as well as our time period back then. The illustrations/artwork that has been used on the front of “Seraphina” interests’ readers, as it is different to the usual cover of novels. It also matches the time period of ‘Medieval’ which is being created.

This book is rather average is size, though it may take a little longer to read, as the vocabulary used is much more advanced, then what is usually available. I recommend this book to readers of in year 11 and 12, and younger readers with an exceptional vocabulary standard.

Overall I loved this book because the storyline and adventure was interesting, as well as the complicated links between all of the topics which made you recall information as you read. I rate this novel a 9/10.


Jun 30,2014

This book... Very occasionally there are books that are just an absolute pleasure to read, and Seraphina was one of these. Everything was just executed in a way that felt fresh and original, and this novel is utterly deserving of the high praise it has received.

I'll admit that I had concerns before reading Seraphina. I had sort of gone off high fantasy and dragons after reading a couple of less than awe-inspiring examples of the genre, even though a few years ago it was probably my favourite. I was worried that this novel would be unrealistic and disappointed, but after hearing a number of good reviews of it, when I did begin reading I was cautiously optimistic. The story took a little while to really get going, but once it did, I was completely drawn into the world that Rachel Hartman has created.

It was just a very enjoyable book - something that is very well suited to snuggling up with on a cold winter's day. That's not to say that Seraphina wasn't an intelligent book, because it really was quite profound with a lot of depth to its worldbuilding and characters, but it was done in a way that wasn't obscure. It's kind of difficult to explain the effect this book had on me, because it wasn't so much addictive as just comforting. I think I was in need of reading fantasy, and this book completely fit the bill.

As a main character, Seraphina was brilliant. Intelligent, brave, kind and occasionally temperamental, she was a rounded and layered character who felt realistic and unique. She had flaws and doubts, but also a wonderful strength that made her an excellent protagonist. As for the lovely Kiggs, I was stoked to see that he was equally well developed. He was quite dashing, I'll admit, but he didn't fall into the trap of beingtotally idealised and 'perfect'. He seemed like a really great person, and as a character he earned my admiration. The relationship between he and Seraphina was unhurried and well developed - and extremely natural. I loved that it didn't feel engineered to please an audience, and the author considered the characters' world and the implications of that on their relationship.

I'm going to keep talking about the characters, because I was so impressed by Rachel Hartman's characterisation was just completely stunning. I had an absolute soft spot for Orma, whose devotion to Seraphina was utterly adorable. The character I was most impressed with, however, was Glisselda, Goredd's princess, and the finacée of Kiggs. She could have so easily been weak and flighty, or snobbish and an adversary to Seraphina, but she didn't fall into any such clichés, and was one of my favourite characters. In some ways, she reminds me of Glinda in Wicked, however less superficial and with more of a backbone. Selda was sweet and caring, innocent but brave, and I adored her.

A shout-out has to go to the dragons of Seraphina. They were definitely creative, and original, however felt extrememly loyal to the more traditional kinds of dragons. They were a marvellous reimagining.

Just stunning. From world-building (which I haven't mentioned as much as it deserves) to characterisation to just the writing in general, Seraphina is a wonderful example of high-fantasy being pulled off. I can't wait for the sequel.


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