Friday, March 23, 2012
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page." - Amazon description
Rachel Hartman takes a new spin on Dragons in her fantasy debut Seraphina. In a complex world where Dragons can disguise themselves as humans and where there is an unsteady truce; Hartman will leave you wanting to read more.
To begin with let me say...I just adore fantasy novels. A plus side to this novel is that it is YA and fantasy novels that are YA are hard to come by. Especially one that is well thought out and doesn't revolve around romance. Seraphina is exactly that; a YA Fantasy novel that is well written and doesn't leave you wanting to kick yourself because of the quick romance or the endless love triangles. The main character Seraphina is a young woman who gets sent to court. She was raised to blend in and not bring attention to herself. What is so good about this novel is that Seraphina tries to blend in but finds herself in a situation where blending in is the opposite of what she wants and who she is. She goes from a girl who just does the bare minimum and turns into a strong young woman who will do whatever it takes to help. What is even better is the author was able to show gradual growth in the character's personality rather than what most YA novels do nowadays; which is shove them in a situation right away that changes them. Serpahina is exactly how you would imagine a person to be in her given situation. She questions things and doesn't jump in right away without thinking. She also puts other's welfare before her own. How could this character not get any better? She's perfect in the sense that she is realistic. For her to be realistic in a fantasy novel,just shows this author knows how to build characters, and boy does she do that well.
The Prince is...Amazing. What I love about his character is that he isn't exactly charming and he has his negative qualities. He has a weird mixture of cockiness and selfconscienceness; Which you would think wouldn't work. But it does... It does so well that I automatically fell in love with his character. He pretends that what people say or how they see him doesn't matter but it really does. He loves those people who he protects and helps guide them. He is the perfect Prince who you can't help but love.
When you picture a world full of dragons you expect giant flying lizards who hoard wealth and knowledge. That is exactly what is in this novel but there is a spin on it. Imagine a country of dragons who can make themselves appear human. Imagine prejudice between humans and dragons and throw them in an uneasy truce. Imagine where it is illegal for dragons to feel emotion...To feel human. This novel makes you take a look at how exactly you view others and how they might feel about it. Think of the strictist rules, which breaking could equal death or worse...Surgery to remove emotion and memory. This world that Hartman has created is complex, exciting and really makes you think. What if I were in that situation? What if I wasn't allowed to love? Experience? Care? What if I had to hide because of who I am? This world full of false peace and unexpected friendships is exactly what the doctor ordered for a fantasy novel.
Now now...If you're thinking "I really do not want to read a YA novel.", consider this....Seraphina does not lack anything an adult fantasy novel has...It's possible it may even have more. The whole novel is focused on the world she created and the bigger picture. Sure there is a little romance but the romance isn't exactly YA or adult..it's just normal. So if you're looking for a fantasy novel that has morals and doesn't focus too heavily on romance then this is the book for you. It's a book that anyone can pick up and read... And Ultimately enjoy. I for one cannot wait for the next novel to come out. And I'm sure if you read Serpahina you will feel the same way (Impatience for the next book).
Did this review before Matched. I have my reasons. ;p. Matched will come next for sure though. I do not plan on doing that mystery book from last month I just couldn't read it x.x. Hopefully I will be able to later on but for now it's a no go.