Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Details, Please (Publisher’s description)

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.

So what?

High Fantasy! I went on this kick last year trying to find recent YA, high fantasy books, and it was much harder than I thought. Sometimes with that genre I feel the book can drag on and on, but I didn’t feel that way with this book. Also as a plus there wasn’t an abundance of fight scenes or dream sequences that I usually associate with them. It is also neat that Seraphina is a musician and assistant to the court composer.

As for the world building there are a lot of customs and philosophers that are mentioned that just add to the book. It’s pretty cool when people ask who your psalter saint is, but what would you do if your psalter saint was a heretic? Another thing about this book is that it would be best if you kept a dictionary near you while reading. Can you tell me what ‘perspicacity’ means? I didn’t know and had to look it up, among other words…but that’s good, right?

If you are a fan of the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey you might like Seraphina. It mostly reminded me of the same spirit as Dragonsong and Dragonsinger though. So check it out on July 10th.

Note: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.


  1. They say reading is the best way to improve your vocab. I like books that challenge me. Sounds like a fun read to escape the “normal” world.

  2. My, my. Advance copies per the publisher. Maybe you ought to consider a career as a critic instead of a librarian, eh?

    Interesting concept. Sounds like a victorian murder-mystery with a political twist set in a fantasy world. Do I smell steampunk or am I just imagining that?

    1. Jackrabbit, pfft. I really, really wish. It’s a cool book, that smells of steampunk but really isn’t. If anything it felt like a SyFy original film, but not the bad kind like Dinocroc or something. If you want an interesting steampunk book though, I enjoyed Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin, it’s a bit dark though.

  3. Such a wonderful book! I loved the way that the author described the consciousness of a dragon and the way that Seraphina’s own mind worked as a combination of both human and dragon.

    I was also so excited to see a middle grade/YA fantasy novel that doesn’t have a love triangle. 🙂

    1. Yes it was pretty cool, she was way better than just normal. Also Uncle Orma was awesome! And yeah, love triangles can get tiring. I always end up liking the one who doesn’t get the girl….

  4. Hey!
    Long time no comment (for me), but I still get your updates and keep an eye on you. 😉 I second JackRabbit – you should consider becoming a critic for work/career. You obviously love it, otherwise you wouldn’t find time with your school to keep up this blog.
    Anyway – just wanted to stop in and show I’m around.

    1. Woot Woot! I came home yesterday to find your letter waiting for me. It made my day. Lol You should be expecting one from me soon.
      I haven’t kept up with my blog as much as I’d like to, but hey free time is around the bend and then I have a lot to share. 😉

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