Backlist Bonus: Seraphina

12394100by Rachel Hartman
YA Fantasy
4 of 5 stars
Debut novel – July 10, 2012

I picked this up at random several years ago and I loved it (always a nice surprise when you gamble on a book!). Seraphina Dombegh, a talented musician, finds herself drawn into the political intrigue surrounding a murder in the royal family that points to dragons as the culprits. Dragons and humans have had peace for nearly forty years, and this threatens to undo it all. Seraphina has her own secrets to worry about, but she can’t get clever Prince Lucian Kiggs out of her head.

The world-building is beautiful and interesting, and Seraphina is a practical protagonist with just enough daring to follow her heart. The dragons are some of the most unique renderings of fire-breathing lizards I’ve encountered. Able to fold themselves into human shape, they revere emotionless logic above all else–which is how they come into conflict with humans, who cannot understand their cold point of view.

This royal court drama of inter-species politics and dubious religions interweaves the growing relationships Seraphina builds with the prince and his fiancee, Princess Glisselda. It’s engrossing and a fresh take on fantasy, although the pacing doesn’t match typical YA fare.

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, Seraphina is available on Goodreads and its parent company Amazon. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey – Lessa is a scullery maid with revenge on her mind. The Weyr leader killed her family and seized control. But her plans to take back her birthright are interrupted when she finds herself attending a dragon hatching – and the Queen dragon chooses her. Together they’ll have to save their world from a threat that hasn’t been seen in a century.
  • The Golem and the Jinni by Helen Wecker – Two magical beings ruled by corrupt masters cross paths in 1899 New York City and forge an unlikely friendship as they pursue independent lives. See my review here.
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – Richard Mayhew runs into a young girl named Door on the streets of London. When he decides to help her, he finds himself caught up in a power struggle in the Underground between magical forces that make more sense than his office existence.
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – Back from a year of servitude in the Salt Mines of Endovier, notorious assassin Celaena Sardothien has a chance to win her freedom if she defeats the other selected criminals for the position of King’s Champion. Her focus is distracted by an evil presence lurking in the castle that starts to kill off her competition for her. See my review here.
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore – Katsa’s Grace (supernatural power) is Killing. She has become the tool of her corrupt king, but when a prince from another realm intercepts her on a mission, her fate is about to change. This is a descriptive, beautiful story. See my review here.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

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  2. erinkbay
    Jun 10, 2015 @ 20:34:09

    Weirdly, I could not get into Seraphina for some reason, but that one scene with suggestive memory ALWAYS sticks out in my mind! I thought that was so cool!



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