Seraphina-- Rachel Hartman

Release Date: July 10th, 2012
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 451
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
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.
Review: I can’t believe I let this book sit on my shelf for so long! I have to say, I loved this book. It was unique, it was thoughtful and it was creative. I’ve been in a book rut lately where I just haven’t been drawn into any book in a long time, but Seraphina reversed that. I was immediately drawn to Seraphina and to the world that she lives in. After reading the Eragon series as a kid, I've been completely disenchanted with YA dragon fiction and I was hesitant to read Seraphina, but it easily undid years of dragon-dislike.

The best thing the author did was create a functioning world. She planned it out, and she planned it well. It really seemed like a world that had experienced centuries of war between humans and dragons and then had come together to work it out- it wasn’t just something the author had mentioned. It was complete with strained relations, underground movements and years of precedent. It all flowed together to create a vibrant, multi-dimensional world. I actually felt like this was a legitimate world and that I was there with Seraphina.

In that same vein, Seraphina is a completely believable protagonist. She’s half dragon, half human (kind of a spoiler, but this becomes evident fairly early on) and this is dealt with in a realistic way. Seraphina has to take care of her scales and wear long sleeves. She’s realistic in her emotions and for once, I wasn’t completely disgusted by the inevitable young adult love triangle.

Seraphina falls in love with the prince, who is promised to the princess. The nice thing is that Seraphina is friends with both and the princess is a likeable character. I guess I just really liked this book because it did away with conventional YA fiction stereotypes. It stands marvelously on its own and really satisfied my craving for depth and creativity. The world-building was superb and for a dragon novel recommended by Christopher Paolini (I really mistrusted his review at first), it was excellent all-around.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2013
*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.


  1. The world-building was what made me love SERAPHINA, too! Glad you liked it. :)

  2. This was my favorite book of 2012, and I'm always harassing people to read it! It is a remarkable novel....glad you overcame your dragon-dislike and read it! :)

  3. We've been on the fence about this one, but based on your review it sounds like a good read. Thanks!

  4. what what half dragon? Ok now I feel rotten for letting it sit on my shelf so long also! Ok the whip has been cracked I'll read it when I'm done with my current read! Expect to see my review soon! hahah
    Pabkins @ My Shelf Confessions

  5. This book is also sitting on my shelf. Looks like I need to pick it up!

  6. I can't wait to read this one I have had it sitting on my shelf for a while now as well. I'm glad that you were able to love dragons again with this book.

    Thanks for the great review! :)

  7. I am reading Seraphina right now and having about the same reaction to it. It's okay, but nothing like I'd hoped for. I'm feeling very meh about it.


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