Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Title: Seraphina
Author: Rachel Hartman
Published: July 2012 by Random House
Pages: 480 Kindle Edition
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Summary via goodreads:

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 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.


Mild spoilers?

Seraphina was an entertaining read; even with it's somewhat rocky opening. I'll get my petty arguments out of the way first. Ms. Hartman opened the novel with mild confusion and a need for more explanation of the Saints and religion in my opinion. After a couple of large info dumps things begin to pick up and from there, I was quickly swept away in the story that I found it hard to put down.

Fans of high fantasy novels should enjoy this enthralling tale of dragons and the new mystical world they live in. Rachel Hartman built a beautifully enchanting world that will confuse the hell out of you and maybe even  turn you off after all the talk of Saints, Heretics, and how their way of life is completely intertwined in their religion. It is a mystical period piece of sorts...  Seraphina herself was a likable enough character after you got over how much she hated herself and her messed up priorities. She's intelligent, but for someone that's suppose to be so alone, she was always surrounded by people who cared about her, even if she was hiding what she is. Not to mention the garden of people she housed in her head. Seraphina has an amazing talent for music that draws people and attention to her.

I had problems with Prince Lucian Kiggs. For a man that is engaged to the future queen, he sure did spend a lot of his time following Phina around, obsessing over her so called bravery, and sharing all these moments with her that one day she comes to the realization that she's in love with the man.

I can say that as I was reading I wasn't as caught up in how absurd this man was until I sat down to write out a review. So I think I have a right to express how this novel could have been amazing, but the disjointedness of it all kind of ruined it. I'll give Hartman the benefit of the doubt with her first published fantasy novel. I'm somewhat invested in the storyline now that I will be purchasing Dracomahia when it's released, but I won't settle for the holes and incompleteness I felt during Seraphina. 

1 comment:

  1. Hm, not sure this is one I want to get invested in. You make some great points about the characters that I think would really bug me. Great honest review!