Friday, October 12, 2012

Seraphina - Hartman, Rachel

Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Mystery
4 out of 5 stars
Hardcover, 467 pages
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. (From Goodreads)

The writing is dense, but beautiful and very descriptive. I can easily visualize the world that the author has created.

The book is categorized as young adult, but personally I think it might be a bit difficult for some people to get through, as the writing is a bit dense, and you have to pay close attention to whats going on or you'll get lost and confused.

There is so much information to digest throughout the book. In fact there is a whole new world to understand, religions, species, and places. Readers have to pay attention to get all of what is going on in this world.

I did find the grotesque garden a bit hard to visualize. I was really confused by it at first, how she "entered" the garden, and dealt with the people in there. I actually don't really like those parts of the book, it takes me out of the story a bit. I find myself so easily engrossed in this world, what the palace and village looks like, the dragons, yet when Seraphina goes into her garden its like i'm pulled out of the story, or into another story altogether.

I feel that the garden wasn't executed as well as the rest of the story. It was confusing, and very hard to picture what was going on. Until the last parts of the book, the garden didn't really have any connection with the main plot.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Kiggs and Seraphina that developed throughout the book. There was no "insta-love" that has been seen in a lot of YA novels lately.

I like that the mysterious death of Prince Rufus is woven intricately throughout the novel. It's only half way through that Kiggs and Seraphina, while on a quest to find a knight, really start to dig deeper into how/why the Prince was killed. There was a nice air of mystery about the whole thing that made me not want to put the book down and keep reading.

There is a glossary of terms and characters found at the back of the book. Personally, I think this would have been a lot better if it was in the front of the book. Or at least a name of the most important Saints in the front, as there were a lot listed, and it wasn't always clear what their purpose was.

Everything flows together wonderfully and vividly that it feels like I'm actually there. Overall an amazing book, and I'm quite excited for a sequal.

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