Friday, October 11, 2019

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman - ESSENTIAL

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, 512 pgs. Random House Books for Young Readers, 2012. $18.

Language: G; Mature Content: PG-13 (racism); Violence: PG-13 (combat and an assassination) 



In the kingdom of Goredd, an uneasy alliance has existed between dragons and humans for decades. Dragons are able to take on human form and walk among their human counterparts in the market, at the universities, or at the royal court. As the anniversary of the treaty between the two groups approaches, celebrations are planned at the same time tensions increase.
Seraphina Dombegh has earned a place at court because of her exceptional musical talent, but lives in fear as she feels threatened by both dragons and humans. She has a secret to protect and knows that if found out, the factions would seek to harm her.
When a member of the royal family is murdered and it appears that a dragon may be responsible, Seraphina joins forces with Prince Lucian Kiggs, captain of the Queen’s Guard, to investigate the tragedy and protect the peace and her life.

An original fantasy that mixes mystery, race relations, and romance. The main characters are intriguing and Seraphina’s battle to protect her secret while coming to terms with her own identity is well narrated. Worlds within worlds are created that are complex and rich with detail. As with most books that are written as part of a series, the first in this set unloads a great deal of information setting up future plot. This can cause some confusion and disconnection for the reader, but overall, does not present too much of an obstacle.

Reviewer: AEB

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