In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, “Some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read in fantasy.”
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.
“Sometimes the truth has difficulty breaching the city walls of our beliefs. A lie, dressed in the correct livery, passes through more easily.”
Seraphina is quite possibly the best book about dragons I’ve ever read. Hartman is a good writer and her world building is very detailed and thorough. Although some parts of the book are a little slow, I think Hartman did a marvelous job creating her Fantasy world.
In the kingdom of Goredd, there is an uneasy alliance among the people and the dragons after years of war. Some dragons live among humans as scholars or teachers but mostly the dragons live in their region and the humans in theirs.But now, the fortieth anniversary of their peace treaty is coming and the queen of Goredd invited the dragon leader and ambassadors to Goredd to celebrate.
My favorite thing about this book is Seraphina herself. She is intelligent, bold and resourceful. I think she is a well developed character who is flawed in her own way (**Mild spoiler** she is half dragon. A weredragon? She has scales all around her body and has to wear a full-sleeved, full body dress at all times **End of spoiler**). Her relationship with all the characters were gradual and were developed in a realistic way.
Prince Lucian – Kiggs – was another fantastic character. He is the leader of the crown’s guard and is engaged to his cousin, Princess Glisselda. He isn’t overly good-looking or a master at fighting but he is good match for Seraphina’s sharpness. They are both smart and logical and are willing to do what others aren’t.
Princess Glisselda was another high point of the book. I was expecting her to be a snooty princess, almost like the mean girl of the book. I’m so glad I was wrong because I would not have enjoyed this book as much if I had been right. Glisselda is also intelligent and she tries her best to keep an open mind about things other people won’t appreciate.
Overall, Seraphina is a great epic fantasy and should be read by all dragon lovers should read. Or you know, Fantasy lovers in general.