Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Review: Seraphina

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.

I had very high expectations when I started this book and I'm glad to say that it didn't disappoint. Seraphina is an enticing tale about a girl who is skilled in the art of music and the art of lying. Her life is full of secrets and lies, things she dare not tell anyone else. The blurb immediately captured my interest and the story held it all the way to the end and beyond.

I absolutely loved the setting of this story. I have a love for court life and handsome princes. This book was full of love, mystery and action. Seraphina is a very interesting character, she is strong and yet scared of herself. What she is terrifies and disgusts her, yet she is so determined and courageous in her dealings. The Queen and Princesses in this book were written beautifully. We got to see the public side of them first and then slowly devoured into their real personalities to see who they actually were.

Prince Kiggs was a lovely character to read about, he is obsessed with finding the truth and then meets the girl who's whole life is a lie. Engaged to the Princess of the realm, we realise from the start the the road to love for him and Seraphina will not be a easy and carefree one. Orma constantly breaks my heart, his love for her is so true and real yet for him it is a crime. I loved him as a character so, so much, never have I felt so strongly for a side character. The challenges in his life and the decisions he makes is plain for the reader to see, making the reader sympathise with him so effortlessly.

The mystery in this book was very well written, many things unpredictable yet so reasonable. I loved the feeling of surprise when something was revealed (most book these days are so predictable that it just ruins the whole book) and how everything revealed made so much sense. The action towards the end was stunningly beautiful, dragons in action are so fun to read about.

Hartman's version of dragons are not completely original, but she gives a edge to them that makes them refreshing and interesting to read about. She did a fabulous job of showing us slowly throughout the book what the dragons she created were exactly like. It made the book feel like a journey where at each stage something new was shown to us. One thing that pulled the rating of this book down slightly was how at the beginning/middle-ish part of the book I wasn't that engaged in the story. I liked it, but it wasn't until the end that I felt like this was the best dragon book ever written.

Dragons in this book could not feel emotions unless in their human form, and it was so exhilarating to see how different emotions effected our lives. I loved the range of love Hartman wrote in her book, the love between friends, siblings, family, teacher/student and lovers were all included in her book. It was so nice to read a book where the love of friendship makes my heart warmer than the love between two admirers. I adored the trio of friends at the of this book, I know there will be challenges that may tear them apart, but I believe that together they could lead their kingdom into a golden time (or maybe I just love them because its so much like Merlin). 

I'd recommend this book to those who have a love for dragons, mystery and intriguing court dealings. Seraphina was a beautiful read, a story I won't forget any time soon. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series and see more of this fabulous tale. I can definitely see this series get better and better, I'm hoping for a lot more action in the next one book and excited to see how the author will write the love storyline.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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