Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

(Hub Reading Challenge: BFYA)

seraphinaI am coming to grips with the realization that I may not finish the reading challenge. I’m a bit overwhelmed by the books I “have” to read vs. the books that I’m dying to read. Not to mention a lot of these challenge books seem raaaaaather long.  But, for all that Seraphina seemed to take me forever to read, I really liked it a lot. (Ironically, you know how a pull quote by a known author on the cover of a book is supposed to make you want to read it? This had the lamest one ever “Some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read”. Really? It turned me off.) So, yes, dragons. This is a wonderful fantasy book. One of those great ones with a fully created land with a history, like Tortall (in the Alanna books) or the land in The Girl of Fire and Thorns.  In this land there is an uneasy peace between dragons and humans. In the past dragons just ate the humans and it was constant war. But 40 years ago a peace treaty was created.  The treaty has not eliminated distrust between humans and dragons, though, and most humans despise the dragons (who take a human form when among humans.) Seraphina has a terrible secret that would likely get her killed if people knew-she is half human, half dragon.  Her father didn’t realize her mother was a dragon when he married her.  And as for dragons, who despise emotions, her mother was a terrible creature who deserved to die.  Seraphina tries to attract no attention at the royal court, but her tremendous musical talent does make her known.  There is just so much in this book I couldn’t begin to describe it all-espionage, plots, betrayal, family secrets, falling in love, and the bizarre “mind garden” of “grotesques” that she mentally visits.

This was a terrific fantasy novel, and I’m looking forward to book #2.