- Hardcover: 512 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday Canada (July 10 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385668392
- ISBN-13: 978-0385668392
- Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 4.1 x 21.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 567 g
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #184,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Seraphina Hardcover – Jul 10 2012
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Shortlist - Governor General's Award - Children's Literature (2012)
“Full of grace and gravitas, Seraphina’s first-person voice is a welcome change from today’s snark-infested YA novels. Readers loath to turn the last page of this lush, intricately plotted fantasy will rejoice in the knowledge of next summer’s as-yet-untitled sequel.”
—The Washington Post
“In Hartman’s splendid prose debut, humans and dragons—who can take human form but not human feeling—have lived in uneasy peace for 40 years. . . . Dragon books are common enough, but this one is head and talons above the rest.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred review
“Hartman proves dragons are still fascinating in this impressive high fantasy. Equal parts political thriller, murder mystery, bittersweet romance, and coming-of-age story, this is an uncommonly good fantasy. . . . An exciting new series to watch.”
—Booklist, Starred review
“Establishes Hartman as an exciting new talent. . . . There’s a lot to enjoy in Hartman’s debut, from the admirably resourceful heroine and intriguing spin on dragons to the intricately described medievalesque setting and emphasis on music and family.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred review
“Seraphina makes dragons fascinating once again. . . . While the book is full of court intrigue and (sometimes literal) backstabbing, the prose itself is an absolute joy. It's thick and rich without being difficult to read . . . . Everything about the book feels really well-crafted… Not one sentence seems slapdash.”
“Passion and musicality—those are the qualities prized by Seraphina, the fiercely intelligent, headstrong half-human/half-dragon heroine in Rachel Hartman’s debut novel of the same name. They also emanate from every element—from prose to plot—in this beguiling YA fantasy.”
“Beautifully written, well-rounded characters, and some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read in fantasy for a long while. An impressive debut novel; I can't wait to see what Rachel Hartman writes next.”
—Christopher Paolini, New York Times bestselling author of Eragon
"A book worth hoarding."
—Naomi Novik, New York Times bestselling author of the Temeraire series
"I love this book!"
—Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author
"A wonderful mix of thrilling story, fascinating characters, and unique dragonlore."
—Alison Goodman, NYT bestselling author of Eon
"Characters I will follow to the ends of the earth."
About the Author
Seraphina is RACHEL HARTMAN's debut. She lives in Vancouver.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Finally a book with a strong female character with realistic and not blubbering or irritating self-confidence issues and who can save the kingdom without relying on a man to help her do so. Also, the kingdom is being saved not for personal safety or selfish reasons but because peace is truly desired and the will to do what is right guides these characters over all.
I loved the romance element and how it was subtle but true rather than making the book some silly gushy romance and make saving the kingdom second on their list of things to do.
I love how Kiggs keeps honor first and how it is this that makes him such a desirable character. I love the development of Orma and Seraphina's father. I absolutely love the dragons and humans and the realistic conflicts of their combination.
Rachel Hartman displayed extensive creativity to such detail that one almost has to believe this world really existed. I'm left extremely curious to learn even more about these dragons!
I appreciate how Hartman included and interwove religion throughout the book because it factually is such an important characteristic of the time period.
As a musician all of the musical elements were highly appreciated and I only wish I could listen to it all in this world and not just some half melody I create in my head as I read along.
Very well written and highly intriguing. I cannot wait to save up to buy the next book and find out what will happen next!
Read my FULL review here:[...]
And it turns out that the only thing in their way may be an illegitimate prince and an assistant music mistress. Rachel Hartman's shimmering debut novel "Seraphina" is a rare kind of fantasy novel -- equal parts politics, romance, mystery and draconic epic fantasy, as well as a wrenching coming-of-age for people who are a little big different.
Seraphina was only a child when she discovered that she was different from other children -- her mother was a dragon. This left her with two bands of silvery scales, and a tendency to have visions and strange dreams.
As she becomes the assistant music mistress of the royal choir, Goredd is thrown into an uproar -- the crown prince has been found decapitated, and dragons are suspected of murdering him. Even worse, the Ardmagar (a sort of dragon president) is due to visit Goredd, despite the violently anti-draconic Sons of St. Ogdo.
But the crown prince's murder may only be the beginning, as Seraphina soon discovers the threads of a conspiracy against the Queen and Ardmagar. But have humans concocted this, or dragons? To discover the truth, she must team up with a secret band of other half-breeds, and the clever prince Lucian Kiggs -- without betraying her true nature.
"Seraphina" is the sort of fantasy book that we need more of -- a shimmering, textured tale set in an exquisite fantasy world. Hartman clearly put a great deal of love and thought into this story, and she thinks up countless little details to give her world the richness of plausibility -- things like scale ointment and the quigs (a sort of subspecies of dragons).
And the plot is a pretty intricate affair, weaving together a love story, an epic fantasy tale, a murder mystery and a political thriller like so many silver threads. At times it can move a little slowly, but her prose is strong and smooth, and the various plot twists are all well-plotted in advance -- little details that make you look back and go, "Ohhh, now I get it."
Seraphina is also a heroine who easily could have easily morphed into a Mary Sue -- she's half dragon and half human (minus any of the uglier side-effects), with dream-powers and breathtaking musical skill. But instead she comes across as a strong, smart young woman who is remarkably un-angsty.
And Hartman creates a brilliant cast to support her, all of whom are developed beautifully -- the enthusiastic Lars, the vivacious Princess Glisselda, the nasty old nurse... and of course, the love interest. While Prince Lucian shares a romantic subplot with Seraphina, he'd be just as fascinating and essential if they were just friends.
"Seraphina" is a sublime debut novel, and the ending points to at least one more story for Seraphina and her friends. Hopefully Rachel Hartman won't keep us waiting long.
I liked this cover much better than the other, which seems more pitched to the teen romance market, but the book inside is the same, so doesn't really matter.
The novel was short listed for Governor General Award for children's literature, 2012.
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