Seraphina, Book #1
By Rachel Hartman
Author’s Website: http://rachelhartmanbooks.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Valerie
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 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. (Goodreads)
I had to read a ton of reviews for Seraphina before deciding to read it. Yes, it does have a really high rating, but I wasn’t really exuberant about the synopsis. I totally loved the cover, but I still wasn’t interested. Then I read it on a whim. I don’t know why I did. Things just sort of happened, if you know what I mean.
It was just okay.
One thing I will praise is the plot. Drop dead amazing, one of the most gorgeous plots ever. It intertwines dragons, action, and music with a tiny bit of love and death. Of course, that’s always the best way to get a great plot. I admit, there are tons of twists that I totally didn’t expect. I can’t say too much, but let’s just say the ending was really unexpected. The person or possibly dragon you thought was the villain really wasn’t. The person or dragon you didn’t even think about turned out to be a traitor. And then things just sort of happen, and by things I mean bloody action things. That’s totally fine by me.
I really couldn’t get into the writing. Seraphina’s voice is kind of boring. No offense or anything, but she seems to have gotten way more of the serious dragon personality than most dragons have. Seraphina just seems a little too serious of a protagonist, and that really makes the writing style boring. Sometimes, having a first-person narration seem like a third-person narration works. It didn’t this time though. Either I’m an easily bored person or Seraphina is unable to make an epic plot interesting. Take your pick.
I love how Seraphina is a musician. That’s something I genuinely appreciate. Music isn’t a very popular subject in YA reading, so I was pleasantly surprised with Seraphina’s love for music. I think she actually did a good job choosing music as a passion. Well, I would probably hate Seraphina if she didn’t love music, but hey, at least I tolerate her now! For the love of music, I will love Seraphina. (Or at least not hate her…)
I admit, Seraphina’s got it all. It’s got a decent love interest, a fantabulous plot, an amazing part about music and dragons. Honestly, it’s got fire-breathing, scaly, fantastic dragons! Who has the mental ability to pass that?
I think Seraphina’s one of those books that you either love or hate. It’s bound to be a good book, if you really put your mind to it. Just think about the dragons and don’t let the possibly boring writing stop you from loving Kiggs or the music. And then you will LOVE Seraphina.