Seraphina, a YA fantasy novel by Rachel Hartman was a book I had been looking forward to for months, one that I might have done anything to get. Of course I bought it the moment it came out. Because of my hype, if Seraphina turned out to be even a hair below expectations... well, the result would not be pretty. Thankfully, Rachel Hartman did not fail me. The book was very, very good, and thank goodness, or I might have broken something.
follows a talented musician named Seraphina Dombegh, a girl with a
secret. In a world where dragons take human shape, and live with humans
in uneasy truce, Seraphina has a foot in both worlds, and no one can
The world-building in this book is fantastic. The
dragons were unique and amazing, the city felt alive and the history was
believable. However, what really stuck out about this book was Phina
herself. I loved her. I really did. She was smart, brave and talented.
But also terribly lonely and distrustful (for good reason!). She was
believable and lovable, and I would have followed her to the ends of the
Wonderful side characters abound, some of my
favorites being Orma, Lars and Glisselda, and no one is in the slightest
way one dimensional, friend or foe.
There is an adorable
and clean romance between Seraphina and Lucian Kiggs, captain of the guard, which was very believable and sweet. It was also refreshing that
the romance was not the only point of the book, merely a wonderful sort
of side plot, because so many YA books fall into the sappy romance trap,
foregoing all aspects of plot.
is a book that celebrates love. Love for family, a craft, friends, a
country, the kind of love that is pure and overpowering. Love is not a
Seraphina was a five star of book for me. Combine
awesome world building, wit and humor, powerful characters and concepts
and some good old fashioned intrigue, and you have one awesome book on
your hands. Thank you, Rachel Hartman.