Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: Seraphina

           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.
        Seraphina 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 know.
        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 earth.
        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.
       Ultimately, Seraphina 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 disease.
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.

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