Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication date: July 2012
Pages: 512
Source: Library
For: Fun
Series: Seraphina, Book 1

Humans and dragons still don't trust one another, despite the centuries of peace that have existed between them. And then it seems that whoever is behind a mysterious murder and conspiracy plot is determined to break that tenuous peace. Seraphina, caught between both worlds, finds herself caught up in this plot and wondering just how she can bring back the peace.

Things I Liked:
This was a fantastic and beautifully written fantasy!  I loved Seraphina (the character) and how complicated and tough and never-give-up she was about her difficult life.  I was swept up in the world and the details - the garden of grotesques was particularly awesome.  The dragons were interesting and unique and a fresh look at an age-old fantasy character.  I was particularly pleased that Princess Glisselda didn't turn out to be a typical princess - bratty, rude, etc, though she was obviously privileged.  I don't know that I can put my finger on what exactly I loved the most, though I was quite pleased with the ending too.  Just a wonderful fantasy for folks looking for something to whet their appetite for the fantastic. 

Things I Didn't Like:
This is entirely the fault of my personal reading circumstances, but I had to rush through parts of it and I think that left me feeling like I wasn't quite sure of what was happening at times.  Also, while I loved the mystery of it and was surprised by several things, I did see much of what Seraphina learned coming.  Still, it did not detract from my enjoyment much.

The Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini

Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: X
maybe some implied

v-factor: ->
a bit of fighting, nothing gory

Overall rating: ****

What did you think of this Morris award winner?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Hmmm...I really couldn't finish reading it, to be honest. There was just too much postmodernism and political things for me to enjoy it. The premise is great: inserting your political values isn't.

    1. Huh, and now I can't even recall any political values that were inserted. Sometimes I think my real brain shuts off while reading and my enjoying brain just takes over :)

    2. Maybe I'll get back to it, someday. For now, my OCD says it's a no-go.

    3. Ha ha! I wouldn't worry about it. Too many other good books to read!

  2. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed this one! I had read such wonderful reviews and wasn't sure it would live up to what I expected. But I loved it!

    Seraphine herself is just awesome. And the details of this world are so fascinating. The differences in Seraphina and the others like her are just so intriguing to me. How they live life as normally as they can, yet are so abnormal in reality. I will definitely look forward to more in the future! :)

    1. It was good stuff, huh? I was a bit wary after all the praise too, but it met my expectations.

  3. I've been hearing great things about this one, so I can't wait to get my hands on it!

    Now, too, after scanning though some of your comments about The Seven Realms series, I'm thinking I need to read it pretty quickly, too! :)

    1. Yes on both counts! Definitely try the Seven Realms, they are so fascinating.

  4. I have heard so many amazing things about this book too! Now your great review. I need to put this book at the top of my to-read list.

    Clean Teen Fiction
    Clean Adult Fiction

  5. I love the dragons in this one too. They reminded me of a very modern and scientific person stuck in this sort of middle ages. I'd totally forgotten about the garden of grotesques but that was so creative. Great review!

    1. Yes! I love that way of thinking about it. A bit like Da Vinci must have felt at times...

  6. Thanks for doing a review on this book! I've picked it up at the bookstore, and read the back of it like ten times, but I've always put it back on the shelf. Now I'm totally excited to read it! Thanks!

    Marlene Detierro (Salmon Fishing Rogue River)


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