Published by Doubleday on Jul 10, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Format: Hardcover from Giveaway Prize
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
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.
This was a unique and beautifully written story. The writing was lyrical and poetic, while still being exciting and captivating. The intrigue and politics were easy to follow and entertaining. This is a YA feeling story that featured grown-up characters.
Seraphina was a very relatable character. She is filled with self-doubt and revulsion at her who she is, yet she is intelligent and creative and stubborn. She is a study of contradictions and ever changing moods that felt very realistic. Her character matured and grew slowly and realistically throughout the story.
I was very surprised by Glissanda. When she first appeared she seemed ike a bubbly airhead, but the more she interacted with Seraphina, the more apparent it became that she was much more than she appeared. She was a smart and loyal leader who knew how to interact with people.
I loved the collection of people that appeared in Seraphina’s garden. I very much want to meet more of them. There seem to be a lot of interesting stories behind their backgrounds, and I hope to learn more in future books. I would particularly love to learn about the one character that was too much for Seraphina.
Overall, this was a great book that is worthy of the high praise and expectations that it received even before being released. This is an imaginative story that features dragons, not a theme common in current books, in a very respectful way. The characters are very well developed and are as complex as real people. I would highly recommend this story to fantasy lovers who are looking for a change from the ordinary.