The Compulsive Reader: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Music is Seraphina Dombegh's passion, and she is an extraordinarily gifted musician working as the assistant music mistress in the royal palace. Seraphina has always kept a low profile, but one performance does away with her carefully cultivated anonymity. This is a problem for her, but it pales in comparison to the issues her kingdom of Goredd is facing. Their uneasy peace treaty with the dragons is being threatened with the recent murder of the prince, and Seraphina is quickly drawn into the investigation along with Prince Lucian Kiggs. Seraphina soon finds herself in over her head, her darkest secret threatened to be exposed.

Rachel Hartman is a truly gifted writer. Her first lines will entice readers into Seraphina's world, and once there they’ll never want to leave. The setting is rich with details of the royal family, the dragons and their human forms and minds for the logical (eschewing anything emotional), and the magic of the music that Seraphina creates. Seraphina's careful balance of her love for music and her public life and her secrets and trouble with her family life are threatened when she meets Lucian Kiggs. Lucian is smart, he respects Seraphina, and he is devoted to discovering the cause of his uncle's murder, but he is not without his own personal issues; his illegitimate birth has always been a bone of contention in his family. Lucian is quick to accept that Seraphina is different from other girls; her extensive knowledge of dragons and relationship with her dragon tutor are highly unusual, but useful for their investigation. However, Seraphina and Lucian's partnership is threatened when Seraphina discovers startling connections between her life and the murder, and is unable to explain them to Lucian. The tension between two worlds is well-wrought, and this lovely, layered, and imaginative book will be one that readers will want to linger over.

Cover Comments: I'll admit, I wasn't so sure when I saw this cover that this would be a book I'd like. I've gotten to used the flashy covers with models and weapons and action. But, I have come to adore this cover; I think it captures the essence of the setting and is just as artistic and sophisticated as the book behind it. I love it.

Review copy purchased at Great Lakes Books!


Gina @ My Precious said...

I'm planning on reading this later in the year. I'm happy to see you enjoyed it. Great review. You've got me excited about the book.

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

The cover didn't appeal to me either but the synopsis got me with "dragons" and I'm so glad I picked this up. Second favorite read of the year!

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

I have to admit that the cover was actually the first thing that drew me in. The story was amazing, one of my favourites for sure. Great review!