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March 04, 2015

Joint Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman


Title: Seraphina
Author: Rachel Hartman
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: July 10, 2012
Genre(s): High Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Format: Finished Copy
Pages: 512
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 Dombegh 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.
Juhina's Thoughts: I've had Seraphina on my to read list ever since it came out. I've always been fascinated in reading about dragons (blame that on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) so when Seraphina came out back in 2012, I've been eyeing it ever since. I finally got the chance to read it when Random House Canada sent me a copy. It seemed to be the perfect time because Shadow Scale (the sequel in this duology) is coming out in March of this year. Seraphina is a big book, 400+ pages of world building, new vocabulary that needed a glossary to list them all, and many characters. For the first 50 to 70%, the book focused on the world building. It took me a while to get through it because I'm an action kind of girl. I like my world building alongside an exciting plot. This doesn't mean I didn't appreciate all the world building, I was just sort of lost because the glossary and character lists were unfortunately at the end of the book, so I only saw them after I finished reading it. I really liked Seraphina, she was independent, responsible, but at the same time she acted her age. The action happened in the last 20% or so of the book. I was pleasantly surprised by the turn of events and I liked how unpredictable the ending was. I wasn't impressed by the romance though, it felt very underdeveloped and I wished it was developed a bit more early on the book. I am excited to check out Shadow Scale because now that the world building is all laid out, we can focus on the plot and Seraphina's journey.
Lobna's Thoughts: I was a bit wary starting this book because I'm really not into dragons. This is usually because most can become a bit childish. Seraphina was definitely something different. It introduces us into this world with all these different creatures and rules that everyone lives by. It was, as Juhina said, a lot to take in because of the complexity of their world. Since there wasn't much action throughout the majority of the book, it made it kind of hard to read, I think I spent about a week reading this one. I did thoroughly enjoy the little bit of romance we were given at the end and really hope to see it develop in the second book. Seraphina does leave everything out in the open at the end and so we aren't fully sure of what might happen in Shadow Scale, I do hope we get more of what the first book lacked! Nevertheless, I absolutely enjoyed this book regardless of the tiny flaws and would absolutely recommend it. 
Next up, Shadow Scale...a massive 600 page ending!  

5 comments:

  1. Great reviews girls. <3 I'm so glad you both enjoyed this book :D I love it so so much. <3 Sigh. Seraphina is amazing :) I hope you will both love Shadow Scale too :D I loved it a whole lot, hiih :) Thank you both so much for sharing your thoughts. <3

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  2. I keep hearing how detailed and complex the world is! And an unpredictable ending? That's always fun! I can't wait until I get some free time so I can start this one.

    Great reviews! :D

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  3. OOoh very nice reviews!!! I recently bought this one when I discovered the original hardback at HPB! Can't pass up a deal! It sounds fascinating! Though I have to wonder now if the glossary will be in that version! It's currently buried in the TBR Mountain and I don't want to dig through it just yet! LOL! Looking forward to reading it though! Great reviews!

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  4. So glad you two loved this! It's one of my favorite books EVER and while the sequel wasn't my favorite, this is one I know I'll be re-reading constantly. Lovely reviews!(:

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  5. I am so glad that you both enjoyed this book because I've been eyeing this book for awhile now. I absolutely cannot wait to get into this world. The premise seems promising and the world seems very, very intriguing. I can't wait!

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