Thursday, February 5, 2015

Review: Seraphina

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Seraphina #1
Publisher: Random House Books
Release Date: July 10th, 2012
Source: Library, Audiobook
Date Read: 12/20/15 to 1/28/15
512 Pages (11 discs)
Rating: 1/2

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.

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I feel so bad for saying this, but MAN I don't know if it was just me, but I thought I would absolutely love this book. It was literally screaming LOVE ME because of dragons, fantasy, DRAGONS, an awesome heroine, DRAGONS.

But I don't know. It was weirder than I thought. But also it's kind of my fault because I don't think it was a good choice for me to listen to the audiobook. I'm not good at paying attention to the story, especially when there's a confusing part, like a switch in POV or a flashback, just because I never get any warning when it happens.

END RANT ABOUT AUDIOBOOKS. I really need to lay off them. They do not work for me :/

Yes yes, ok but Seraphina, and DRAGONS. Basically, in a nutshell, there are these two kingdoms, the human kingdom of Goredd (Another bad thing about audiobooks? I have no idea how everything is spelled so I have to look everything up. Ok I'm done now for real) and the dragon kingdom of....ok there's a dragon kingdom too. There's a tense relationship between the two species since they came out of a way a couple decades ago, and both sides still kind of don't trust each other, but are working on it.

So there's that setting, but unfortunately it's discovered the a member of the royal family got his head eaten off during a hunting party, and since everyone assumes it's a rogue dragon, things are not okay. Luckily, we've got Seraphina! Our awesome brave and stubborn heroine! Who's a music mistress (assistant to the conductor of an orchestra), and she's involved with the entire royal court, and a certain prince.

Before I go on, and if you haven't noticed, this book goes through a lot of worldbuilding, and it's extremely detailed and well-down. Honestly, I could spend another 1000 words explaining how everything is, and STILL not be done with my review. So for now, I'll just go on with what I liked, and what I didn't like.

First off, SERAPHINA HAS A HUGE SECRET. And with that secret, comes many, many confusing things. Like how she has a mental garden in her head she has to take care of, and if she doesn't take care of it she gets headaches. And not only that, but she has people living in her mental garden. Yeah. It's really weird. I was very, VERY confused the first time this was explained. I remember driving to Boston at the time, and thinking "What am I listening to...."

Second, there are a lot of characters! Like, a lot a lot. It's easy to get lost sometimes, which is why I should've read the book rather than listening to the audio book. 

But other than that, I very much enjoyed the plot and the story AND THE TWIST in the end (which is also really weird to think about). The story itself was rather slow, and I kept wanting Seraphina's and Prince Lucien's relationship to develop faster because THAT TENSION and ALL THE WAITING. It really kills me hahah. I SHIP THEM.

Overall, Seraphina is a very solid start to a series (AND I HAVE THE SECOND BOOK YES), and I regret not reading a physical copy. I also have seen it on the summer reading shelf in the library so in other words it must be good because middle schoolers and high schoolers are reading it. Bam. Just kidding it probably doesn't mean much haha. BUT STILL. If you're looking for a good fantasy series to start that focuses on dragons, this is a good one! It really is an interesting take on dragons!