Title: Seraphina (Seraphina #1)
Author: Rachel Hartman
Publisher: Random House Children’s
Publish Date: July 10, 2012
Summary (by 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 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.
At the center of the cathedral stood a model of Heaven called the Golden House. Its roof unfolded like a flower to reveal a human-sized hollow, in which the body of poor Prince Rufus lay shrouded in gold and white. His feet rested upon the House’s blessed threshold; his head lay cradled by a nest of gilded stars.
At least, it should have been. Prince Rufus’s killer had decapitated him. The Guard had scoured forest and marshland, looking in vain for the prince’s head; he was to be buried without it.
Disclaimers and such: I received this book from DAC ARC Tours! Thank you for letting me read and review this ARC and thank you to Random House as well! So although, I received this book for free in exchange for a review, all thoughts are my own. This book will be published/released on July 10th!
Cool story to share about the awesomeness of DAC ARC Tours and Random House… Random House had sent me Seraphina and it never showed…they overnighted me another book! Both books ended up showing up, but the publisher had an awesome attitude and was sweet enough to send me a second book to make sure I was able to read it. So I started out with a great attitude towards the book since the people that were behind the book were so sweet!
There are so many characters in this book. They are very cool imagined characters, but it was a little much to take in at first. The number of characters (all the names to remember), the new world (trying to remember how it all works), and wrapping my head around dragons (who they are and how they operate)…was a little overwhelming.
Like I mentioned above though…after I got through the middle of the book, I found myself oddly attached to the characters and wondering how the author was going to put everything together.
The country is about to celebrate the peace treaty that was made between humans and dragons 40 years ago, but when the prince’s body is found, decapitated…it sparks countryside unease and starts up finger pointing. What no one suspects is who Seraphina really is and how determined she is to find out what exactly happened to the prince.
Seraphina is a strong female character. She’s somewhat feminine, but yet not. Her secrets have her more worried about how to keep them hidden rather than trying to fall in love. In the middle of her investigation, she soon finds herself falling for the princess’ fiance, Kiggs.
Dragons in this book are completely different than the “norm” that authors write about. It reminds me of the dragons Sophie Jordan wrote about in Firelight…they are human, but they can turn into dragons like flipping a switch. So dragons in essence, walk around humans every day and if they didn’t wear an identifying tag…you would have no idea they were there.
In the middle of it all, Seraphina is forced to come to terms with the voices in her head, who her mother really was, and what to do with her feelings for a prince. It makes for an exciting ride with a lot of political intrigue, mystery, and a race to find out who murdered Prince Rufus.
I want to see how the story continues so I’ll probably grab the second book when it comes out! If you read it, let me know what you think! I can’t say I completely LOVED the book, but it was a good mystery and great world/story. 🙂