Goodreads Summary: "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.Wow, just wow.
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.
In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page."
First off let me just say that I adored this book; the scope of it, the depth, the characters and the world all were fantastic. Secondly, my mind remains blown by all of those afore-mentioned things.
Seraphina is one of those books that I found myself eagerly reading, hating to set aside and with good reason. it isn't the kind of book that merits from being set aside, it is the type of book that to really grasp you need to just sit down and devour it in a sitting. I say this because of how much is going on, because of how wide the scope of the novel is and because it is truly epic. I feel that because I had to set it down so many times, because there were gaps in my reading, that I didn't grasp everything that was in this novel. Its the type that will most definitely merit from several rereads and even then I'm not sure I'll catch on to all of the nuances in its pages.
As a writer of fantasy myself the world-building I think is what completely just boggled the mind. THERE IS SO MUCH GOING ON HERE. Personally, I feel like I would eagerly devour a sort of tourist guide for the world of this book. You know those books that people devour about foreign countries when they are getting ready to go there so that they can better understand and immerse themselves in the culture? I want a stack of those! I feel like there was so much culturally going on in this book, and I'm sure on rereads I'll catch more, but I truly want to study it all. It was just that good.
And the dragons! I am so new to dragons but the more I read of them the more that I find myself loving them. [Recommend me so amazing dragon reads, please?] I started with an urban fantasy series by Deborah Cooke and I enjoyed it so much but this is really my first time delving into true fantasy with them, unless you count Harry Potter and we barely got to play with them in that realm. Needless to say they are now officially in my top three mythical creatures! And the ones that Rachel Hartman writes are just brilliant, I wish we could have spent more time with them but at the same time I feel like we got a lot to take in from this one novel. There were so many enticing details.
And the characters! Well, the dragons were characters too [and amazing ones!] but I mean the cast through which the novel is told. I love novels like this where there is so much intrigue, so many things to ponder over, so many mysteries that as a reader you can race to try and uncover before your hero or heroine. You have that galore in this book. The characters have just as much depth as the world that they live in, always a plus, and even better you find yourself eager to learn more about them. I loved Seraphina of course. She was just such a capable heroine. I loved getting inside her head. And I love seeing the two extremes of her character come out and war with one another. I just love her to pieces. Though, I have to admit that Glisselda is quite possibly my favorite character. Just you wait and read about her, you'll adore her too.
AND THE ROMANCE! I'm just going to leave it at that because I will give away SO MUCH if I'm not careful and I want you guys to be just as enchanted by this story as I was. So just THE ROMANCE. Yes. Exactly my kind of storyline. Yes. A thousand times yes. And on that note, why can't the sequel be out already?!
Sigh. Just go read this one. You will love it and you will find yourself to be just as tortured as I am that it is over...and possibly more so, if like me, you have finals approaching and can't squeeze in a super lengthy reread this very second even though you just finished the book a few minutes ago and already want to flip back to the beginning and start again.