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Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
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Seraphina (edition 2012)

by Rachel Hartman

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2,1571933,027 (4.13)175
Member:Areopagite
Title:Seraphina
Authors:Rachel Hartman
Info:Random House Books for Young Readers (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 480 pages
Collections:E-Books, Fantasy, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

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Showing 1-5 of 192 (next | show all)
I think the strength of this book lies in the world that's been built, more than the characters or the plot. While Seraphina was interesting, it was hard to get a read on her character traits, other than "scared" and "quiet". It was the way her society interacted that really kept me reading. I was fascinated especially by the religious structure. I'm not entirely an expert, but it seemed almost like Catholicism without the Holy Trinity, which meant it was as if a monotheistic belief system had essentially been broken down into a polytheistic one.

But, I digress.

All in all, I really enjoyed the political atmosphere that was carefully created between the dragons and the medieval cultural aspects that the author weaved throughout the story. And I loved Kiggs! I wish he had a different name than "Kiggs," though. ( )
  srsharms | Jul 20, 2017 |
loved this. never really thought I was a fantasy novel girl but I've evolved into one (the golem and the jinni won me over). this book took me to another world and I loved it, dragons and all. so well written and quite the page turner. I hope the 2nd book is just as good. ( )
  mfabriz | Jun 25, 2017 |
Stayed up until 2 a.m. on a workday just to finish this book. I was that gripped.

After hearing so much about the dragon general, I expected him to be a more dignified character. But he turned out to seem so weak. Maybe that was the point, the reversal? The grandmother queen, though human, had a will of steel, and the supposedly run-by-logic dragon gets so emotional (and drunk, and lecherous, and bewildered:The feels! I has them!) when in human form.

It was nice how the fluffy, giggly blonde princess Glisselda emerged all regal. The mention of excision reminded me of The Golden Compass.

Although I have an inkling about how the sequels will run (Seraphina will gather her fellow halflings, encountering some identity conflict with Jammoula, who seems to be her dark side. Glisselda will find out about the love between Phina and the prince and there'll be a bit of drama there) I'm still curious to see how it plays out. Will try to find the rest of the series.

P.S. I wish I'd figured out earlier what a Daanite was. When I got to the glossary and found out, pieces clicked together and I was like, "Ohhhhh..." ( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
Half-dragon Seraphina Dombegh is a gifted musician who joins the medieval royal court of Goredd just prior to the heir to the kingdom being murdered. Forty years of an uneasy peace between humans and dragons is rocked by the death. Seraphina has much to hide from both sides, as the idea of a half-dragon is considered an abomination. Can she unravel the plot to end the peace treaty without being uncovered herself? And will Prince Lucian Kiggs, captain of the Queen's Guard and fiancee of Princess Glisselda, discover her secret? In a world where dragons can change themselves into human shape and reject all emotion as weakness, old hatreds run deep and any excuse is a good one to reignite the war between the two sides. Slow first half to the book which picked up in the second half. Interesting concepts, but won't bother with the rest of the series. A shame the list of characters wasn't at the start of the book rather than being discovered at the end - would have been useful to know it was there! ( )
  DebbieMcCauley | Jun 24, 2017 |
Excellent! Can't wait for the next one. I was intrigued by the whole premise of dragons taking human form. Is there anything else out there like this? ( )
  searscho | Jan 5, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rachel Hartmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Davidson, AndrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kolesova, JulianaIllustrator (Title Page)secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palisi, HeatherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
In memoriam: Michael McMechan.
Dragon, teacher, friend.
First words
I remember being born.
Quotations
I usually practiced smiling while I slathered my scales with goo, figuring that if I could smile through that, I could smile through anything. Today I really didn't have the time.
We were all monsters and bastards. And we were all beautiful.
(page 90)

"My faith should not come easily;
There is no Heaven without pain.
My days should never flutter past
Unnoted, nor my past remain
Beyond its span of usefulness;
Le me not hold to grief.
My hope, my light, my Saint is love;
In love my one belief."
(page 142-143)

The vagabond sun winks down through the trees,
While lilacs, like memories, waft on the breeze,
My friend, I was born for soft days such as these,
To inhale perfume,
And cut through the gloom,
And feast like a king upon peaches and cheese!
I'll travel this wide world and go where I please,
Can't stop my wandering, it's like a disease.
My only regret as I cross the high seas;
what I leave behind,
Though I hope to find,
My own golden city of peaches and cheese!
(page 144)

I'll ask my true love, and I'll hope she agrees,
How could she not, when I'm down on my knees?
My Jill, say you will, and don't be such a tease.
When it's time to eat,
I say sweets to the sweet,
My love, let your answer be peaches and cheese!
Last words
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Book description
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375866566, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Teen Book of the Month, July 2012: In Seraphina, dragons and humans maintain an uneasy peace and for a woman who is both there is nowhere to turn for acceptance--not even within herself. Seraphina has spent her young life concealing the truth of her parentage and authentic nature, a task that proves ever more difficult when she is thrust into the spotlight of the royal court. Author Rachel Hartman’s dragons take human form but shun the messiness of human emotion by remaining “in ard” (a highly rational state of mind), while their counterparts cling to a dangerous assumption of species superiority. As the anniversary of the treaty between the two sides approaches, court intrigue reaches a fever pitch and hard-won truths, betrayals, and intricacies of the heart are laid bare. Seraphina is a beautifully complex fantasy that delves into the most basic of desires—to be loved, to belong, and to find peace in self-acceptance. --Seira Wilson

Guest Review by Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce is a best-selling author of fantasy books for teenagers. Her books, known for their teenaged girl warriors and wizards, have received critical acclaim and a strong fanbase. Her newest book, Mastiff, is the third book in The Legend of Beka Cooper series.

In Seraphina's world, coldly intellectual dragons can take on the shapes--and feelings--of human beings. Sometimes this results in a surprise. Seraphina's father married a beautiful musician, and discovered too late that she was a dragon. She died, leaving him with a daughter who confuses him and his new wife and children.

Now the half-dragon Seraphina is the assistant to the cranky royal music master. She is in charge of Princess Glisselda's music lessons; she books performers for the 40-year celebration of the peace treaty between dragons and humans, and she rehearses the rowdy court musicians. She has to hide the scales on her arm and around her waist, and she can never let anyone find out that Orma, her music teacher, is actually a dragon.

When she plays the solo for the funeral of the realm's murdered prince, Seraphina is suddenly raised into entirely new, visible levels of peril. People she always avoided are noticing her. She has to attend social functions, where she is caught up in court politics, between those who support the treaty and those who want to destroy it. She runs afoul of conspirators who want to start the war again--one of them may be her own grandfather. She even discovers that Prince Lucian, who is betrothed to Princess Glisselda, is not only very sharp-eyed but also very agreeable to be around. He appreciates her insights on intrigue at court and in the city and uses her as an unofficial investigator into the ongoing unrest.

The plot thickens. A new religious order plots riots and revolution. Exiled knights return to report an unregulated dragon flying near where the old prince was murdered. The dragons are trying to send Orma for corrective surgery--they think he's gotten too human and they want to cut those parts out of his brain. Seraphina fears that if she tells the prince and the princess what she is, they'll hate her forever, but their work to preserve the treaty celebrations is bringing them closer together. And all of them are terrified that the dragons will decide that humans are not worth the trouble, and will destroy them at last.

I loved this book even more the second time I read it than I did the first. The characters are interesting and engaging, and I love the new look at dragons. For all that she's half-dragon, Seraphina is a very believable human being, caught between different loyalties and just trying to keep everyone she loves alive. But don't take my word for it--read it yourself!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:48 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In a world where dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce and dragons can assume human form, Seraphina, whose mother died giving birth to her, grapples with her own identity amid magical secrets and royal scandals, while she struggles to accept and develop her extraordinary musical talents.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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