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Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
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Seraphina (edition 2012)

by Rachel Hartman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,231None6,450 (4.22)112
Member:tortoise
Title:Seraphina
Authors:Rachel Hartman
Info:Random House Books for Young Readers (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 480 pages
Collections:Read in 2013 (Micah)
Rating:****1/2
Tags:fiction, fantasy

Work details

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

2012 (17) 2013 (25) adventure (8) dragon (9) dragons (186) ebook (16) fantasy (305) fiction (76) girls (9) high fantasy (13) identity (13) library (8) music (59) mystery (16) politics (9) read (14) read in 2012 (13) read in 2013 (12) romance (37) royalty (10) secrets (13) Seraphina (8) series (21) sff (8) teen (25) to-read (103) YA (101) YA Fantasy (9) young adult (111) young adult fiction (12)
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» See also 112 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
This book was absolutely phenomenal and I cannot WAIT for the next one to come out.

As far as recommendations go, I generally don't trust other people's recommendations for novels but Raya hit this one square on the head. I read this book in a day because I wanted to know what came next. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about reading it and thinking about what I had already read.

Set in an alternate world, Seraphina follows a young girl as she struggles with her identity and with how she is "meant" to be in her society. Of course, there's also the impending threat of dragons lurking around every corner, but musical Seraphina and her dragon teacher manage to surprise everyone with her musical talent. Throughout the beginning of the novel, Seraphina is forced into hiding what is potentially a defining part of her political affiliations. The characters and stories are simultaneously fantastical and absolutely believable in that they live in a fantasy world (I mean, really, dragons!) but still struggle with things like identity and relationships, especially how identity can affect relationships. ( )
  AprilAnn0814 | Apr 15, 2014 |
The creativity and sophisticated storytelling of Rachel Hartman make this book a delight! I wish I had seen the glossary and cast of characters before I finished the book. Seraphina is a strong, brave and true heroine. ( )
  dinelson | Apr 14, 2014 |
There are probably a whole range of thought provoking sentences I could muster up to describe my love of this book. None of which would actually do it any justice.

In the end, you'll just have to settle for this:

Just read this. Trust me. ( )
  LaurenKathryn | Mar 31, 2014 |
A lot of characters, but a fun read. ( )
  amazzuca26 | Mar 28, 2014 |
audiobook version excellent. I didn't realize how much I was going to like this book. Even though it's a fantasy book, much of what is discussed feels like and resembles our world and the struggles our community has with accepting those different than us and making peace in general. While this book had a lot of unique vocabulary there were tons of context clues. It's not preachy, but solid. It's been a long time since I read Ender's Game, but I got the same sense afterwards I think. ( )
  GR8inD8N | Feb 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rachel Hartmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidson, AndrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kolesova, JulianaIllustrator (Title Page)secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palisi, HeatherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In memoriam: Michael McMechan. Dragon, teacher, friend.
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I remember being born.
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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.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:33 -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 3 descriptions

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