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Seraphina

by Rachel Hartman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Goredd (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,9732233,258 (4.11)197
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.
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» See also 197 mentions

English (220)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (221)
Showing 1-5 of 220 (next | show all)
Ultimately liked it much better than I thought I would like it. She's a good writer, but as the subject matter unveiled itself, I started to worry. I like dragons as much as the next person (well, maybe less so), but unless you're Jo Walton's Tooth and Claw I don't think I want to get too close to them. I didn't care for Naomi Novik's dragon series, yet her non-dragon books were my top #1 favourite of their respective years. I think having dragons as pets, or as horses, or as boyfriends, or as avatars, etc., strikes of adolescent wish fulfilment. I have trouble picturing George Eliot taking on the topic, for example.

That said, this wasn't so bad. You could just take it as an allegory for racism and passing, if you like, or homophobia. And that's the problem, I suppose--the Difference mattered, but not the kind of difference. The plot wouldn't be substantially different if, instead of dragons, we had elves in disguise, or trees in disguise, or aliens in disguise, it's a McGuffin. (Of course the climactic battle at the end would be conducted differently, but that's a minor point).

But it's not bad. It's quite good! I just have my minor quibbles, you know, otherwise one isn't reading critically, one's just watching TV on paper.

(Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm fairly good at picking for myself so end up with a lot of 4s). I feel a lot of readers automatically render any book they enjoy 5, but I grade on a curve! ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Oct 13, 2020 |
Looking forward to the next installment! ( )
  Menshevixen | Oct 13, 2020 |
Dragons, music, diplomacy and deceits figure in this tale of the young Seraphina. Working as the assistant to the music master of the Goerdd court, she has been enjoined by her father to avoid any personal attention, but filling in for a performer at a prince's funeral service exposes her, eventually, to the perils and possibilities of being recognize for what you are. Quite readable and a pleasant variant on fantasies with both conflict and cooperation with dragons. ( )
  quondame | Sep 11, 2020 |
I was so close to giving this a (measly?) 4 stars, but it became truly amazing once I got over the fantasy-world-specific language. Could *not* put it down. ( )
  AnnaWaffles | Aug 28, 2020 |
Delightful. I really enjoyed this very specific fantastical take on an alternate medieval setting. Lots of attention to historical detail, and also lots of attention to worldbuilding that makes this world much more fun to spend time in than the actual medieval world would have been.

The queer content is minor (secondary characters) but well-done, and pleasingly integrated into the worldbuilding. ( )
  elenaj | Jul 31, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 220 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

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
Williams, MandyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

Goredd (1)
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Original title
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Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
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
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

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