Seraphina (Seraphina #1) by Rachel Hartman
I give this book a 4, almost a 4 and 1/2.
At the very core of this tale of fantasy are the ideas of warfare and the use of espionage, but before you get to all that, you meet Seraphina Dombegh. In this world of Goredd, humans and dragons (in human forms) live side by side, but not necessarily amicably and Seraphina is caught in the middle of these two peoples, just trying to keep the peace.
There is so much I could say about this story to hype it up, but I’ll keep it short and simple.
1. I really enjoy the world building of this book and the background story. This new take and twist on the dragons’ tale is refreshing, but I do wish there had been more time spent with the dragons overall.
2. The way this book handles issues of politics and social etiquette is very matter of fact. There is a sense of realism that takes you out of the fantasy and lets you see the underline meanings and how these things can relate to your life.
3. Seraphina is a wonderful and relatable character. She can be whiny at times, but that only makes her seem more real, especially in times when she’s not whining, but fighting and taking charge. Seraphina represents the insecurities of humanity (or should I say, of sentient beings). We never see ourselves as others do and we tend to be more critical of ourselves than is necessary, and that’s what Seraphina does. However, she does actually have a very good reason for being self-conscious, but through it all, she continues to fight.
4. There are many sub plots to this story that sometimes outshine the happenings of the overall plot, but it all works together in the end. The subtle sense of romance is down played quite a bit, in a realistic manner since the characters are on the verge of war. There are stories of loss, revenge, honor, and discovery within the pages of this book and they all mesh quite well together.
The only other thing that slightly soured my reading experience was the flashback technique of sharing someone else’s experiences and memories. That was a little hard to read, but since everything was ultimately explained, it didn’t take too much away from the story.
If you like dragons and have an open mind, you should enjoy this story.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords