Synopsis according to Goodreads:
"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.
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."
I am a fan of fantasy, especially sword-and-sorcery. Not all of it, mind you, but it (and Shakespeare) are what captured my interest in reading when I was a tot. So when I heard about Seraphina, I was intrigued. Even more so after seeing the trailer.
And I really, really, really liked it. A female protagonist whose whole life revolves around her burden and she never whinges about it? A girl whose analytical nature and curiosity and bravery are so natural to her that we only realize how amazing she is when SHE realizes it herself? A female protagonist who thinks logically, sometimes coldly, analytically, and mathematically....and is also possessed of fantastic musical talent? References to medieval things, musical terms, and a world-building that poses dragons unlike our traditional view of them? Romance + intrigue + character development + fantasy + adventure? Side characters that you find yourself cheering for throughout the novel?
Yes, Seraphina has all this, and more. I read it in 3 days. And immediately put the sequel on my wishlist.
I dislike comparing books to other books, but in a way it reminded me of Song of the Lioness series and Liveship Traders series...I suppose in that the main character is complex and unfeminine and absolutely wonderful.
I recommend this book, highly, to fans of music, fantasy, dragons, court intrigue, female protagonists, medieval fiction, well-developed worlds and mythologies, and young female readers who need a better fictional role model than 75% of what's currently out there.
Labels: book review, dragons, fantasy, fiction, intrigue, literary friday, medieval, music, rachel hartman, seraphina