Spoiler free review!
I love it when a book gets me. When I can open it up and I think “oh, that’s something new.” and it sucks me in. Seraphina, Rachel Hartman’s first novel, had a very fun and very new concept for me. What if dragons and humans could live and work side by side? Reading that blurb on the back cover I tried to imagine it, but my imagination never came close to wondrous world Seraphina achieved.
It starts off with the riddle that is Seraphina. Who is she and what is she hiding? As the truth of herself unravels you begin to see the politics at play between humans and dragons. What’s interesting to note is how the dragons in Seraphina leap from the pages when reading. They are complex and dynamic characters, so much more so in that they would’ve hated that description of themselves. Dragons are supposed to be emotionless and logical. However, the longer they stay in their human forms, their saarantras, the harder that seems to be for some. It is this concept that makes Seraphina a beautiful and unique story.
Personally, I can always do without love triangles in adventure stories. I don’t think they are needed and I think the love between two people in a book really has to be earned. The love that Seraphina begins to feel for her colleagues and cohorts during the troubling times beginning in the novel feels earned and worth it and is more enjoyable for the reader in the journey it takes to get to that love and acceptance.
Seraphina was a fun read at 515 pages and is easily a lazy weekend book. I totally recommend it.