If you have yet to discover the fantastic world of Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, now may be the perfect time. You've probably been watching the latest season of Game of Thrones and been wondering if there is any way to infuse more dragons into your life... especially since Khaleesi seems to have lost all control of her dragons. And if you haven't been watching Game of Thrones... that's OK, because once you get past dragons and a vaguely Medieval world, that's where the similarities pretty much stop.
In Seraphina's hometown of Goredd, dragons are accepted as an unfortunate part of life. Dragons used to hunt humans just a few decades ago, but thanks to the current queen a treaty was signed and an uneasy peace has reigned ever since. Dragons have analytical minds, much like the Vulcans of Star Trek, and make decisions based entirely on reasoning. Their lack of emotions and refusal to understand emotions keeps dragon/human relations from improving past the point of tolerance. No longer allowed to take their natural form around cities, dragons must fold themselves down into human shape and are thus allowed to attend court, live in the city, and work for living.
The anniversary of the treaty is coming soon and Seraphina, who works as a musician at court, is busy preparing the musical entertainment for the celebration and arrival of the leader of dragons. In a time already filled with tension, a member of the royal family has been murdered and all the evidence points toward a dragon as the murderer. Seraphina is worried for both sides as the big day draws near, for she is half human and half dragon due to the illegal marriage of her father (a human) and mother (a dragon). No one must be allowed to discover Seraphina's secret as she would surely be killed as an abomination. Will the treaty hold? Will the human race be able to survive if it doesn't? Seraphina joins forces with the captain of the Queen's Guard in attempt to save the peace.
I thoroughly enjoyed this piece of YA Fantasy Fiction. The plot was fast paced and yet enough time was spent on character development that I felt as if I knew the protagonist. Seraphina is a smart young woman who learns to accept herself for who she is during the course of the story. She knows how to be alone and relies on her own strength, and yet she also understands the importance of relationships and working as a team. While Seraphina does fall pray to some typical YA motifs (of course she falls for the prince...), the novel feels unique and always remains entertaining. I couldn't put Serpahina down and finished it in a couple days, only to be disappointed when I learned the sequel was not yet out.
It is your lucky day, though, because Shadow Scale came out in March of this year. I purchased it on day one and had read the entire thing by the weekend. I won't go into details for fear of spoiling book one, but I will say that Shadow Scale is every bit as good as Seraphina. If you are looking to add a little bit more magic to your day, this book will be waiting for you.
Do you enjoy YA books? Have you ever read Seraphina and/or Shadow Scale and, if so, what did you think?
Published: May 4, 2015