Saturday, August 18, 2012

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
451 pgs.
Target audience: Young adult
Rating: Dragon

In the kingdom of Goredd, a peace treaty allows dragons and humans to live together. However there are those on both sides who will stop at nothing to dismantle this agreement. Fear and mistrust run rampant among the citizens as the treaty anniversary approaches. Seraphina has a secret, one which she must keep hidden from both sides. Her mother was a dragon and her father a human, making her half dragon. As a uniquely gifted musician Seraphina is engaged as a music teacher under the tutelage of Viridius, the court composer. Her only confidant is her mentor and dragon uncle, Orma, who creates a counterfeit mother to disguise his niece’s true heritage. No sooner is Seraphina ensconced in her new job than Prince Rufus is found decapitated implicating a draconian killer. The arrival of the leader of the dragon world, Ardmagar Comonot, does little to alleviate the already tense atmosphere. Seraphina befriends her student, Princess Glisselda and the devilishly handsome Prince Lucian Kiggs, fiancĂ© to Glisselda. Together Seraphina and Kiggs uncover a secret plot to assassinate the Ardmagar and to break the treaty. Although Seraphina’s intimate knowledge of dragon culture serves to be invaluable to their investigations, she worries that her continual need to lie will jeopardize not only her friendship with Kiggs and the princess but put the kingdom in danger. This is a brilliantly written book and so engrossing it’s very hard to put down.  The plot is fantastic, unique and intricate and like a good stew, the more it simmers the better it gets. Readers will savor each delicious moment. There is a cast of characters and a glossary at the end.Plus it has a fabulous cover. The only thing missing is a map.

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