Sunday, August 19, 2012

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is one of those books that I didn't just want to read; I wanted to curl up inside it and live there.

There is an uneasy peace between the humans and the dragons. Forty years ago, the human queen and the dragon leader forged a treaty that has allowed the two races to coexist. Now, on the eve of the treaty's renewal, prince Rufus is found murdered, and whispers are running through the castle and the town that the dragons are to blame. In the midst of the furor is Seraphina, the assistant to the court composer. Seraphina has a secret, and revealing the truth would almost certainly cost her her life: Seraphina's mother was a dragon. Seraphina's father insists that Seraphina do nothing to attract attention to herself -- half-breeds are an almost unheard-of abomination -- but Seraphina's love for music is drawing her more and more into the spotlight. Can Seraphina find love and acceptance in spite of what she is -- and can peace between the humans and the dragons be maintained by the renewal of the treaty? Seraphina's fate and that of her country are perhaps more closely intertwined than they initially appear.

Some books have a strong plot, some have engaging characters, some have a deftly crafted setting -- Seraphina has all three. This is one of my favorite reads of the year, and I'll be watching eagerly for more books by this author.

(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)

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