Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Book Report: Seraphina

Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I struggle with enjoying high fantasy. For example, I slogged through LOTR (though was ultimately glad that I did). That said, I barely struggled with Seraphina, which is a huge accomplishment in my reading habits.

It's no wonder this book is on several best lists for 2012. First off: the world building is awesome and awesomely achieved! Dragons who can transform into human form? Yes, please. But Hartman doesn't just stop at unique ideas; she really goes all-out in describing through her characters the differences between humans and dragons, AND creating an air-tight fantasy world and a history in which they both dwell. Our narrator and protagonist, Seraphina, is half-dragon, and I thought it was masterful how Hartman subtly depicted the characteristics of both species in her. (Did you know that dragons can swiftly calculate distance, velocity and time in their heads? Well, they can. They also love to hoard coins [shocker!] and only have to go to the bathroom about once a month.)

Even the language and the settings are intricately created. I loved Seraphina's frequent exclamations of shock, surprise or frustration, in which she utilizes a bevy of made-up saint names. There is no lazy writing to be found in this book. Plus, the intrigue and the romance are suppressed, secretive and simmering, as they should be in any medieval court worth its salt. Mandatory reading for those of you who love high fantasy, and highly recommended for those (like me) who are on the fence about it.

1 comment:

  1. P.S. Seraphina is also up for a Morris Award! The Morris is awarded to the best work of fiction by a NEW author in YA. Great write-up over at The Hub: Morris Award Finalist Seraphina by Rachel Hartman