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Literary Friday: Seraphina

Friday, February 28, 2014

Happy Friday!  This week has been super busy for our family, so I only read one YA book:  Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.  I enjoyed this book so much, and it is one of the best YA books I've ever read.

Where to begin….I must first applaud Hartman for her incredible skill at world craft:  Seraphina lives in a very unique, slightly medieval, yet slightly advanced world.  The world is at peace and has been for forty years since the signing of the treaty between humans and dragons.  Yet as the new year approaches and a large celebration is planned to celebrate this peace, a prince is executed, and the people of the Kingdom of Goredd suspect that a dragon is the culprit.  To complicate things, dragons can take a human form, and it's almost impossible for humans to tell the difference.  A saarantras, or dragon in human form, must wear a bell around his or her neck with the exception of those who have a scholar waiver.  I've read many fantasy novels with dragons, and these dragons are unique although they do have a few characteristics from lore.  Serpahina also creates a garden in her mind for coping with visions, and the amazing descriptions of the garden as well as the Kingdom of Goredd are lovely and vivd.

The aptly named Seraphina is one of the most endearing YA characters ever. A musical prodigy, she is the assistant music master at court: not the best place to conceal a secret that could get her killed.  The lies she must tell to protect her very life increase her stress level, not to mention all the performances and performers she must direct as the new year and the anniversary of the treaty approach.  And to complicate things even further, she begins to fall for Prince Lucian who's betrothed to Princess Glisselda, the heir to the throne.  Glisselda is a pupil of Serpahina's, and I thought she was very vapid at first, but her character grows on you as the plot advances.

There is a rather large cast of characters and unique vocabulary, but Hartman has provided a categorized Cast of Characters as well as a Glossary in the back of the book.  I found this very helpful with the vocabulary, but her characterizations are so well drawn that I didn't need to refer to the Cast of Characters very often.  I've been wanting to read this book for a couple of years, and I'm disappointed I waited so long.  If you read a YA book this year, I highly recommend Seraphina.

Seraphina book trailer

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
 *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.

"If Fruit Bat was loose in the garden, that explained the orange peel on Pelican Man's lawn, and it might very well explain the intensity of my headache.  If some little Porphyrian boy had found the way to peer back up the spyglass like Jannoula…I went cold all over.  It was inconceivable."

~from pg. 56 of Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Are you intrigued, confused, or both?  Do you want to read more?

What have you been reading lately?  This is a link party.

Literary Friday

Until next time…

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. Looks like an interesting book. And oh how I love the page 56 challenge. It's fun! Enjoy your day my friend and thanks for the party! Hugs!

  2. I typically shy away from anything dragon related. But you make this one sound worth reading. I will have to ponder on it some. I hope you are enjoying the Alice Hoffman, she is hit or miss for me. Looking forward to your review of that one. Hope you had a great week.


  3. I'm so happy you loved it, too! I can't wait for the sequel, Shadowscale. :D

  4. Love the sound of the book. Here is my post: Mixed Book Bag

  5. I'm awed by some writers' ability to create whole new worlds. Although I'm not much into dragons, this sounds like a book I could enjoy.
    Here's the link to my Friday post: WILD.

  6. I do want to read more!!! My daughter is reading The Outsiders for school, so I might have to reread that classic. I read The Rosie Project last week-fun. I can't remember the name of the book I am reading

  7. I'm intrigued. I do want to see more of the writing.

    Happy weekend!

  8. I pinned this to my book list. I don't want to forget it. Sounds great!

  9. Now that looks like a great book - thanks. I love the dragon.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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