Monday, April 29, 2013
Seraphina has a dangerous secret, and her father has been begging her to keep a low profile, but acting as the music teacher for the princess is not exactly the best occupation for laying low. The kingdom of Goredd has made a treaty with the southland dragons, and this uneasy peace has lasted for 40 years, but now that Prince Rufus has been killed in distinctly dragon fashion, the treaty is weaker than ever. With one foot in each world, Seraphina is in a very unique position, being half dragon, half human, but she might be the only one that can see what is going on, and catch the traitor in the castle.
This is a very full story. Not only is there mystery surrounding the attack on Prince Rufus, there is also Seraphina's secret, Orma's fate, dragon-human relations, the love triangle between Seraphina, Prince Lucian, and Princess Griselda, Seraphina's garden of grotesques coming to life all around her and more. There is a considerable amount of world-building going on too. While this fictional kingdom mostly mimics a Renaissance Era kingdom, the dragons make it something different entirely, and the saints mentioned are also fictional.
This book also exploited one of my biggest faults, Reader's Vocabulary. Basically, reader's vocabulary is the ability to define and even spell words, but have no idea how they are pronounced, since you've only read them, never heard them spoken. This is a problem with many fantasy books because I am terrible at sounding words out. My third grade teacher is hanging her head in shame somewhere. So, I honestly cannot pronounce Dracomachia, which happens to be the title of the second book. I can take a stab at it, but I guarantee, it won't be right.
Once I really sat down with this book, I became involved, but it took me a while to get going. That could honestly have more to do with me than with the book. This book is a good answer to Eragon, which just wasn't my speed. I feel like Seraphina is a more beautiful book, more technically perfect and more engaging.
I enjoyed Seraphina and will definitely read the sequel when it comes out next February, but I don't think that I share the same passion for it as Cinjoella. I have a tendency to get slowed down when combing historical settings with a fantastical plot line, so that might be what prevented me from all out loving this book. Or Joella might be much more skilled at writing a passionate review. It's probably the second one.
But for fans of fantasy, you really can't go wrong with Seraphina.