Seraphina

  • by Rachel Hartman
  • Narrated by Mandy Williams, Justine Eyre
  • 13 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered - in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one listeners will remember long after the narrative ends.

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What the Critics Say

"Beautifully written, well-rounded characters, and some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy for a long while. An impressive debut novel; I can't wait to see what Rachel Hartman writes next." (Christopher Paolini, New York Times best-selling author of Eragon)
"A book worth hoarding, as glittering and silver-bright as dragon scales, with a heroine who insists on carving herself a place in your mind." (Naomi Novik, New York Times best-selling author of the Temeraire series)
"Seraphina is strong, complex, talented - she makes mistakes and struggles to trust, with good reason, and she fights to survive in a world that would tear her apart. I love this book!" (Tamora Pierce, New York Times best-selling author of the Beka Cooper series)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Completely Inspiring Fantasy

My initial reaction to this novel (a week or so after I finished listening to it) is to reflect on my connection with Seraphina. A girl with an amazing talent who actively seeks to hide her talent in order to not draw attention to herself because of a difference that could get her killed. I am surprised that in a world so fantastical it requires a great deal of careful sculpting and building that my first thoughts are of this character. Seraphina's struggle helps ground the world. Seraphina, at the beginning of the novel, has defined and viewed herself based off of an identity that she didn't choose but was born with. She is caught between two races with each not even wanting to acknowledge her existence. She has grown up with shame and without a true connection with anyone just because she is alive. In our world people often treated differently based on factors they were born with --- I'm sure I don't need to tell you--- the reality of these situations just really hit me on an emotional level.

The world building: the religion, languages, differences between cultures--are very well done. I thought it was beautifully written and well thought out.

I don't want to comment too much on the romance--but it is a slow build and felt natural. I--I read another review that said she could not remember was Lucian looked like...and neither can I. Their relationship is built on similarities and understanding--and not without it's issues---really refreshing.

And intrigue--can this fragile balance between the dragons and the humans be sustained? Who is plotting the downfall of the peace and why? Can Seraphina help the Prince with his investigations without giving up her secret?

If you like fantasy---I can't imagine a reason why you wouldn't enjoy this read.
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- Amazon Customer "I am an adult who loves a good YA read---but really I just love an engrossing story. If it pulls me in and I can't stop reading-I'm happy!"

It is a better read than a listen.

I began listening to this book and I must say that I like the story very much: the mythology, the backstories, the characters, the emotions- Rachel Hartman is an excellent storyteller, hence the 4 stars. However, for me, this is not a book one just LISTENS to. I found myself having to rewind the book a couple times because I did not understand something, but I decided to give up and carry on with listening to it. I am a college student and often like listening to something while taking the bus to and from school, but this just did not do it for me.
For me, this is a book that must be read and if it is to be narrated, the narrators must do it justice and for me the narrators did not. So a word of advice- buy the book itself because it is a great investment, the audiobook is not.
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- Noell "Fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, mysteries, and poetry- just a few of my favorite genres."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-10-2012
  • Publisher: Listening Library