Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Title: Seraphina
Author: Rachel Hartman
Pages: 464
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Source: Netgalley

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 readers will remember long after they’ve turned the final page.


There are a number of books that can keep a reader interested – fascinated – hooked – and eventually falls in love and Seraphina is one of those books for me, no doubt.

The world building was just phenomenal – it was very detailed and vividly presented to the readers that it can be very overwhelming at first but I don’t think that’s a reason to be challenged in reading Seraphina but rather a motivation and an experience worth remembering. I just can’t imagine the research done for the background and creation of both the story and the world Hartman created.

The pacing of the story was just right – it wasn’t rushed for agitation to arise nor was it too slow for boredom to manifest. Hartman took her time to present everything and that is the exact reason why each element was at their places in eactly the right time.

The characters were fun to read, each can be individually characterized – with a magical theme, the characters were amazingly believable. Orma is a definite favorite as well as Fusspots – actually it was fascinating to read about the characters in Phina’s head (stopping myself from revealing too much of the book)

The ending was epic and disappointing at the same time. Not disappointing in a way that things were not resolved but rather disappointing of where the author was directing the love angle of the two characters. Let’s see though where Hartman will go on that one – definitely a lot of controvery and dilemma for the future story. The ending did answer a lot of the questions presented at the beginning and Seraphina can be a stand alone book but is definitely part of a series. Looking forward of what Hartman can offer with the next installment. Highly recommended!



9 thoughts on “Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

  1. Thanks so much for your awesome review! I’m supposed to be on a book buying ban but I keep seeing all these amazing reviews for Seraphina and I’m a huge dragon lover so… I might have to buy this one!!

    • Hi Ashley, I am in a buying ban too! hahah. Been buying books like crazy and I need to stop for a while as my TBR pile is already mounting. Haven’t got a copy of Seraphina yet, read it through Netgalley but will definitely purchase one soon. It needs to be in my bookshelf. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Seraphina – a Debut Author Challenge Review « Rebekah Loper, Writer

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