Seraphina (Seraphina, #1) by Rachel Hartman Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)

Librarian Note: Alternate cover edition for ISBN 9780375866562.

In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, “Some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read in fantasy.”

Four dec

In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, “Some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read in fantasy.”

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.
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    Kat Kennedy

    What does it take to inspire someone to read a book?

    Is it enough to give a heartfelt plea to the book’s worthiness?

    Maybe a meme? Or jazzhands? Will jazzhands convince you?

    Turtle meme doing jazzhands. Your mind is blown.
    I know, a meme about jazzhands! Admit it! This is pretty damn irresistible!

    Okay, well, if you’re one of those strange people who would choose a convincing, well-informed review over a meme of a tiny turtle doing jazzhands then…

    More jazzhands
    Are you sure I can’t convince you with jazzhands? Maybe throw in a shuffle for you?

    Seraphina is half

    Is it enough to give a heartfelt plea to the book’s worthiness?

    Maybe a meme? Or jazzhands? Will jazzhands convince you?

    Turtle meme doing jazzhands. Your mind is blown.
    I know, a meme about jazzhands! Admit it! This is pretty damn irresistible!

    Okay, well, if you’re one of those strange people who would choose a convincing, well-informed review over a meme of a tiny turtle doing jazzhands then…

    More jazzhands
    Are you sure I can’t convince you with jazzhands? Maybe throw in a shuffle for you?

    Seraphina is half dragon, and not because her father struggles with the basic nuances of the English language.

    I said slay, not lay!
    Well, maybe a little bit…

    In this epic fantasy by debut author, Rachel Hartman, Seraphina is an abomination who must hide her true self from everyone lest she and her father are killed for heresy. Dragons have the ability to fold themselves into human bodies and have maintained a strenuous peace with the human kingdoms. Seraphina’s life is put into jeopardy when court intrigue and mystery implicates that the treaty between dragons and humans is in danger.

    Hartman’s novel is almost flawlessly executed. The novel, whilst long, is easily readable. Hartman doesn’t rush her narrative, but neither does it seem to drag or falter.

    Aside from a few brief flashback sessions, the story is carried entirely by Seraphina who may be half human and half dragon, but she is all brilliant. She is the equivalent of some kind of bear/dragon hybrid. Like, a bear/dragon hybrid that can breath fire. Yeah, that level of coolness.

    Bear/dragon hybrid breathing fire
    Well, what do you know? They have a meme for that!

    Often in novels, the female MC will profess to be extremely smart but, much to my chagrin, behave agonizingly stupidly and prove to have the mental faculties of a gnat. Seraphina is the total opposite of TSTL. She is brilliant, charming, ballsy and brave. All the while, she is also tactile, honest and fully-developed. Actually, I can not think of a single character in this book that I could argue as being two-dimensional or aggravating.

    In fact, I absolutely loved the portrayal of strong female characters in this book. It was done with such grace and humanity that I found myself respecting most of the women in this book. Glisselda and the Queen were fantastic characters whom I absolutely adored.

    Kiggs, as the love interest, was believable, endearing and wonderful. His character, so eccentric, so insightful and honourable, completely won me over. His relationship with Seraphina was genuine, subtle and romantic. The best thing? He wasn’t any over-developed Romanticized Alpha Male! Thank goodness! He rocked it without needing to bully, oppress or corner Seraphina in any way!

    The pacing is excellent for a lengthy novel. I gobbled it up and only at the very end did I feel any desire to speed things up. It is also beautifully well-written. The imagery alone was breath-takingly beautiful. The prose were polished and elegant. It was a pleasure to read. This novel was so full of emotion, beauty and poetry that I was honestly startled because I expected none of it.

    I must confess that I am an acquaintance of Hartman here on GoodReads. I had grown a healthy respect for her opinions and expression, so I entered into reading Seraphina with a certain amount of skepticism and trepidation. I wonder if Hartman felt a similar trepidation when she saw that I had applied for her ARC and decided to read it! Because, let’s face it, I’m not exactly known to be the most generous of reviewers. That’s probably actually an understatement.

    If you think that my opinion of this book has been swayed by my association with the author, then feel free to make your own mind up about it. I’m sure more reviews will be popping up soon.

    But, to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when starting this novel. I’ve read work by friends before and had to put them aside, with embarrassment. This time is different. When Seraphina is released, I will buy this novel and treasure it. I will probably read it again and again when I need a laugh, or a romantic story or something to relax to. In fact, I loved this novel so much that I want to recommend it to everyone. I want to go get everyone I know and make them read it. This is the kind of novel that deserves to be published, that deserves to be successful. We need more of this out there. Not another trashy teen YA. This is the good shit. Right here.

    So, my question is, what will it take to inspire you to read this book?

    This ARC was provided to me by Random House publishers. No money or favours were exchanged.*


    blog link
    audio review
    …more

    Tatiana

    Aug 19, 2011

    rated it
    liked it

     · 
    review of another edition

    Shelves:
    ya,
    fantasy,
    2012

    Sometimes you read a book, agree with all positive reviews of it, but it just doesn’t work for you. That’s the case with Seraphina and me.

    Whatever you’ve read in 5-star reviews here, on Goodreads, is all true. Seraphina is an intelligent fantasy set in a well-realized medieval land of Goredd which is celebrating 40-year anniversary of its peace treaty with the nation of dragons. The dragons are conceived with a lot of originality. They have an ability to “fold” into human bodies (weredragons any

    Whatever you’ve read in 5-star reviews here, on Goodreads, is all true. Seraphina is an intelligent fantasy set in a well-realized medieval land of Goredd which is celebrating 40-year anniversary of its peace treaty with the nation of dragons. The dragons are conceived with a lot of originality. They have an ability to “fold” into human bodies (weredragons anyone?) and are beings of high intelligence and logic. (I saw someone on GR draw parallels with the Vulcans, and I agree, the dragons’ internal conflicts about the acceptability of strong emotions are very much in tune with Spock’s in the latest incarnation of Star Trek, oops, I stay corrected, EVERY incarnation of Trek.) The mystery that sets the whole story in motion is clever and wrapped up in an interesting political intrigue. As the celebration of the truce is approaching, Goredd’s heir is killed and it looks like by a dragon. The main character of the novel, Seraphina is the one who is to untangle this mystery, but not without some help from Prince Lucian Kiggs, the captain of the Queen’s Guard and the fiancee to Princess of the land Glisselda. This task is not easy though, as Seraphina has a secret of her own, she is a half-dragon and, by all laws of Goredd, an abomination. And, yes, as every fan of this novel says, Seraphina is a resolute, resourceful, brave heroine.

    If I am to point at any flaws, on the plot level, I don’t have much to complain about. Really, besides the naming of two prominent secondary characters Orma and Okra that creates a bit of an unneeded confusion, a couple of info-dumpy conversations that should have been mixed into the narrative better, and the unclarity of why human/dragon hybrids would be in a possession of extraordinary mental powers that are foreign to humans and dragons, my only major qualm is the romance, which is a but hasty and intense within the time frame of this novel. It’s kind of an odd experience when Seraphina, after just a couple of conversations with Kiggs, suddenly realizes that she is in love, and intensely and irrevocably at that. The romance becomes a tad more grating when an unexpected jealousy subplot is introduced, but this jealousy is not just silly and mostly baseless, but misdirected as well. You see, Lucian suspects that Seraphina’s secret dragon uncle Orma is her lover (for no discernible reason), while the fact that Lucian himself is engaged is forgotten for almost the entirety of the novel.

    However, all these issues can be overlooked with ease, if you are enjoying the writing and Seraphina’s voice. And here, unfortunately, where Seraphina and I are at an impasse. It is a matter of personal taste to be sure, but I feet the novel lacked a little something to keep me engaged. A special oomph, X-factor if you will, something to carry me forward through the rather sluggish first 100 pages or so and uninteresting to me passages about music, philosophy, saints and Seraphina’s mind garden. I never connected with Seraphina, who didn’t, IMO have a charisma, and that was what mainly prevented me from enjoying the novel. I appreciate the quality of Seraphina, but it is not the book I would personally return to read again and again.
    …more

    Shannon

    I’ll admit it: I was incredibly worried about this one. I’m always a bit wary when an author seems nice and friendly and everybody likes them on here. I know, that seems like a stupid thing to say, but it always sits in the back of my mind that … maybe people are giving this book five stars because they like the author. Rest assured: THIS IS NOT THE CASE. I mean, sure, people who liked the book probably like Hartman too, but it’s not the only reason. This book deserves its five stars; it deser

    This is definitely a meaty book. There is talk of philosophy, love, art, religion, the importance of music and dance, what it means to be human (and dragon,) as well as many other themes: especially acceptance (being accepted and accepting oneself.) I was excited to see such a smartly written book intended for young adults that wasn’t dumbed-down in the least. Have your dictionary ready though (this is where a Kindle is helpful) because the vocabulary used within is not for the faint of heart. I’ll admit that I was a bit annoyed that some things were never fully described (Seraphina’s oud only gets a description near the end) and that all of these new words were thrown out at lightning speed, but, that’s epic fantasy for you. You just have to go with it and rely on the story-telling to fill in the holes.

    I’m going to completely forgive the beginning; it was bumpy and disjointed and chock-full of short, declarative sentences. I don’t care any more. I was nit-picking and high-lighting and tsk-ing and then … something shifted. Hartman hit her stride and things just started to flow magically and nothing could stop me from enjoying the story.

    Oh, and the characters. I loved Seraphina from the start. I loved how cranky and emotional she could be, how loyal and headstrong and brave and foolhardy and loving and kind she was. She’s a fantastic character and one I can’t wait to read more about.

    And then there’s Prince Lucian and Princess Glisselda. I want to separate the two of them and yet I can’t bring myself to. These two were the best friends and confidants Seraphina could ask for. Glisselda was bright and sparkling but never annoying or ditsy. Lucian was witty and charming but never controlling or mean. Don’t get me wrong, the whole book isn’t super happy fun times for everyone, but the characters are incredibly multi-dimensional. They laugh, they cry, they throw temper tantrums, they question and judge, and it’s all wholeheartedly believable.

    The side characters and villains are equally as fantastic as their main counterpart. Fruit Bat, Imlann, Orma, The Earl of Apsig, even Basind: they all carried their own weight and breathed life into the story. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a tale with such a fleshed-out cast.

    I could easily go on and on here, but I think you can find what you’re looking for in other reviews if you haven’t already figured out that I loved this book. It’s an excellent entry into the epic fantasy genre, and the young adult category should feel gracious that Seraphina appears upon its shelves, and if you’re a fan of either you owe it to yourself to check this book out.

    An ARC was provided by NetGalley – thank you.
    …more