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Seraphina
Cover of Seraphina
Seraphina
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Lyrical, imaginative, and wholly original, this New York Times bestseller with 8 starred reviews is not to be missed.  Rachel Hartman’s award-winning debut will have you looking at dragons...
Lyrical, imaginative, and wholly original, this New York Times bestseller with 8 starred reviews is not to be missed.  Rachel Hartman’s award-winning debut will have you looking at dragons...
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Description-

  • Lyrical, imaginative, and wholly original, this New York Times bestseller with 8 starred reviews is not to be missed.  Rachel Hartman’s award-winning debut will have you looking at dragons as you’ve never imagined them before…
     
    In the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer.
    The newest member of the royal court, a uniquely gifted musician named Seraphina, holds a deep secret of her own. One that she guards with all of her being.
    When a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, Seraphina is drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive—and dashing—Prince Lucien. But as the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina’s struggle to protect her secret becomes increasingly difficult… while its discovery could mean her very life.
     
    "Will appeal to both fans of Christopher Paolini’s Eragon series and Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown." —Entertainment Weekly
    “[A] lush, intricately plotted fantasy.” —The Washington Post
    "Beautifully written. Some of the most interesting dragons I've read."
    —Christopher Paolini, New York Times bestselling author of Eragon
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    "He was going to kill you," I said, my chin quivering. "I had to do something."Damn propriety. Forgive me, St. Clare.

    I stepped forward and took him in my arms. He was exactly my height, which surprised me; my awe of him had made him seem taller. He emitted a whimper of protest, or maybe surprise, but wrapped his arms around me and buried his face in my hair, half weeping, half scolding me.

    "Life is so short," I said, not sure why I was saying it, not even sure if that was really true for someone like me.

    We were still standing there, clinging to each other, our feet ice-cold in the snow, when Orma landed on the next hilltop, followed closely by Basind. Kiggs lifted his head and stared at them, big-eyed. My heart fell.

    I'd told him I had no devices. I'd lied right to the prince's face, and here was the proof: the dragon I'd called, and his dimwitted sidekick.

About the Author-

  • As a child, RACHEL HARTMAN played cello, lip-synched Mozart operas with her sisters, and fostered the deep love of music that inspired much of her award-winning debut novel, Seraphina. Born in Kentucky, Rachel has lived in Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, England, and Japan. She now lives with her family in Vancouver, Canada.  A New York Times bestseller, Seraphina won the William C. Morris Award, received eight starred reviews and was named to multiple “best of” lists. To learn more, please visit SeraphinaBooks.com or RachelHartmanbooks.com.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books minisp2 - A heroine I can cope with! She takes action into her own hands instead of whining about it to others. Puzzled with the ending, so looking forward to the next installment.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 4, 2012
    In this complex, intrigue-laden fantasy, which establishes Hartman as an exciting new talent, readers are introduced to a world in which dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce, with dragons taking human form, dwelling among their former enemies, and abiding by a strict set of protocols. Sixteen-year-old Seraphina, assistant to the court composer, hides a secret that could have her ostracized or even killed: she’s half-dragon, against all rules and social codes. Along with the distinctive scales she keeps hidden, she has a mind filled with misshapen personalities whose nature she doesn’t quite grasp. As Seraphina navigates the complicated politics of a court where human-dragon relations are growing ever more fragile following a royal murder, she has to come to terms with her true nature and powers, the long-dormant memories her mother hid within her, and her growing affection for charming prince Lucian. There’s a lot to enjoy in Hartman’s debut, from the admirably resourceful heroine and intriguing spin on dragons to the intricately described medievalesque setting and emphasis on music and family. Ages 12–up. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from June 1, 2012
    In Hartman's splendid prose debut, humans and dragons--who can take human form but not human feeling--have lived in uneasy peace for 40 years. The dragons could destroy the humans, but they are too fascinated by them. As musician Seraphina describes it, attempting to educate the princess, humans are like cockroaches to dragons, but interesting. As the anniversary of the treaty approaches, things fall apart: The crown prince has been murdered, anti-dragon sentiment is rising, and in the midst of it all, an awkward, gifted, observant girl unexpectedly becomes central to everything. Hartman has remixed her not-so-uncommon story and pseudo-Renaissance setting into something unexpected, in large part through Seraphina's voice. By turns pedantic, lonely, scared, drily funny and fierce, Seraphina brings readers into her world and imparts details from the vast (a religion of saints, one of whom is heretical) to the minute (her music, in beautifully rendered detail). The wealth of detail never overwhelms, relayed as it is amid Seraphina's personal journey; half-human and half-dragon, she is anathema to all and lives in fear. But her growing friendship with the princess and the princess' betrothed, plus her unusual understanding of both humans and dragons, all lead to a poignant and powerful acceptance of herself. Dragon books are common enough, but this one is head and talons above the rest. (cast of characters, glossary) (Fantasy. 12 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from August 1, 2012

    Gr 7 Up-For nearly 40 years, the treaty between the humans of Goredd and the dragons of dragonkind has held strong. Humans must not enter dragonkind territory and dragons, upon entering human lands, must take their human shape, or saarantrai. In Goredd, Seraphina's human father, a high offical, needs her to stay anonymous. The dark secret that she must hide is that her mother was a dragon. Because of her musical talents, Seraphina becomes Goredd's music assistant, helping prepare for the anniversary celebration. Layers of clothing disguise the scales on her arms and stomach, but unlike dragons, her blood runs red, not silver. Also, to keep from having fainting spells in which she relives her deceased mother's experiences, Seraphina must clear her head each night. She calls the figures in her vision grotesques, and each night, she must ensure all is calm in her mind-garden. When the decapitated body of Prince Rufus is found just days before the anniversary festivities, many humans are quick to accuse a dragon of breaking the pact. Seraphina's grotesques begin acting strangely, and the whole court is investigating the murder. When the celebrations are in full swing, all hell breaks loose as the rogue dragon that killed the prince enters Goredd in his dragon form and attempts to take control. Seraphina must risk revealing her true identity (and that of her fellow hybrids) in an attempt to save the kingdom. Hartman creates a rich story layered with intriguing characters and descriptive settings. Seraphina is a complex and fully developed protagonist. Although long, this unique novel (left open for a sequel) will surely appeal to fans of Christopher Paolini's "Eragon" books (Knopf) and wherever readers enjoy fantasies.-Lauren Newman, Northern Burlington County Regional Middle School, East Columbus, NJ

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from May 15, 2012
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* Hartman proves dragons are still fascinating in this impressive high fantasy. After 40 years of peace between human and dragon kingdoms, their much-maligned treaty is on the verge of collapse. Tensions are already high with an influx of dragons, reluctantly shifted to human forms, arriving for their ruler Ardmagar Comonot's anniversary. But when Prince Rufus is found murdered in the fashion of dragonsthat is, his head has been bitten offthings reach a fever pitch. Seraphina, a gifted court musician, wants only to go unnoticed as the investigation draws close: she is the unthinkable, a human-dragon half-breed, and her secret must be protected. But when Prince Lucian Kiggs asks for her help with the murder investigation, she has no choice but to become involved, even if Kiggs' acute perceptiveness is a danger to her. Equal parts political thriller, murder mystery, bittersweet romance, and coming-of-age story, this is an uncommonly good fantasy centered upon an odd but lovable heroine who narrates in a well-educated diction with an understated, flippant tone. Fantasy readers young and old who appreciate immersion into a rich new culture will not mind the novel's slow build, especially as it takes wing and hurtles toward the stratosphere. This is an exciting new series to watch.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

  • The Washington Post, July 3, 2012: "Just when you thought there was nothing new to say about dragons, it turns out there is, and plenty! Rachel Hartman's rich invention never fails to impress--and to convince. It's smart and funny and original, and has characters I will follow to the ends of the earth."
  • Entertainment Weekly.com, June 19, 2012: "Full of grace and gravitas. Readers loath to turn the last page of this lush, intricately plotted fantasy will rejoice in the knowledge of next summer's as-yet-untitled sequel."
  • io9.com, September 21, 2012: "A novel that will appeal to both fans of Christopher Paolini's Eragon series and Robin McKinley's The Hero and the Crown."
  • Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2012: "A beautifully-written fantasy debut about a young girl's journey to gain acceptance of herself."
  • Starred Review, Shelf Awareness, July 13, 2012: "In this complex, intrigue-laden fantasy, which establishes Hartman as an exciting new talent, readers are introduced to a world in which dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce, with dragons taking human form, dwelling among their former enemies, and abiding by a strict set of protocols. Sixteen-year-old Seraphina, assistant to the court composer, hides a secret that could have her ostracized or even killed: she's half-dragon, against all rules and social codes. Along with the distinctive scales she keeps hidden, she has a mind filled with misshapen personalities whose nature she doesn't quite grasp. As Seraphina navigates the complicated politics of a court where human-dragon relations are growing ever more fragile following a royal murder, she has to come to terms with her true nature and powers, the long-dormant memories her mother hid within her, and her growing affection for charming prince Lucian. There's a lot to enjoy in Hartman's debut, from the admirably resourceful heroine and intriguing spin on dragons to the intricately described medievalesque setting and emphasis on music and family."
  • memories triggered by specific events, and also her talent for music. Dragons are known for their technical skill, and that, together with the empathy Seraphina gained from her human father, makes her on In medieval Lavondaville, an uneasy truce exists between dragons and humans. Narrator Seraphina is the product of a dragon mother and a human father. Dragons can disguise themselves as humans, so everyone believes Seraphina to be entirely human. Only when Seraphina's mother died in childbirth did Seraphina's father learn her true nature. Her mother left Seraphina a gift of "mind-pearls,"

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