Reviews for Seraphina : Library Edition

AudioFile Reviews 2012 August
After 40 years of peace between the kingdoms of Goeredd and Dragonkind, there's a threat from pro-war factions on each side. Sixteen-year-old musical prodigy Seraphina hides a dark, potentially deadly secret. She's plagued by her mother's visions, by strange creatures inhabiting her mental "garden," and by her growing affection for a betrothed prince. Mandy Williams narrates Rachel Hartman's original coming-of-age story with a girl's ingenuous enthusiasm while Justine Eyre provides the maternal memories with the rueful tone of one who has ignored a taboo. Hartman's tale is chock-full of unique landscapes, ancient saints, dragon lore, music, and politics. Williams creates a charming new heroine, and Hartman's clever symbolism and artful allusions assure fantasy fans of something fresh and unusual. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 October

Gr 7 Up--In the decades since the peace treaty was signed, a fragile amity has existed between humans and dragons. Or so it is believed. As the treaty's 40th anniversary nears, a rogue dragon masterminds a dangerous scheme to reignite the ancient war between the two species. Caught unwillingly in the crossfire is Seraphina Dombegh, assistant music mistress of the royal court, who guards a terrible secret: She is half-dragon, a genetic anomaly considered an abomination to both sides. Because of her unique ability to connect with dragonkind, she is reluctantly drawn into a high-profile murder investigation headed up by the acutely insightful Prince Lucian Kiggs. Seraphina knows this death is only the tip of the iceberg, below which lurks a plot far more sinister and far-reaching. But can she divulge what she knows without also revealing the truth about her heredity? Or her forbidden feelings for the prince? The audiobook cover's nondescript black-and-white does little to hint at the gorgeously vivid imagery contained within Rachel Hartman's stunning debut novel (Random, 2012). Although the pace unfolds rather slowly, the story is by no means dry. Hartman's detailed storytelling and intricate plotting are reminiscent of Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy and Franny Billingsley's Chime. Mandy Williams's crisp voice harmonizes perfectly with the lyrical writing and lush ambiance of this exquisite tale. Fantasy enthusiasts will be enthralled throughout. A must have!.--Alissa Bach, Oxford Public Library, MI

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