Thursday, February 12, 2015

Book Review: Seraphina

Rachel Hartman
Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

Book Review by: Joanna Zhang

In the book Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (where the main character is Seraphina Dombegh) there are humans. Some live in the kingdom of Goredd and are part of the royal family, some are “common folk”, and others, like Seraphina, serve in the palace. Then there are dragons, which are reptiles and silver-blooded and coldly logical. But bear in mind: these are not the silly or cute little dragons you find in fairy tales. These dragons are very erudite; they have sharp teeth; they can spit fireballs; they can eat humans. They can change into a human form – although, since emotional behavior is suppressed and tightly guarded against by dragons, you might see one of these saarantrai behaving weirdly. Some dragons-changed-into-humans even teach complicated physics and mathematics to young humans – not that the humans would admit it, of course.
The 40th anniversary of the treaty between humankind and dragon kind is coming to Goredd, and so is Comonot, the Ardmagar of the dragons. Both humans and dragons have big plans for the leader of all dragons. The book is from the point of view of Seraphina, who is neither human, dragon, nor saarantrai. Her father is a human, but her mother was a saar who rebelled against the idea that love is a disease. And Seraphina is about to step into a mystery that brings the people around her ever closer to her secret.
This book has dragons and fantastical creatures in its pages, but Seraphina is a more realistic character to me than any other character I’ve met so far (even in realistic fiction books). I especially liked the character development in Seraphina and the way she is portrayed.
One last note: Do not start this (or even re-read it) on a school night. You will forget about your homework. You will get lost in the world of Seraphina and stay there until you finish the book.
With that in mind, if you love fantasy, mystery, romance, or if you want to see in action how books can help you learn vocabulary, read Seraphina!