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Seraphina (Seraphina #1)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  44,754 ratings  ·  5,838 reviews
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 fea
Hardcover, 467 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published July 1st 2012)
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Tim Poston Anita, "Spoilers" are a weird modern allergy. If they really spoiled a book, we could never re-read it!
I read…more
Anita, "Spoilers" are a weird modern allergy. If they really spoiled a book, we could never re-read it!
I read every few years: so many times that I can't remember not knowing that "Reader, I married him." It's always a different book, just like (where she also marries him — and the story arc makes this predictable early on) because I have grown, and see the world differently.

To say that a book can be 'spoiled' is to say it is only a plot puzzle, and not worth reading in the first place. It's like refusing to read because somebody has already told you that e=mc².(less)
Cinder by Marissa MeyerThe Selection by Kiera CassUnder the Never Sky by Veronica RossiEverneath by Brodi AshtonIncarnate by Jodi Meadows
2012 Debut Authors (Young Adult & Middle Grade)
30th out of 1,000 books — 6,238 voters
Bitterblue by Kristin CashoreShadow and Bone by Leigh BardugoThrone of Glass by Sarah J. MaasCity of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareClockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
2012 YA/MG Fantasy Books
7th out of 240 books — 634 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
The Holy Terror
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 ...more
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
Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
I finished Seraphina! And I ended up really liking it :):) will discuss in this months wrap up.
Tamora Pierce
This is one of the most unique dragon books you'll ever read. (I read it twice, and it isn't even out yet!) You see, in Seraphina's world, dragons are able to take human shape--and messy, sloppy human emotions. Seraphina's father fell in love with a beautiful singer and musician, and married her, and got a surprise. Now Seraphina is the assistant to the royal music master, struggling to keep her birth a secret, and caught up in the tensions that surround the celebrations for the 40th anniversary ...more
Steph Sinclair

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Oh yes, Rachel Hartman. YES!


I usually don't pick up many high fantasy novels. For example, I hate Lord of the Rings. Don't flame me! It's just that it's not usually a genre I mesh well with. In fact, I think aside from Seraphina I have read a grand total of two high fantasy books this year: Eon: Dragoneye Reborn and Eona: The Last Dragoneye. Coincidentally, all three have dragons in them. Hmm...perhaps the universe is trying to tell me something there.

I hate it when I have the impression that I am reading a different book from other readers whose opinion I value. Hate it. But it happens and unfortunately, it happened with this book. I've read some really glowing reviews but, alas, I can't just - partially - share the love.

Objectively, Seraphina meets all the requirements to become the next epic fantasy series: it has an original take on a fairly exploited theme - dragons -, an amazing world-building, a well formed, strong main character, a 5
Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
I wanted to love this book, because..dragons!!

It's not a bad book and it's well written. I just don't think high fantasy may be one of the genre's that I can really get into.
Too many weird words and names. I mean Orma and Okra?

I tend to be a lazy reader and if I have to work for it by remembering odd words and names I get to where I just want to put the book down and grab another.
My little requesting finger requested the second book in this series from Netgalley and it sounded so good and th
Jessica ❁ Elsecaller ❁ at Rabid Reads
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

4.5 stars

The oldest of my three younger sisters loves books as much as I do, but doesn't have nearly as much time to read (b/c reasons). Fortunately, I know her well enough to keep recs to what I know she'll love so she can make the best use of the time she does have, not begrudging me my surplus of time--b/c otherwise, who would weed out the mediocre books?

The most recent book I knew she'd love is this one, but I was rereading it before Shadow Scale is released next mon
May 03, 2012 Dija rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Dija by: Buddy read with Anzu. :)
How Seraphina is different from nearly all the young adult novels out there, especially of the fantasy/paranormal variety:

1. There isn't a single moment in here where you'll want to a) throttle any of the main characters, b) stab yourself in the eye, or c) smirk at the cheesy dialogue.

2. You know all those books with dragons? The ones that seem either too clichéd or too different from what you imagined dragons as? Seraphina is about as far from those books as it gets. In fact, it's in another l
Rick Riordan
Think you've read everything about dragons? Think it's a worn-out concept? Seraphina will make you think again. Our heroine of the title lives in a human kingdom that is about to celebrate forty years of a peace treaty with the draconian race, but old prejudice dies hard. When the ruler of the dragons comes to the capital to commemorate the treaty, many factions on both sides wish to sabotage the fragile peace. Hartman's dragons are fascinating. They are part Vulcan from Star Trek -- logical bei ...more
4.5 stars

Fantasy lovers, rejoice!

This is an amazing debut novel, and I feel confident that we have a new series to devour, covet, and hoard ARCs of in a cave somewhere. Not that I do that.

This is the story of two societies, diametrically different, but living together under a fragile peace treaty. The dragons are analytical thinkers who don’t understand emotion, art, or music. They view emotion and attachment as distasteful and are taught strict control. But the humans are interesting to them, i
You know, the internet is a strange place. You meet so many people, and they influence your life in so many ways, and yet you might spend an entire lifetime without ever once seeing the face of the person you count as a friend. And yet, they are friends. Maybe not the kind you can call at one in the night to cry about your cheating asshole of a boyfriend, but the kind you'd like to meet for a drink, and chill out with and have fun, stimulating conversation with.

And so, with prolonged internet i
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
I have so much love for Rachel Hartman and this book! My five-star ratings are few and far between, but I’d give Seraphina ten if I could. It was so easy to get lost in this world of humans, dragons and those in-between – I still haven’t found my way back.

Hartman’s dragons are magnificent creatures, full of intersting paradoxes. On a physical level, they produce fire, but on an emotional level, they’re cold and tightly controlled. They go to great lengths to remain emotionless, even though thei
Maggie Stiefvater
I talked about this one on NPR ( when I was highlighting the best 2012 YA fiction I'd read IN 2012.

Here's what I said:

My relationship with high fantasy — fantasy set in another world — has always been tumultuous. Actually, I'd like to refer you to the first item on this list. Everything I said about historical fiction also applies here. Which is why, despite multiple recommendations, I let this debut novel about a half-dragon, half-human girl sit unread
Jillian -always aspiring-
Fantasy is my favorite genre, but oftentimes I find that fantasy tales are often too simplistic or too pretentious for my liking.Fantasy authors have the burdensome task of creating worlds and cultures that feel real and somewhat familiar but nonetheless offer a sense of danger, wonder, and excitement that few of us experience in our day-to-day lives. In the end, many fantasy novels don't sustain that balance of normalcy and humanity interwoven with the threads of fantasy...but Seraphina remarka ...more
I can count on one hand the number of fantasy books I've enjoyed, but after reading Kat Kennedy's glowing review of Seraphina, I was intrigued by the promise of smart heroines, dragons, and jazz hands. Really, who can turn down jazz hands?

With that in mind, I eagerly started this book. Then I got to mentions of saarantrai, houppelande, and quigutl.

Remember, amateur fantasy reader here. I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm scared off by double letters and words that start with Q.

Another thing that'
Review contains the slightest of slight spoilers...

“Scattered and peculiar- some of us were sceptical and bitter- we were a people. And I was at the hub of this enormous wheel. I could bring us together. In a way, I already had.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
I liked it better than I thought I would, which says a lot for a fantasy-phobe like me.

High Points.
Seraphina. The world- It was beautifully constructed. Dragons. ORMA. Courts. Concerts. Parades. Emotions. Scales. Dreams. “Tending the garden

And then:
Alright, let's just get this out of the way: Seraphina is one of my favorite books I've read this year. Hands down, without a doubt, straight-up adored it. And I'd say it's my single most-pushed book this year; I've been pushing it on everyone. Obnoxiously. And I'm going to try to tell you why, and I'll do my best to avoid spoilers, but if you take nothing else from this review, understand that I want you to pick this up. Find out why HERE.
Giselle at Book Nerd Canada
Seraphina is a half human, half dragon sixteen year old who lived in Goreddia. Humans must show their dragon counterparts that they’re superior so they tend to dominate over their scaley friends. The war has ceased, brought on by the Queen with a treaty. The Ardmagar makes the decisions for these dragons, and is basically in charge.

Seraphina has these grotesque visions that haunt her, which she aptly give nicknames to. (I had an affinity to Fruit Bat!) As for the wonderful secondary characters I
"He released the last chord like a boulder off a trebuchet." It always feels this way when ending a book. There's a weight to the final words, then you let them go and they're gone.

I don't think I've read a young adult book quite like Seraphina before. Rachel Hartman has built for us a world so rich and unique that it is almost dizzying to walk into. Her world is swathed in dark colours depicting a tale of menacing dragons who advocate peace, a stiff but admirably stalwart royal family of Queens
Buddy Read 02/04/2015 with the Emma's Tea Party aka my favorite group ever. I'll bring the tequila, shhh!

Read for the 2015 Reading Challenge: #7 A book with non-human characters

3.5 Seraphina is a good fantasy book. With a winning mix of fantasy , politics and romance that we have read a lot already. Its biggest mistake is following every single fantasy rule and adding very little extra details. But is definitely worth reading for any fantasy lover. Not remarkable, but enjoyable.

"Our survival d
Crystal Starr Light
"We were all monsters and bastards, and we were all beautiful."

Seraphina Dombegh is an assistant to court musician, Viridius, and is desperately trying to keep a secret that could very well ruin her life. As she works in the court amongst a tenuous peace between humans and dragons, Prince Rufus is violently killed. Slowly, Seraphina is drawn into solving the murder and learning that something rotten is afoot.

What an absolutely delightful reading experience! I thoroughly enjoyed myself while read
Ένα υπέροχο παραμύθι με δράκους, που συνδυάζει όμορφα και το αστυνομικό στοιχείο. Ποιος δολοφόνησε τον βασιλιά Ρούφους; Ποιοι προσπαθούν να σπάσουν την ανακωχή ανάμεσα στους δράκους και τους ανθρώπους μετά από 40 χρόνια ειρήνης;. Ποιος ο ρόλος του χαμένου επί 16 συνεχή χρόνια δράκου Ίμλαν; Δεν είναι όμως όλα αυτά που κάνουν το βιβλίο για εμένα τόσο ιδιαίτερο. Δεν είναι η πλοκή αλλά ο τρόπος που την διαχειρίστηκε η Χάρτμαν. Είναι το μυαλό της ηρωίδας αυτό το πολύπλοκο δημιούργημα. Δεν μπορώ όμως ...more
Four and a half stars

It has been ages since I've written a review, but I really owe this book one.

Seraphina is an epic fantasy exactly how I like it. Some might find it slow, maybe even boring, but I revel in its kind of detailed world-building and character development. The story unfolds very slowly – but honestly, I couldn't care less. There are so many interesting details to find out about Seraphina's world, her past, her love for music, her relationships.
The setting is amazing, too – an in
For a dragon book (SO OVERDONE AMIRIGHT?) this was so lovely and charming. A real fairy tale written now. I loved the characters and the world building, the story was touching and the main character relatable and believable.

The last half was a BIT more draggy, but still,really lovely, YA appropriate, reminded me of Graceling actually.
Now, for serious, how am I supposed to write a review for this book? My feelings are all over the plaaaace with this one. So I shall have to divide them according to the phases of the book. Starting with...

First Quarter:

OMG. What a cool world this is! The only thought on my mind right now:

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Dragons, who've had a war-ridden past with humans, but now have a treaty with them, and also can TURN into humans at their will.

Tell me that doesn't sound bloody amazing. Also: A girl who is half d
Buddy-read 02 Abril 2015 en Emma's Tea Party

2.5 flaming stars

It was always music that pushed me beyond what he considered safe.

Seraphina es una muchacha de 16 años que empieza su carrera en la corte de Goredd como asistente de Viridius, el compositor real. Ella tiene secretos, y vive aterrada que la descubran.
En este mundo hay dragones que cambian de forma para asemejarse a los humanos, ellos estaban en guerra con los humanos del sur, pero hay una tregua que se ha mantenido por 3 generacion
There are roughly two types of fantasy books...


No. Wait. Let me try this again. Because I utterly suck at fangirling--examples on how it's done here and here--let me try something new. Try listening to the music while you read. I hope you have your headphones near.


Also do me a favour, would you, read the blurb first. In fact, let me make it easy for you:

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves in
2.5/5 stars

The skinny:

Seraphina, a young girl with a big secret, is the new apprentice to the castles lead musician. At a pinnacle time concerning the peace of dragon and human relations, Seraphina is not only trying to plan one of the biggest events of her life, but also helping to solve a mysterious murder. Seraphina desperately tries to safe-guard her secret while the world around her struggles to keep itself together.

The review:

I should have loved this book. Everything was so perfectly ri
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She-Geeks: July Themed Read: Seraphina 2 12 Aug 17, 2015 08:30AM  
All About Fantasy: Seriphina 4 8 Jul 26, 2015 02:15PM  
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Rachel Hartman lives and writes in Vancouver, BC.

Her first YA fantasy novel, Seraphina, was published by Random House on July 10th, 2012. Here are some things that are already being said about Seraphina by some fabulous authors:

“A book worth hoarding, as glittering and silver-bright as dragon scales, with a heroine who insists on carving herself a place in your mind.” — Naomi Novik, New York Times
More about Rachel Hartman...

Other Books in the Series

Seraphina (2 books)
  • Shadow Scale (Seraphina, #2)
Shadow Scale (Seraphina, #2) Seraphina: The Audition (Seraphina, #0.5) Amy Unbounded: Belondweg Blossoming A Taste of Serendib

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“We were all monsters and bastards, and we were all beautiful.” 267 likes
“Sometimes the truth has difficulty breaching the city walls of our beliefs. A lie, dressed in the correct livery, passes through more easily.” 212 likes
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