Metaspinster's Reviews > Seraphina

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
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's review
Jan 27, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: pn-dragons, ya-fantasy, genre-fantasy, audiobook, trope-sekrit-identity, theme-family-community, theme-illegitimacy, theme-music, theme-politics-law-ethics
Read from January 24 to 28, 2013

So, I had the plague-flu and it was uncomfortable to be awake-alive-anywhere. My eyes hurt when I watched TV or read books, and I just wanted to be in bed and about 8 years old. And I wanted to be told a story. With dragons! And girls being brave.

So I got this, and it did the trick.

[Side note: for some reason, I pretty much only listen to ya books, because as much as I like "dirty talk" in fiction and fact, listening to someone else read dirty books makes me squirm. And lately, as my reading pendulum has swung more towards Romance than YA, audiobook format makes me more inclined to start a YA book. Huh.]

I really enjoyed Seraphina's form of bravery: scared all the time, but guided by her sense of honor. And I liked her relationships with her Uncle and father - and the displaced one with her dead mother. The book's meditation on issues of prejudice and war wasn't the most subtle, but nor was it clumsy.

I also appreciated that the book doesn't demonize Seraphina's romantic rival; I hope that the next book explores the love/friendship triangle in a way that stay sympathetic to all three characters.

And I wonder if in future books there will be more nuances to the whole "when Dragons take human physical form they feel human emotions" thing. Because sure, that's one way to say something about humanity through allegory, but I'm not exactly sure what yet.


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