Imagine watching the T.V. and your favourite character is watching something spectacular, unsuspecting as a mysterious figure clothed in dark and intrigue creeps closer behind them, producing a long, sharp, shining dagger preparing to thrust it between his shoulder blades and just as the darting tip pricks his flesh your character spins and deflects the blade much to your anxious relief causing you to release your breath you didn't realise you were holding. Only for 3 more assailants to appear out the shadows and begin attacking him and as he grows steadily weaker and things begin to seem dire and hopeless your characters love interest arrives and sparks explode as they protect each other whilst arguing over who is taking whom and going where.
This scene portrays the mixed emotions and rollercoaster ride I embarked on whilst reading Seraphina. Rachel Hartman has in her fantastical debut spun a bittersweet story of politics, romance, music and dragons. Her characters are so well developed and I fell in love with them all, even the villains. Her style of writing is so lyrical and smooth that I just fell into the rhythm she weaved even though I was desperate to speed ahead and find out what happened. Hartman knows how to control and direct the reader without losing their interest, instead allowing your involvement in the story to spiral constantly feeding titbits to fan your flame until it all explodes in a shower of fabulousness.
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 fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page
However I have one complaint..... it has a sequel which isn't out until March 24th 2015.. Cruel Hartman very cruel. I await it with bated breath meanwhile naming Seraphina my book of 2014 so far and awarding it the coveted Skinny rating.