I spent a day marinating my thoughts about Seraphina before deciding to call it...sweet. It's about made up people in a made up land who have made up dragons living among them in human form. They barely coexist in strained peace because of a fragile treaty that many don't believe in.
But it's also about two races who distrust each other violently and a mixed-race girl whose parentage makes her a pariah to both her bloodlines. No one wants her. She can't let anyone know her. She can't let anyone one love her. She can't put her trust in anyone. She can't let anyone know her secret.
At it's heart, Seraphina is the story of a very sweet girl who must overcome prejudiced and fear, accept friendship, learn to trust, and believe she can be loved so she can bridge the gap and create lasting peace in her world. Seraphina is an underdog story that should resonate with people of all ages, genders, and races. It's wrapped a fun package of castles, dragons, love, music, and a bit of magic.
The only thing that could have prevented Seraphina from guaranteed success is if the author got in the way of telling her own story.
Luckily, Rachel Hartman--in her debut novel, no less--didn't just stay out the way. She used her fresh and unique voice to pull me through.
The world she created is fun and original--and a bit complicated too--which for me is a plus. I enjoy books that entertain make and me feel smarter at the same time.
No language, minimal violence. Some characters are revealed to be homosexual though verbal cues only.
I'll offer it to my kids when they are 13.
Looking forward to the sequel.