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Seraphina Hardcover – 10 Jul 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 465 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (10 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375866566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375866562
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 4.1 x 21.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 656,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"(a) smart and affecting debut novel ... Hartman tackles difficult issues with subtlety and creativity, weaves in a surprisingly touching romance, and does it all in beautiful prose." (SFX Magazine online)

"This is a proper fantasy, with a feisty heroine and some truly splendid dragons...it's a beautifully told story, with some gorgeously surreal imaginative flights on a level with Alice in Wonderland - it has that dreamlike quality of beauty and absurdity...Seraphina is a fast-paced and skilfully wrought fantasy, a beautiful and original take on the dragon myth." (Katy Moran)

"Hartman proves dragons are still fascinating in this impressive high fantasy ... Equal parts political thriller, murder mystery, bittersweet romance, and coming-of-age story, this is an uncommonly good fantasy centered upon an odd but lovable heroine ... Fantasy readers young and old who appreciate immersion into a rich new culture will not mind the novel's slow build, especially as it takes wing and hurtles toward the stratosphere. This is an exciting new series to watch." (Booklist)

"Seraphina is a quick-paced read, and while the story does pause at times for introspection, it never stalls or grinds to a halt ... It's a tale well told, the author's writing hitting a real high whenever music is involved. Here, her prose verges on the poetic; beautiful, often haunting, descriptions abound ... In Seraphina, Rachel Hartman has created a likeable, gutsy heroine, one who isn't flawless or afraid to make mistakes." (Starburst magazine)

"Beautifully-written high fantasy about dragons. Credible, interesting characters, intricate but subtle worldbuilding and elegant prose ... Recommended by us for its sheer class." (The Bookbag) --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Book Description

A gripping new fantasy adventure by an exciting debut author. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Doha VINE VOICE on 6 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I hate dragons. I can only explain why I decided to read Seraphina by pointing out a dearth in the YA fantasy genre (where fantasy does NOT mean 'drooling over the sparkling undead') and being SO DEPRIVED that I took it, dragons and all.

And what a fantastic choice that turned out to be. I love a book so rarely. I have not loved a book this much since Kristin Cashore's Fire.

Seraphina is set in a world where an uneasy peace exists between humans and dragons. Forty years before, a non-aggression treaty was signed between the species, ending the war, and allowing dragons to live in human lands, folded into their 'saarantras', their human shape. The logic-driven, mathematical dragons are fascinated by humankind's peculiarities, especially art...and emotion.

The eponymous Seraphina is a gifted musician. Soon after she comes to court, the crown prince is murdered. His body is found - but his head is not. An almost trademark dragon-kill, it comes days before the fortieth anniversary of the Treaty, and the arrival of the Ardmagar, the dragons' king. Seraphina finds herself drawn into the events at court, and more dangerously, at the hub of many of them. She has a secret to hide, and never has it been more important.

The problem with giving a synopsis for Seraphina is that you can't really give one without giving away some of the fantastic and suprising plot-points, some of which unfold in the opening pages. So instead, this: why is Seraphina worth reading?

Sometimes, especially in fantasy, you have to make a choice between plot-driven vs. character-driven stories. Seraphina? BOTH, and SPECTACULARLY so.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jade on 26 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
I must admit, I read a lot of paranormal romance books but one of my true passions is a good ol' high fantasy - Princes, dragons, mystery and scholars and thankfully this book has all of that plus some. So yeah, this book was right up my street.

I really enjoyed Seraphina. I was very worried that the book wouldn't work, with dragons that can turn human there would be a lot of plot holes and I just couldn't see how such an ambitious idea could come together, thankfully it worked well and Hartman managed to create an original and beautiful novel that was an absolute pleasure to read.

For me, the highlight of this book was Seraphina herself. it's very rare that the main character of a book is the thing that I loved the most but I really liked Phina, she was spunky and brave and also capable of showing emotion, she's definitely a character that has the vulnerable/strong balance right. I also really liked Kiggs, he was a fairytale knight in shining armour, too bad Phina isn't a damsel in distress - I loved their relationship, I loved watching it grow and I loved their interactions.

At times I got a little confused by all the places and the people mentioned in the book, as with most fantasy books there are some long names and a lot of lands to introduce so I got a little mixed up at times.

Fantasy books aren't complete without a beautiful prose and Hartman's prose is just that. The words flowed so well, I felt like this book was a pleasure to read, the way the words knitted together really gave off a fairytale/fantasy vibe and the voice was very unique, I definitely loved reading this book and cannot wait to read more from this author.

I will be impatiently waiting for the sequel!

Overall Rating: A
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kate Phillips TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
Sometimes being fan of YA fiction is not easy. There are a lot of love triangles, bad writing, weak female characters and just bad storylines to sort through before you get to the good stuff. Then every now and then a book like Seraphina comes along and it makes all the effort worth it.

Seraphina is not just an amazing YA book; it is an amazing book period. Everything about it is just glorious from its title and cover (which is utterly beautiful) to the pages of writing hidden within. Seraphina is a work of art.

This book is so different from most Young Adult books. There is none of the predictably, no annoying characters and no clichés at all. It was so refreshing and such a relief. Seraphina is proof that there is still some originality out there.
From the writing to the plot there is a lot to admire here. Rachel Hartman has created a world so real and vibrant that I could almost smell the bustling city, could almost feel the dragon scales beneath my fingertips. The writing is brilliantly descriptive and it is easy to get lost within the pages.

The actual story line is marvellous. It was interesting from beginning to end and imaginative without being overdone. I found it touching and at times funny, it could make me giggle in one moment then reduce me to tears the next. It had a little bit of everything and I wanted nothing more. The plot flowed along nicely, I was never bored and the action never felt rushed.

The most important thing in all fiction is characters and it is the characters in Seraphina that take it from a good book to an outstanding one.

Seraphina is a great lead character I literally cannot think of a time where she irritated me or I thought she was being an idiot (such a rarity in YA.
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