Series: Seraphina #1
Published by Random House Children's Books on July 10th 2012
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.
The moment I first glimpsed Seraphina, I knew it had to be mine. Medieval setting. Court intrigue. And dragons! Now, I love a fantasy read… when they are done right. Sadly, Seraphina hit a few sour notes.
As the book started, Seraphina seemed like it was on the right track. As the plot opens, we learn that our main character, Seraphina, works for the royal court as a musician, and a member of the royal family has been killed. Or rather, as it is suspected, murdered by dragons. With an upcoming treaty to be signed between the dragon and human races, time is ticking away to discover the killer and set all to rights.
The imagination of Seraphina is initially what drew me deeper into the book. I loved Seraphina's "garden" and how she cultivated the people within her mind. But once the novelty of this idea and the intrigue sprinkled with romance really started going, the spark of the novel began to dry up. Leaving the rest of the book feeling a bit repetitious and dry.
I wanted so much to love Seraphina, but, in the end, the spark that initially drew me in disappeared. Seraphina as a character was interesting, but I had a hard time relating to her. And the romance, while of the forbidden sort, never felt real enough to me. Too much chase and then … well, you will have to read the book to find out. Maybe Seraphina fell prey to a case of bad timing, since I have seen dozens of positive reviews, but ultimately, Seraphina and I were just not meant to be.