Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Seraphina - Rachel Hartman

Title: Seraphina
Author: Rachel Hartman
Publication Date: 7/10/12
Pages: 499
Genre: Fantasy / Young Adult / Fiction
How I Found It: A list of fantasy novels a while back.
Date Completed: 6/21/16

Summary: Seraphina, a young woman at court, has a secret. It's a secret that could tear apart human-dragon relations. Her job as a court musician thrusts her into the spotlight, where keeping said secret becomes harder than ever. 

What I Thought: Remember way back when I talked about Eragon and how some books are sheer entertainment? I feel so similarly about Seraphina. In fact, these two books remind me of each other in a lot of ways. Both have young protagonists and lots of dragons. Both are written in a simple, straight-forward style. Both serve as easily read adventure stories, transporting the reader to a fantasy world where even political problems seem so separate from our reality.

It's a fun book. I'll grant that Hartman deals with some bigger issues than Paolini ever did. By her very nature, Seraphina serves as a sticking point of "race" relations. Her big secret? She's part dragon. In a world where human-dragon relations are exceedingly contentious, it's a big secret. Hartman casts some nice parallels between her fictional politics and real-life xenophobia and racism. You have to want to see that, but the lessons are still there and I appreciated that.

I didn't find the plot particularly ground-breaking and, while I really enjoyed the character of Seraphina herself, most of the rest of the characters faded into the background for me. Still, it really was enjoyable and a very nice break from the many, many 100 Best Novels I am reading these days. You have to temper the serious and intellectual with things like this. Variety in reading habits makes me appreciate each book that much more, as I have the ability to step back and view it from a different lens. 

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Doubtful

A Reduced Review: Simple and fun, this fantasy adventure is a nice departure from the heavier reading I've done this year.

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