By Rachel Hartman
Publication date: July 10, 2012
Random House Children’s Books, 467 pages
Source: Purchased for my Kindle
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.
— Goodreads.com description
Hi, my name is Anna and I like dragon books.
OH MY GOSH IT HAS TAKEN ME SO LONG TO ADMIT THAT.
I’m sorry…it’s just that there is a stigma there. But screw it: I’m shouting it loud and proud now because Seraphina by Rachel Hartman — which, let’s face it, is a dragon book — has so many of the elements that just get me jazzed about reading.
- Epicness: There’s a sense in this book that it’s about more than just Seraphina’s story. Her world is super conflicted and it’s all coming to a climax now, in this book. Flashbacks to her mother’s point of view enforce that, and there’s just a great sense that this story is bigger than just one girl. I love that.
- Forbidden Love: I can’t get enough of it.
- Self-Discovery/Relatability: Seraphina has a secret. A HUGE secret. As a result, she never really fits in, makes friends or feels free to be herself. What girl can’t relate to that?
For fans of fantasy and those willing to give it a go (and, please, you guys, give this genre a go!), Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is a great choice. I couldn’t put it down!
Wilde Island is not at peace. The kingdom mourns the dead Pendragon king and awaits the return of his heir; the uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is strained; and the regent is funding a bloodthirsty witch hunt, hoping to rid the island of half-fey maidens.
Tess, daughter of a blacksmith, has visions of the future, but she still doesn’t expect to be accused of witchcraft, forced to flee with her two best friends, or offered shelter by the handsome and enigmatic Garth Huntsman, a warden for Dragonswood. But Garth is the younger prince in disguise and Tess soon learns that her true father was fey, making them the center of an exciting, romantic adventure, and an ancient prophecy that will bring about peace between all three races – dragon, human, and fairy.
— Goodreads.com description
Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey is a must-read for all fans of fantasy. My friend Heidi loved it, and we definitely have similar taste, so I knew I had to give it a go. Thankfully, she’s the most generous person ever, so she sent me a copy!
And, well, it was so good it inspired some ALL CAPS texting. Which, for me, is the sign of greatness.
Unbridled enthusiasm, y’all! I censored the spoilers in my text, but I will say you’ll probably guess them in advance. Some of the foreshadowing was a little strong, so I saw the big plot points coming.
But who cares! The journey to figuring them out was so captivating I was invested in the story every point of the way.
Anyway, Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey is a thrilling fantasy read that included witches, dragons and fairies, but didn’t “overdo” it at all. You know what I mean? When it’s like so fairy-licious that you’re sort of like, “Oh, man, I’m a nerd, but still this is too much for me.” I never had that with this book at all. It read more as a fairy tale than anything else, equal parts sweeping and scary.
And Garth! Oh Garth! Amaaaaaazing, despite the name Garth. It’s definitely a book you should check out.
By Sophie Jordan
Sept. 6, 2011
HarperCollins, 304 pages
Source: Review copy from publisher & NetGalley
To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.
Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?
In bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s dramatic follow-up to Firelight, forbidden love burns brighter than ever.
— Amazon.com description
Forbidden romance my ass. Pardon my language. I mean, I normally love that whole “I want you but I can’t have you oh woe is me” thing, but in these books? I’m on the other team.
HELLO, Jacinda. You cannot be with a human. Especially one that hunts your dragon people. Move on. It’s doomed, child, can’t you see that? And Cassian, that hunkfest, is right there waiting for you. Get your draki on, girl!*
Sorry, I feel quite strongly. BECAUSE I LOVE THIS SERIES.
It’s totally enjoyable in a way that makes dragons like…sexy. I know. I can’t believe I wrote that on the Internet either. I hope you guys all give it a try!
* For those watching Nine Lives of Chloe King, this is also how I feel on the Brian/Alek matter. SHE CAN’T KISS HUMANS! Why torture yourself? Gross.
By Sophie Jordan
September 7, 2010
HarperCollins, 336 pages
Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.
Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will’s dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She’ll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.
— Amazon.com description
Dragons? Normally something I’d make fun of.
But, okay, I’ll admit it: In this book, the dragon part turned out to be the fresh take on the paranormal romance genre I’d been waiting for.
The suspense is killer, and the star-crossed romance – when doesn’t that make for a compelling read?
Jacinda, the reckless but brave and passionate star of the book, is just the type of main character that you’ll find yourself rooting for.
Is it a little love triangley? Sure. But what isn’t everything nowadays? And any book that can make me okay with reading about dragons has my praise. I’ll be reading the sequel, Vanish, when it’s out in September.