Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Seraphina Seraphina
by Rachel Hartmann

Supplied for review by Random HouseNew Zealand

Reviewed By: Jacqui Smith

Dragons, medieval music, intrigue, a feisty female protagonist, an author who has an obvious love of language… and dragons. What is not to like? I have to say that I immensely enjoyed reading Seraphina, and I consider it to be one of the best-constructed fantasies I’ve read in recent years. And it has some of the most interesting dragons I have ever come across… Dragons who can take human form, but when they do so must control their emotions (just like Vulcans, yes).

Seraphina is a talented musician and assistant to the court composer in the land of Goredd. When a royal Prince, Rufus, is killed while hunting in a manner that implicates a dragon (okay, his head was bitten off), the fragile peace between humans and dragons is endangered. The questions are, who killed him, and why? And who benefits from the threat of war? Seraphina is caught up in all of this, and her secret heritage may well be revealed in the process of discovering the truth.

This novel has an elegant plot, a well-developed setting, interesting characters, and Hartmann’s gift for lyrical prose just adds the icing to a very tasty read. I heartily recommend it.

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