Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Summary from publisher: 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. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Seraphina is a story about a young woman who is living in a world surrounded by humans and creatures called Saars – dragons in human form. Her culture does not love dragons and she is hiding a potentially deadly secret – that of a half breed. Her country is on the brink of war and she finds herself trying to stop it without giving herself away.

Few books have surprised me but this one did. The story described above is an accurate description and yet this book holds so much more. It is fantasy for sure but also mystery, romance, and self help! A large portion of this book deals with acceptance. Since Seraphina was an infant, she knew that she didn’t truly belong. Her father was distant, her mother dead in childbirth, her closest friend/teacher was an emotionless dragon and because she had to hide her true nature she could have no friends. When she takes a job as assistant castle musician her life quickly changes. But are these changes for the better? And what does she want from her new life? I really liked Seraphina’s character as well as many of the others in this impressive novel!

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