I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.
The land of Goredd has experienced forty years of uneasy peace between humans and dragons thanks to a much-contested treaty. In spite of the efforts to improve inter-species relations by the powers that be, much tension still exists. Seraphina Dombegh, the assistant music mistress at the Goreddi court, finds herself thrust in the middle of the action when a prince of the realm is found murdered, presumably by a dragon. In the process, a secret that Seraphina holds close to her heart is in danger of being revealed. This riveting fantasy novel will completely ensnare your attention - read on for the full review!
And here it is, a young adult novel that, in my opinion, is fully worthy of the elusive five-star review. This book is incredibly well-written and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It's now one of my favorites!
Hartman has created a fascinating world, one where dragons can more easily interact with humans by assuming a human form, known as a saarantrai. This does nothing to endear dragons to humans, however; if anything, one could even argue that it only makes things worse, as humans can claim that dragons are out to trick them. It doesn't help that dragons have no sense of social etiquette and, while incredibly intelligent, are also incredibly awkward. The world resembles medieval Europe, but with the obvious difference being that dragons exist. There appear to be no other major differences: the various breeds of dragons appear to be the only mythological creatures that exist in Hartman's world and there seems to be no magic (unless one counts music, which many in our own world would agree is a form of magic in itself).
Hartman fills her world with fascinating characters. Seraphina's passion is music, a skill that she's learned from her uncle Orma. She befriends two members of the royal family, Glisselda and Lucian, known affectionately by his surname, Kiggs. Glisselda is an absolute sweetheart, who wants nothing more than for everyone she loves to get along, while Kiggs strictly follows his moral compass. Seraphina's relationship with the two is challenged by her secret, which causes her to feel compelled to lie in order to protect it.
I don't really want to talk much more about the plot or characters, because I'm afraid of giving anything away. This fabulous book deserves to be read without any prior knowledge of what's coming, so the reader can fully enjoy the experience of learning everything about Seraphina's story. Hartman tells it exquisitely drawing the reader into her story and ensnaring their attention so wholly that it can't be freed until the story has ended. I can't wait for the sequel to be released, which won't be until either June 2014 or March 2015 (goodreads lists both dates and Hartman has no clues on her website so I am just stumped and crossing my fingers for 2014 because I NEED to read it!!!). This book is wonderful and I highly, highly recommend that you rush out to your nearest bookshelf and pick it up!