I haven’t read too many books that contain dragons as major players in the story. The most enjoyable that comes to mind is J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’, which is one of my all-time favourites. ‘Seraphina’ is not like ‘The Hobbit’ in any way, but it is definitely worth reading.
When I read the description for this book a couple of months or so ago my interest was piqued. I figured it might be an interesting read that I could probably pick up eventually in paperback or borrow from the library. Fortunately, I found it on NetGalley and was able to receive an ARC copy of it for my Kobo.
The story is narrated by the title character, ‘Seraphina’, who is a court musician to the human royal family of the kingdom of Goredd. This is a place where humans and dragons live under a treaty of peace. Because of this there are many tensions as both races try to live together in harmony. The dragons are able to take on human form, but there is much mistrust on both sides. The forty year treaty is coming to an end and tension increase when the queen’s son is found murdered, without his head, which points to the possibility of a dragon being the murderer.
Seraphina has a secret, which she has had to live with and hide for her own safety, as well as that of her father. She also has a mysterious tutor, Orma, who is also her uncle, but I don’t wish to give away too much in this review about the significance of the secret or her uncle. The secret slowly unravels during the book as she gets drawn into the investigation of the murder, helping the Captain of the Queen’s Guards, Lucian Kiggs, who also happens to be engaged to his cousin, Princess Glisselda, second heir to the throne.
What I really liked about this book is that it wasn’t too predictable. The book wasn’t too fast paced, but I never felt bogged down at any point, either. There are some great characters in this story. It was good to see a strong female lead who was able to stand up for herself when she needed to. The way in which her secret became slowly unraveled added to the enjoyment of the book. To have had all the information at the start would have taken away most of the mystery and would have made for a less exciting read.
At one point I thought that this book would bring the whole story to a conclusion, but the nearer I got to the end I realized that the reader was being set up for the next installment in the story. This is fine, and I look forward to the next book in the series. However, the downside for me is that ‘Seraphina’ isn’t released until next month, so it’s going to be a long wait for the sequel!
Hopefully I haven’t given away too much here to spoil the story for anyone, but hopefully I have also given enough persuasion for anyone reading this to check this book out for themselves.