Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Usually I take notes on books so that when I write a review it’s easier for me to remember everything I wanted to talk about. Seraphina was so good, though, that I didn’t even think to start a new note on my phone! I was enraptured from the very beginning. I got the book from the library, but I can’t wait to buy it so I can read it again!

I absolutely adored Prince Lucian Kiggs, though I tend to be a sucker for captains of the Queen’s guard.

As much as I loved Kiggs, my favorite character was Orma. I loved his peculiarities, the way he approached everything with a logical coldness yet still contained emotions so buried and denied that not even Seraphina believed they were there.

The characters are exquisite, and Seraphina herself is subtle and relatable. She deals with some major body image issues, even to the point of self-mutilation becau

se she’s so disgusted with her body. I was shocked during the scene simply because I didn’t expect it. Most of the YA novels I’ve read only deal with body image issues to the extent of the main character having low self-esteem, not actually damaging their body because they’re so ashamed of it. It was raw and real.

Over the course of the novel, Seraphina slowly and naturally deals with her self-image issues. By the end she hasn’t quite conquered her issues, which would have been unrealistic, but has definitely grown tired of feeling ashamed of the way she looks and is starting to, if not like, at least accept who she is and how she looks. In the next novel, I hope that she forgoes wearing four layers of clothing to keep her body hidden.

One of my favorite things about YA novels is how they deal with issues that are so real in our society. For example, in Seraphina, there is a strong prejudice between humans and dragons. Humans fear and distrust dragons, while dragons look down upon and disdain humans’ emotions. Both sides spew hate speech, and that speech eventually turns to violence. It reminded me of the civil rights movement in America and the long history of prejudice between different cultures and peoples on Earth, and I enjoyed watching the tension grow with Seraphina stuck in the middle.

The book is wonderfully paced and will keep you on the edge of your seat. And the twist at the end! I did not see that coming! Gah!

This is the best book I’ve read in a very long time (Seven Realms excluded). And there isn’t even a cover out for the next one yet!! I’M DYING HERE! Seriously, THIS BOOK IS AMAZING! Drop what you’re doing and read it. It’s that good.

5 out of 5 stars


Extra: Check out the short (17 pages) prequel novella. It’s really cute and an enjoyable read, but I would suggest reading it after Seraphina rather than before. It doesn’t spoil anything, by any means, but since it’s so short, it would be better enjoyed once you know the characters a bit better.

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