The kingdom of Goredd is populated by humans and by dragons who fold themselves into a human form. Though they live alongside each other, the peace between them is uneasy.
But when a member of the royal family is murdered, and the crime appears to have been committed by a dragon the peace and treaty between both worlds is seriously threatened . . .
Into this comes Seraphina, a gifted musician who joins the royal court as the assistant to the court composer. She is soon drawn into the murder investigation and, as she uncovers hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace in Goredd for good, finds herself caught desperately in the middle of the tension.
For Seraphina hides a secret - the secret behind her musical gift - and if she is found out, her life is in serious danger . . .
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(a) smart and affecting debut novel ... Hartman tackles difficult issues with subtlety and creativity, weaves in a surprisingly touching romance, and does it all in beautiful prose. - SFX Magazine online
This is a proper fantasy, with a feisty heroine and some truly splendid dragons...it’s a beautifully told story, with some gorgeously surreal imaginative flights on a level with Alice in Wonderland – it has that dreamlike quality of beauty and absurdity...Seraphina is a fast-paced and skilfully wrought fantasy, a beautiful and original take on the dragon myth. - Katy Moran
Hartman proves dragons are still fascinating in this impressive high fantasy ... Equal parts political thriller, murder mystery, bittersweet romance, and coming-of-age story, this is an uncommonly good fantasy centered upon an odd but lovable heroine ... Fantasy readers young and old who appreciate immersion into a rich new culture will not mind the novel’s slow build, especially as it takes wing and hurtles toward the stratosphere. This is an exciting new series to watch. - Booklist
Seraphina is a quick-paced read, and while the story does pause at times for introspection, it never stalls or grinds to a halt ... It’s a tale well told, the author’s writing hitting a real high whenever music is involved. Here, her prose verges on the poetic; beautiful, often haunting, descriptions abound ... In Seraphina, Rachel Hartman has created a likeable, gutsy heroine, one who isn’t flawless or afraid to make mistakes. - Starburst magazine
Beautifully-written high fantasy about dragons. Credible, interesting characters, intricate but subtle worldbuilding and elegant prose ... Recommended by us for its sheer class. - The Bookbag
I loved Seraphina from cover to cover, and I dearly hope that fantasy lovers everywhere take heed and read this remarkable, wonderful debut. Seraphina is another lock for my favourite books of 2012, and I emphatically recommend it to all. - Book Smugglers
The writing was really beautiful ... Seraphina completely took me by surprise and blew me away. I wasn't expecting anything nearly thing good when I started reading, and I'm so glad that I decided to pick it up. It is one decision I will not regret. - CicLovesBooks
I found it completely absorbing and captivating. There are so many different elements to the story from the extravagant world building, intriguing and multilayered characters, and underlying tension and prejudice between human and dragon kind. As the female protagonist, I can’t think of anyone better than Seraphina ... Seraphina is a beautifully unique and fascinating debut fantasy. I can’t wait to read more from Rachel Hartman. - My Book Journey
Rachel Hartman has created a richly complicated fantasy world, medieval at its core, with a relatively feudal society. The females are portrayed as strong characters (thank you Rachel) and the heroine, even though emotionally deprived, suffering from chronically low self esteem and forever under the thundercloud of exposure, is not a wimp … Character development and ‘reveals’ throughout the book are excellent and it’s easy to make a connection with them – personal flaws and ‘shades of grey’ make them more human, even the dragons! - Notes of Life
It’s a challenging world with so much vivid life spilling out from the pages, so much to hold together to weave into a narrative, and yet Hartman tackles it with ease and skill. I was impressed and completely engrossed in the story ... The writing was fantastic. At times painfully beautiful, with a lyrical quality that has knocked Hartman up into one of my favourite writers. I found myself doing something I never do with books – folding down corners of pages to mark passages that I particularly loved ... I loved every moment of the journey and will quite happily go back and revisit it again and again until I have more to read from Hartman! ... I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves a fantastically written book – never mind the fantasy elements and the dragons. Read this for the writing, for the fantastic plot and the brilliantly written characters. Yes the dragons and fantasy provide an extra element to the book, and a fantastic one at that, but Hartman is a new force to be reckoned with if her debut writing is anything to go by, and I recommend getting in and reading this before this book sweeps the masses and you’re left behind. - The Review Diaries
Seraphina's ironic self-deprecation and general contrariness makes her an appealing herione and the dragon characters, with their inability to understand emotions and craving for order provide an effective counterbalance to the emotional drama elsewhere in the narrative. Readers who enjoy fantasy will not be disappointed. - The School Librarian