Friday, May 17, 2013


By Rachel Hartman

Seraphina Dombergh is a talented musician who has just begun working as the assistant to the court composer. She has been instructed by her father, court attorney in all dealings with the dragon race, to make sure she keeps a low profile. As the book opens, she is forced to play during the funeral for the heir to the throne, grabbing the attention of the entire court. Now, not only is the head of the palace guard, Prince Lucian Kiggs, trying to figure out who murdered his uncle, but his unwanted attention seems to be focused on Seraphina.

Seraphina has a secret and I can't help but tell you what it is. If you want to skip down to the faith paragraph, now is your chance. Seraphina is part dragon. Her mother died in childbirth, never once telling her husband what she really was. You see, in the land of Goredd, dragons walk around disguised as humans. Most of them wear a bell unless they are scholars. Neither humans nor dragons recognize or believe that there are creatures half human and half dragon. When Seraphina was born, she had some scales around her waist and her arm that showed her true nature.

I liked the fact that Seraphina has a heart and seems to want to think the best of most people. She has lived a very isolated life and has learned the find art of telling lies to keep her secrets. She also has to deal with some mental difficulties due to her dual nature but she has found several ways to cope, including meditation combined with visual imagery. As the book progresses, it becomes evident that what seemed like mental problems is actual an incredible talent.

I was not as happy about the relationship between Prince Lucian and Seraphina. Despite his bastard birth, he is engaged to his cousin the princess and second heir to the throne. I would have preferred an unrequited love story. I suppose that also may be considered a spoiler. Don't worry, though, as I have left lots of fund plot twists and great characters as well as some surprises left for all you readers out there!

What did this book have to do with my faith? In Seraphina, dragons are considered to be beings without a soul. If anyone found out Seraphina's heritage, she would be considered soul-less as well. Can anyone really determine the state of one's soul? Shouldn't that be left up to God? For Christians, the expectation is that we are to evangelize or spread the good news of Jesus Christ. The implication there is that, without Christ, people are doomed to hell for eternity. There are Christians who believe that quite strongly and you may be one of them. Although I fully believe we are to share the love and the message of Christ, I am not going to judge someone who does not believe. I will leave that up to God. Certainly, I will try my best to share Christ in a loving way. That is, I am not out to offend people who don't believe in Christ. I am willing to work with non-believers. But I will not hide my beliefs in order to prevent someone else from feeling bad. I will share God's love, regardless, but will leave the judgment part up to God.

I recommend Seraphina to those who enjoy a good fantasy.

Happy reading!


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