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Friday, February 27, 2015

Seraphina Blog Tour {review and giveaway}

I am so thrilled to have the Seraphina Blog Tour, celebrating the paperback release of Seraphina, stopping by today with my review and a giveaway! And be sure to come back here on March 13th, when the Shadow Scale Blog Tour, celebrating Seraphina's sequel, stops by...

(Seraphina #1)
by Rachel Hartman
12/21/14 (paperback)
Random House

In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, "Some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy."

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life. 

Praise for Seraphina

“In a young readers’ market dominated by sexy paranormal creatures, it’s refreshing to return to an epic fantasy about good old-fashioned dragons—although Seraphina . . . isn’t exactly old-fashioned. It’s a novel that will appeal to both fans of Christopher Paolini’s Eragon series and Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown.
Entertainment Weekly

“Full of grace and gravitas, Seraphina’s first-person voice is a welcome change from today’s snark-infested YA novels. Readers loath to turn the last page of this lush, intricately plotted fantasy will rejoice in the knowledge of [a] sequel.”
The Washington Post

“Her world-building is so detailed and well-integrated, each character and place so well-drawn, one wonders if they truly exist somewhere. . . . Endorsed by fantasy powerhouses such as Christopher Paolini and Tamora Pierce, Seraphina is an engaging and innovative fantasy that uses the plights of dragons and humans as an allegory for the real prejudices we all must face.”

“Passion and musicality—those are the qualities prized by Seraphina, the fiercely intelligent, headstrong half-human/half-dragon heroine in Rachel Hartman’s debut novel of the same name. They also emanate from every element—from prose to plot—in this beguiling YA fantasy.”
National Post

“A beautifully written fantasy debut about a young girl’s journey to gain acceptance of herself.”

Seraphina makes dragons fascinating once again.”

“BookPeople children’s buyer Meghan Goel says [Seraphina, a] ‘wonderful new dragon fantasy,’ should be on your to-get list for July; it’s also snagged praise from the likes of Eragon bestselling author Christopher Paolini.”
Austin American-Statesman

When Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina was published several years ago, I heard many readers and bloggers singing its praises, but never got around to reading it myself...something I’m kicking myself for now. I can’t believe I waited this long to discover just how incredible this YA fantasy is!

In an alternative-medieval world, dragons are very real. But they are very different from what you may think. Highly intelligent and logical, with no need for emotions, these dragons can shift into human form and work as teachers, scholars, ambassadors, and more. There has been peace between the dragons and humans for many decades, but when a member of the royal family is murdered in a very dragon-like fashion, that peace begins to shatter and a war between humans and dragons quickly simmers. Musical prodigy and newest resident at court, Seraphina Dombegh, finds herself caught in the dangerous middle of this war. Seraphina has a terrible secret, one that, if revealed, could change everything.

Pretty much every good thing you’ve heard about this novel is true! Seraphina is a gorgeously written, masterfully woven fantasy, full of imaginative and smart storytelling, breathtaking world-building, and unforgettable characters. From the eloquent, lyrical writing; complex premise; the rich and stunning world-building, everything about this series opener is epic, grand, and sweeping. The physical world Hartman has created is lush in details, impressively smart, and endlessly fascinating. Rachel Hartman has crafted truly original and utterly captivating dragonlore that is is equal parts enchanting, fierce, whimsical, thought-provoking, and believable. The fantastical elements in this book are both reminiscent of classic fantasy and wonderfully surprising. This is a fully realized, expertly crafted, and enthralling world!

And Hartman has filled her world with spectacular characters! The dragons are as complex as the human characters, while the human characters are as wondrous as the dragons. Seraphina is such a lovely, bewitching heroine, who is a great mix of admirable, relatable, and flawed. I absolutely loved getting to know Seraphina and watching her naturally grow as a character. From charming Kiggs, endearing Glisselda, lovable Orma, and many more, Seraphina is surrounded by richly complex and intriguing characters.

My Final Thoughts: With its truly beautiful writing and storytelling, breathtaking world-building, and irresistible characters, Seraphina is a dazzling gem of a book, and I cannot wait to dive into its sequel!

5/5 yummy cupcakes

As a child, Rachel Hartman played cello, lip-synched Mozart operas with her sisters, and fostered the deep love of music that inspired much of Seraphina. Rachel earned a degree in comparative literature but eschewed graduate school in favor of bookselling and drawing comics. Born in Kentucky, she has lived in Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, England, and Japan. She now lives with her family in Vancouver, Canada.

Win a paperback copy of Seraphina!
Thanks to Random House, I have two paperback copies for two winners.
-US/CAN only
-ends 3/8/15
-must be 13+ to enter
-winners will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, stolen,or damaged prizes
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Molly Mortensen said...

I haven't read this yet either somehow. I'm not usually one for lyrical writing, but the dragons sound awesome.

Jillyn said...

I can't wait to read this one. I love dragons! Eragon is one of my favorites of all time.

Orchid said...

I actually just checked Seraphina out from my library because so many people have been talking about it. Really, everything I've heard about it has me excited to dive into the writing and world of this one.

Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy. =)

Yvonne said...

I loved Seraphina and can hardly wait for Shadow Scale. I just discovered The Auditon (a short prequel to Seraphina) at

aLilLacey said...

I loved this book! I'd love to have a copy!!

aLilLacey said...

I loved this book! I'd love to have a copy!!

Fizzingwhizbee said...

This is such a great story! I'd love to have a copy and read it again before the next book comes out :)