Seraphina

  • by Rachel Hartman
  • Narrated by Mandy Williams, Justine Eyre
  • 13 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.
In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one listeners will remember long after the narrative ends.

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What the Critics Say

"Beautifully written, well-rounded characters, and some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy for a long while. An impressive debut novel; I can't wait to see what Rachel Hartman writes next." (Christopher Paolini, New York Times best-selling author of Eragon)
"A book worth hoarding, as glittering and silver-bright as dragon scales, with a heroine who insists on carving herself a place in your mind." (Naomi Novik, New York Times best-selling author of the Temeraire series)
"Seraphina is strong, complex, talented - she makes mistakes and struggles to trust, with good reason, and she fights to survive in a world that would tear her apart. I love this book!" (Tamora Pierce, New York Times best-selling author of the Beka Cooper series)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Slow but Intense and Gripping

After first few chapters into this book, I was unsure whether to proceed to the end. It was slow, with very little description of the world in which the heroine lives. It didn't help either that the narrator's voice seemed so bland. However, I am glad that I decided to stick with it!! I soon learnt the reasons for the narrator's often seemingly bland, slow voice - there are numerous characters (dragons in human forms and, beings half human and half dragon) who by their nature, we are made to understand, neither understand, possess nor express human emotions in the way humans do - hence the bland tone attributed to their conversation. With regard to the humans voices, the narrator picks up quite well on the appropriate tone and speed. She narrates in such a way as to help readers distinguish between our heroine's mother's memories, passed onto and beheld by our heroine, and the heroine's own thoughts and speech.

The story does seem to start to come together and get more intricate and gripping midway through the book and really builds up from there; and the sci-fi reader begins to truly appreciate the book in its last 10 or so chapters . This said, I can totally appreciate why other readers have posited the book as one written with confusion or disorganisation, and therefore hard to follow.

Most sci-fi readers look to be transported and escape to a different world when reading a sci-fi book; and this relies on the author delivering an enargia, enabling the reader to mentally visualise and emotionally connect to the world and the characters. I do not think Hartman achieved this convincingly in this book. I do however think that for her first book, 'Seraphina' is enjoyable and shows a promising potential in Rachel Hartman as a sci-fi author.
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- Lulu

Nice story, relentlessly upbeat narrator.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I think I would have enjoyed this a great deal more if the narrator had more dramatic range in her voice. Each sentence seemed to end on a (literal) upbeat - spoiling dramatic tension. I hate to criticise but the girlish breathiness just didn't do the story justice. The dragon conceit was interesting and world-building probably better than average.....but Seraphina's voice needs an impassioned dramatic resonance. Let's it down, sorry to say.


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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-07-2012
  • Publisher: Listening Library