The war between dragons and humans ended with a treaty between Goredd’s queen and dragonkind’s king, yet the fear and hatred are still strongly present. Seraphina Dombegh has a dangerous secret, yet her astonishing musical gifts shove her into the spotlight. When a member of the royal family is murdered in a draconian fashion, tensions become inflamed. As the anniversary of the treaty draws near, can Seraphina come to terms with herself and do what’s necessary to keep things in balance?
At first I had trouble getting into this book, but ultimately really enjoyed it. Things were a bit slow in the beginning, but all of a sudden, I was plowing through the pages at an astonishing rate. I was fascinated by Rachel Hartman’s world and her dragons and their struggles with humankind and emotions. I liked that these dragons, while very powerful creatures, also had a degree of fragility about them. Orma was one of my favorite characters in the book–both because of that struggle and his witticisms and bibliophilic tendencies. Seraphina is also a very strong character, whose shaky sense of self does not prevent her from strongly affecting the events and people around her. Her struggles remind me of those faced by Kristin Cashore’s characters, and I really liked the presence of a strong female character who had brains and wasn’t a fighter. If I had any complaints, other than a slow beginning, I would say that much of the supporting cast, while they did make me react, did not feel as developed as Seraphina and Orma to me. However, this did not affect my enjoyment of an overall interesting plot.
Fans of Kristin Cashore’s books will enjoy this one, and I recommend it to those who love dragon books as well. I am looking forward to the sequel.