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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.

©2012 Rachel Hartman (P)2012 Listening Library

Ce que les critiques disent

"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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2012-07-26

Completely Inspiring Fantasy

My initial reaction to this novel (a week or so after I finished listening to it) is to reflect on my connection with Seraphina. A girl with an amazing talent who actively seeks to hide her talent in order to not draw attention to herself because of a difference that could get her killed. I am surprised that in a world so fantastical it requires a great deal of careful sculpting and building that my first thoughts are of this character. Seraphina's struggle helps ground the world. Seraphina, at the beginning of the novel, has defined and viewed herself based off of an identity that she didn't choose but was born with. She is caught between two races with each not even wanting to acknowledge her existence. She has grown up with shame and without a true connection with anyone just because she is alive. In our world people often treated differently based on factors they were born with --- I'm sure I don't need to tell you--- the reality of these situations just really hit me on an emotional level.

The world building: the religion, languages, differences between cultures--are very well done. I thought it was beautifully written and well thought out.

I don't want to comment too much on the romance--but it is a slow build and felt natural. I--I read another review that said she could not remember was Lucian looked like...and neither can I. Their relationship is built on similarities and understanding--and not without it's issues---really refreshing.

And intrigue--can this fragile balance between the dragons and the humans be sustained? Who is plotting the downfall of the peace and why? Can Seraphina help the Prince with his investigations without giving up her secret?

If you like fantasy---I can't imagine a reason why you wouldn't enjoy this read.

25 personnes sur 25 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Marie
  • 2012-10-03


Where does Seraphina rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The best and I have listened to a ton of audiobooks!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Seraphina?

When Seraphina confronted her grandfather and told him that she was his grandaughter

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

The narrator was awesome! Perfect for this book! I am forty years old and this book had me crying in places. Truly a beautiful wonderous Fairy Tale!

7 personnes sur 7 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Coral
  • 2014-05-26

Now this a book about being different

This is a really good story. I enjoy the whole package - the characters are believable and enjoyable. It is a pity it's hidden in the young reader section! This is about being different and then coming to see that you are not the only one and that your differences isn't the most extreme in world nor does it define you but it does change how you are. But this isn't a moral story it's a actual story - enjoy read. My only question is where are more books by Rachel Hartman?

4 personnes sur 4 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Nathan
  • 2014-03-24

Pleasantly surprised. Story has everything in it

This story has everything: Political intrigue, mystery, internal conflict, music, prejudices, humour, romance and Dragons. What more could you want?
I was hesitant by the premise. Forty year peace with Dragons, who can take human form, is threatened and two societies come close to war. Female protagonist has a secret that if revealed would bring prejudices against her and has a romance interest. Sounds typical.
However, every aspect of this book had an interesting twist or take. The Dragons are rational & logical creatures with a truly unique culture adding a higher degree of difference than just colour of their skin. I liked how they analyzed emotions and art, sometimes trying to explain or imitate it.
Politics and intrigue kept me guessing while explained enough that I thought I knew what was going on. .
The protagonist is a strong female with trying to fit in with secrets and internal struggles with identity. The way she handles situations is believable and understandable. Handles her romance in a well thought out manner and not just 'blind with love.'
Several times I thought the book was going toward cliches or common trope, especially with the romance but went a different route. Pacing between politics, romance, internal conflict, and back was handled well.
The ending is fulfilling with room for sequels. I won't hesitate to pick up the next one.
Narrators did an excellent job.

3 personnes sur 3 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Noell
  • 2012-11-12

It is a better read than a listen.

I began listening to this book and I must say that I like the story very much: the mythology, the backstories, the characters, the emotions- Rachel Hartman is an excellent storyteller, hence the 4 stars. However, for me, this is not a book one just LISTENS to. I found myself having to rewind the book a couple times because I did not understand something, but I decided to give up and carry on with listening to it. I am a college student and often like listening to something while taking the bus to and from school, but this just did not do it for me.
For me, this is a book that must be read and if it is to be narrated, the narrators must do it justice and for me the narrators did not. So a word of advice- buy the book itself because it is a great investment, the audiobook is not.

11 personnes sur 13 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Sash & Em: A Tale of Two Bookies
  • 2013-11-21


At first glance, I must admit that this book didn’t jump out at me. A pretty cover and a unique premise just weren’t enough. Add in the lengthy list of awards that were racked up – 2013 William C. Morris YA Debut Award, Cybil Award for Teen Fantasy and Science Fiction, Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year – just to name a few. You’d think I would be ready to tear into this one – but it still wasn’t enough to pique my interest.

Until I was in the mood for DRAGONS. I wanted a good dragon story and, boy, did I get what I wanted.

Seraphina starts out rather slow and I did feel a little like I’d been thrown into the deep-end without any proper explanation of what was what or who was who, but this is just one of those books that immerses you into its world within 50 pages and then you forget how or where it even began. The writing is absolutely stunning – rich descriptions of music and dragons – with politics, philosophy, and religion thrown into the mix to make the reader think.

Questions that I thought to myself while reading this book: What does it feel like to feel? What do I feel like when I’m sad? What about when I’m happy? Could I choose between my family and the one I love? How do people bring peace to times of war? Could (or rather, would) I be willing to put peace and my country in a place of higher priority than my own heart?

This series has the potential to be multiple books – and I would gladly read them all! And there is a sequel, Shadow Scale, but the release date is set for MARCH 2015 (insert sobbing here).

Overall, a magnificent debut that I can’t believe I didn’t read sooner. And the narrator - oh my goodness - she was absolutely wonderful with her accents and her pacing. Loved it.

2 personnes sur 2 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Michael
  • 2012-07-29

Deep and moving

Where does Seraphina rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

up there

What did you like best about this story?

deep and emotionally moving.

Which scene was your favorite?

well, I certainly enjoyed the musical parts.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I'd have to say where she digs her own scales trying to get them off.

Any additional comments?

It was wonderful for me to have the main character be a gifted Psalmist!<br/><br/>This book is deep and mature. Exquisite writing. In fact, some of the best recent fantasy writing I've encountered. The author's voice reminds me of Gail Carson Levine.<br/><br/>Wisely, the author assumes you will catch on to her world and doesn't bother trying to explain everything. You just gradually catch on. <br/><br/>It was very interesting for me that at the beginning, the church music that made Seraphina overflow with joy she described as "masculine". I think that is what good church music is -- masculine in a way that is healing and transforming.<br/><br/>Having said that, I find this book to be very feminine. There were some good action sequences, but much of the book, seen through the eyes of Seraphina, deals with the type of negotiations and intense murder attempts found in Royal courts.<br/><br/>The romantic parts of this book were extremely well done and did not degrade into becoming overly bawdy. <br/><br/>The gut wrenching painful things Seraphina feels (both emotionally and physically) from not wanting to have Dragon blood in her veins were very moving. It was something we could all relate to and having parts of ourselves that we wish we could get rid of. But then, God ends up using those parts in our lives.<br/><br/>Overall, as a guy, this book increased my sensitivity to many female issues. I tried to figure out the worldview of the author, but I honestly say that having gotten to the end of the book, that still remains a mystery. Which is a good thing.<br/><br/>Intriguing enough to read twice.<br/>

5 personnes sur 6 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • Jane
  • 2014-10-06

Character development was missing.

Instead I got physical descriptions of characters and general world building - describing the history of dragons and humans together - their past and current conflicts. Then there are several scenes where Seraphina goes unconscious while she receives dreamlike information. I could not stay interested. My mind kept wandering. I had to repeat several paragraphs. I read a fourth of the book and stopped.

Immediately after this book, I needed a character development fix. So I went with John Grisham’s book “A Painted House.” Wow, what a difference. He’s the king of character development. I read Grisham when I start to forget what good writing is like. (My definition of good writing - not everyone agrees with me.)

I liked the Seraphina setting and world building concepts. I just didn’t like the way it was filled in.

Mandy Williams and Justine Eyre were very good.

Narrative mode: 1st person Seraphina.
Genre: YA fantasy.

4 personnes sur 5 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • K. P. Cunningham
  • 2013-03-06

Shape changing dragons, oh my!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Most definitely. Hartman has a complete world here. The history and culture are complete, not created as she goes along. The characters are engaging, the relationships complex and real. I like the steam punk feel. I look forward to spending time with these characters, again.

What did you like best about this story?

I think I liked Seraphina's relationship with her uncle, Orma, the most.

Have you listened to any of Mandy Williams and Justine Eyre ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not, but I did enjoy this one.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not exactly. I didn't want to rush through so that it was over too quickly. But it was hard to stop.

4 personnes sur 5 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

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  • silje
  • 2016-10-31

A wonderful book ruined by the narrator

Where does Seraphina rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is amongst those I feel like returning to regularly.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator's pattern of speech was very odd and distracting. I became fixated upon her breathing patterns and ended up needing to buy the physical book.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Well, I read it all in one sitting.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente