Monday, 3 December 2012

Seraphina - a perfect fantasy

   Wow.  Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is one excellent fantasy.  Do you like dragons?  Heroines with a secret?  Music?  Visions, dangerous love, and adventure?  Then Seraphina is the book for you.



                                                   It's a new fantasy, a debut novel by Canadian Rachel Hartman, who lives in Vancouver.  It is one of my favourite books that I've read so far this year.  To say I devoured it today would almost be an understatement.  I inhaled it.  It was like breathing in good fantasy, imbibing a wonderfully imagined world, complete with its own history, some newly created words for that world (which flow in the writing and make perfect sense, always hard to do in a fantasy), and fascinating history between dragons and humans.  It had fun intrigue, and romance (yes, there is a heartbreaking romance or three in this book), and dances, and queens and princesses, and music.  Such music!  The way Hartman writes about music is how musicians and singers must feel when they are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing.  I have a friend who sings, and when I hear him sing, sometimes I get goosebumps because the energy that comes through him is so electric and beautiful that it is almost pure emotion. That is how Seraphina plays music.  It makes this a lovely fantasy about being true to yourself, and how Seraphina finds out how to be, is part of the delight of this book.  Simply, wonderful.

If you have a teenager looking for something new, this would be perfect.  If you are feeling jaded by all the pressure to buy the perfect gift and make Christmas be like on tv, in your house, then take a moment - take a day, and sit yourself down and treat yourself to this perfect fantasy.  Yes, it's almost perfect, an awesome debut. It will take you away to a wonderful world.   And suddenly magic is back - at least for me, I feel renewed again.  It's been a long time since a fantasy did that for me.  Really, a must read for fantasy lovers.  It's also young adult, so you might find it in that section of your bookstore.

  I still have a tiny lump in my voice from the sweet ending.  Just one teeny problem - there's another book at least to come, and I honestly can't wait for it. I really want to know what happens next in Seraphina's world.

5/5


It's that time of year again!  The Virtual Advent Tour started yesterday.  I'm on the list for this year, and am planning what I hope will be a fun post for you.  This is the 5th year of the Advent Tour, and we have gone all over the world through past years, thanks to Marg at Adventures of an Intrepid Reader and Kailana at The Written World, who have hosted it for every year.   It's not too late to sign up.  They have a list of who's appearing when, which is very handy as so many new bloggers have signed up this year.  Already we've seen a tree decorated, and had a Christmas puzzle to do (among other fun posts).  Tis the season, come and visit everyone through the month.

13 comments:

Cath said...

Ok, well I'll take a look at this on Amazon... to add the 2 books I already ordered over the last couple of days (book 2 of the Green Rider series and Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron, have you read any of this Jane Austen crime series?). Not to mention High Rising by Angela Thirkell which came last week. I'm having Christmas early....

Ana @ things mean a lot said...

I can't wait for the next book either, but I actually found the ending satisfying in a way - it at least closes this phase of the story, if that makes sense. Anyway, so glad you loved this! One of my favourites of the year as well.

Belle Wong said...

Wow - what a great review. I loved what you wrote about the music in the book, and about your friend who sings music. I know exactly what you mean. I'm not very musical myself, but the energy and passion in music can blow me away sometimes. I'm definitely adding this book to my TBR!

Susan said...

Cath: LOL to all the book shopping you are doing - but given how much rain you have been having recently, you would want to make sure you had as many books in your house as you could get before bad weather closes in again! I haven't read any of the Jane mystery series, though I do have book one waiting to be read.

Ana: yes, the ending of this book was satisfying, though I so much want to know what happens next! I didn't know you had read it too, it was Memory's review early this year that caught my eye. I have to link to both of you as soon as I get some time. And come to read your review too :-) I'm delighted you enjoyed it so much too.

Belle: Thanks! I'm not very musical either, except I can hear it really well - I have some ability to hear rhythm, even if I can't play or sing it! So I love it when I hear someone and that pure sense of creative energy comes through, and Seraphina sings that way in the book. I hope you find it soon - I got it out from my library, since the softcover is out only next fall.

kelley jensen said...

I do enjoy the Virtual Advent tour. I've decided not to blog this year but to read the posts only. Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a very merry Christmas, Kelley at the road goes ever ever on

Aarti said...

I liked this one a lot, too- looking forward to seeing what happens next, though like Ana, I am glad she ended it in a way that kept me satisfied until then :)

Susan said...

Kelley: thanks so much for coming by and leaving a comment. Merry Christmas to you too :-)

Aarti: Yes, it did end in a way that was satisfying, didn't it? It was good to have this part of the story wrap up, even as it continues on.
I'm glad you enjoyed it too. It's such a fun fantasy.

Cath said...

Well, they're predicting another winter like 2010/11 for the UK and the snow is creeping slowly towards us in the SW. So yes, Susan, I really do need to make sure I have enough books in the house! (We won't mention the 400+ books already on my tbr pile...)

I checked my library catalogue online and it turns out my local town library has a copy of Seraphina! I was very surprised and will grab that next time I'm in there.

Oh, you already have the first book of that Jane Austen series. I really should have guessed that. lol

Susan said...

Cath: We have wet snow flakes today, but that's it. No snow on the ground. I'm glad this year, we are in the middle of getting the hole in the foundation finally fixed, and I don't have to worry about ice so long as it's not wet out. No ice equals no falling, as you know! lol

I don't know how many books I have on my tbr shelf, it must be close to 400 too. I have a couple more to pick up for my Christmas box, and then I'm going to do that challenge and not buy any books until April. *shiver* lol!!!

Yaay for getting Seraphina soon! I really hope you enjoy it.

Geranium Cat said...

I've ordered Seraphina from the library :-)

Cath said...

I *have* Seraphina from the library... 8-)

Susan said...

Geranium Cat: hurray! I hope you get it soon.

Cath: have you read it yet? lol with all the Christmas stuff going on....I'm glad you got it so fast.

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