Recommended for anyone who is fans of dragons, interesting new worlds, and crossing boldy crossing societal stigmas. Seraphina captures and reflects the internal struggles of who we are and where we come from, but also explores and transforms racial tensions, cultural integration, and disabilities into an unsuspecting fantasy about dragons.
Seraphina is a honest protagonist who is unafraid to be herself. Living on the border of two differnt worlds between the emotionally driven humans and the powerful and logical dragons, she tries to find a balance not only in herself but all the while promotes a sense of acceptance between the two sides. She is guided by her dragon mentor and as she starts work in the castle, she creates new friendships with the princess and the captain of the guard, and uses her abilities to stop those who mean to pit dragons against humans in fear of what they do not try to understand.
Hartman’s world is vividly sculpted around Seraphina as she is placed bares witness to both the customs of dragons and humans alike. A new religion full of many different saints with specific attributes, the gang-like Sons of St. Orgo, the quigutl and the Quighole, the shining knights and the dracomachia, the struggle of dragons to adapt to human lifestyle and to shut away their emotions, the Board of Censors, and the messy relationship and distrust between humans and dragons. So well planned and thoughtful, I felt it was a shame that Hartman tried to confine it all within 500 pages. For such a beautiful world and a million little concepts and details to be packed into one novel like that was sorrowful to see, because as many interesting characters appeared and concepts were developed, they were only revived once or twice more thereafter, when they could have honestly warranted a novel each in their own right. Had this plot line stretched two or three novels, Seraphina’s world would have been given justice for all of the struggles and humanity in which it explores.