Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Rachel Hartman

Random House Books for Young Readers
July 10, 2012 /ASIN: B005IQZC2M
Children 12+/ Fantasy


Reviewed by Beth E. McKenzie

Imagine for a moment that you are a teenager again (yuk!) and that you are breaking out all over and that you would do anything to hide the blemishes on your skin. Your father, the lawyer, is always quoting law books and won't let you play music. He has a new wife and children who think you are a freak, and won't let you talk about your own mother. Now add to it that your heritage, your very essence, puts you at risk and marks you and your family for death should it be revealed. Seraphina lives a very limited life until she becomes the music teacher for the Princess Glisselda, the 15-year-old, second-heir to the throne of Goredd.

Seraphina isn't a Jew during the time of the Inquisition, or a Protestant during the reign of Bloody Mary, or even a light-skinned Negro at the time of the American Civil War. She is an impossibility- a yirtrudis - the product of an illegal marriage between a female dragon and a male human - a half breed with the scales on her arms and body to convict her. It is much less disgusting to think of when you know her mother, Linn, was in her human form (saar), and loved Claude so much that she was afraid to lose him with the truth. He didn't know until he saw her die in childbirth, silver blood on the sheets. She left Seraphina with a mind-pearl of her own memories so the child would learn of her heritage one day. The effects of those memories haunt the teen, but they also save her and the Royal Families of two kingdoms.

I loved the brilliance and texture in this world of curious dragons and disdainful lords! It is the Italian Renaissance: velvet, sculpture, music, discoveries and mysticism, with DRAGONS! St. Daan in a pan-more books and a three hour movie for each! I usually shrug off "new worlds" with weird, unpronounceable words because they are usually just tools to freshen up what somebody else had previously done. Not so with Seraphina. There are weird words, but this story imitates nothing I have read before. I usually don't say things like this but I hope somebody sees the pattern and makes a bold move - Star Wars - Lord of the Rings - Harry Potter - Seraphina!

Reviewed 2012