Seraphina Book Review

Author: Rachel Hartman is an American Young Adult novelist based in Canada. She is the author of Seraphina and the sequel Shadow Scale.

Rating: 3.5 Stars


I’ve had Seraphina on my shelf for probably one and half years now, and I picked it up on a whim as I was craving some Fantasy fiction.

I must admit to being a little disappointed with the first 150 pages or so, you really have to tune in with the story and kind of forget everything else around you which for me at 10pm was kind of difficult.

It is the sort of book that you need energy to read and cannot pick up and put down often for fear of forgetting which character is which, how old they are, who they and which land of this fantastical world they come from.

That being said the character building and the fantasy world itself is stupendous. I probably haven’t seen such a dragon-world as this since I read Eragon by Christopher Paolini but still I found Paolini’s books to be much more fluid and easier to follow.

I had the opportunity to read the book over a 3 hour train journey and it definitely helped as I could sink my teeth into it ignore the dragon pun but if I hadn’t have had this time I have no issue with saying that I might have just given up with this book and saved it for another time.

The ending is a lot stronger than the beginning and I think it becomes simpler to understand and relate to, particularly the main characters, without all of the world building going on as well.

The romance within the book is a particular aspect that I thought was done well/ You can see the stem of it growing right when the lovers meet for the first time but it is never done in a way that is over-powering to the rest of the story or detrimental to the character’s actions and feelings.

The character of Seraphina herself is one of great depression in my eyes not that she is a bad character simply that she is characteristically depressed all of the time. She is 15-16 year old girl and yet she is a slave to her work, seems incredibly accomplished and lives a lifestyle that it a little un-relatable for YA readers, in my opinion. That being said it is an escapist novel, stillI could have done with less whining and more fearlessness from Seraphina whose bluffing skills were probably her most redeeming factor in the whole book.

As for the plot twist I saw it coming. I knew who the big-bad was, in terms of disguise, pretty soon on and was not surprised by the outcome of many of the ‘big twists’ shall we say.
The Sequel.

Honestly, whilst the story is a feat for fantastical world building and admirable in its romance and story-telling skills I won’t be rushing to pick up Shadow Scales just yet. But I think I would still like to read it someday, if only to discover what happened to the lovers and whether the world becomes less complicated with time.

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