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Seraphina (Seraphina, #1) por Rachel Hartman
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Seraphina (Seraphina, #1) (edição 2013)

por Rachel Hartman

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
3,1052313,248 (4.12)207
In a world where dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce and dragons can assume human form, Seraphina, whose mother died giving birth to her, grapples with her own identity amid magical secrets and royal scandals, while she struggles to accept and develop her extraordinary musical talents.
Membro:vangerine
Título:Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)
Autores:Rachel Hartman
Informação:Random House Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 499 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:to-read, grimport

Pormenores da obra

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Inglês (228)  Húngaro (1)  Todas as línguas (229)
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{First of 3 4 in Goredd series; fantasy, YA, dragons} (2012)

Re-read but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Seraphina has a secret so dangerous that even she did not know it at first. Sixteen year old Seraphina, whose mother died when she was born and whose father is a lawyer for the royal court representing saarantras, has been working at the palace, known as Castle Orison, in Lavondaville (capital of Goredd) as Music Mistress for two weeks (even though her father doesn't like her playing music). She is the assistant to Viridius, the Court composer who is in charge of musical entertainment for the upcoming celebration of the 40th anniversary of the truce between humans and dragons and she also teaches Princess Glisselda, who is a year younger than her, to play the harpsichord - or spinnet, if you're reading the UK edition.

“Forty years,” interrupted Eskar. “We‘ve had forty years of peace. You weren‘t even born when Comonot‘s Treaty was signed. Your own mother—”
“Rest she on Heaven‘s hearthstone,” I mumbled, as if it were my job to make up for the social inadequacies of dragons everywhere. The prince flashed me a grateful glance.
“—was but a speck in the queen‘s womb,” continued Eskar placidly, as if I hadn‘t spoken.


Seraphina has inherited secrets from her mother along with physical impairments which she keeps hidden and visions which she controls by maintaining a dream garden full of grotesques. But her closest family acquaintance is the saarantras Orma who has taught her about dragons.

He taught me not just music but everything he thought I should know about dragonkind: history, philosophy, physiology, higher mathematics (as close as they came to a religion). He answered even my most impudent questions. Yes, dragons could smell colors under the right conditions. Yes, it was a terrible idea to transform into a saarantras right after eating an aurochs.

Dragons and humans co-exist very uneasily and those dragons which take human forms and live as saarantras amongst humans are regarded with suspicion and superstition and are required to wear bells to distinguish them. For their parts, dragons find human emotions uncomfortable and hard to understand although some saarantras do try.

Only then did I notice the dragon waiting for me on the cathedral steps, flashing me his best facsimile of a proper human smile. No one in the world could have found Orma‘s strained expression heartwarming but me.

and

“I‘m sorry about your mother. I believe I am.” He gestured toward his stomach. “There, yes? That‘s where one feels it?”

The dragon Ardmagar, Comonot, will be coming to Lavondaville for the anniversary and while the royal family and those at the palace want everything to go well, the general human population is uncomfortable with the idea of more dragons in their city - and the Sons of St. Ogdo are especially disapproving - so relations are a bit tense.

An aged monk led me to the infirmary. “He‘s got the place to himself. Once the other invalids learned there was a dragon coming, they miraculously got well! The lame could walk and the blind decided they didn‘t really need to see. He‘s a panacea.”

Suddenly Prince Rupert, only son of the queen, is assassinated and the obvious suspect is dragon-kind. Since his head was missing, a dragon must have killed him. Mustn‘t it? The story opens with Prince Rufus‘s funeral.

Seraphina, with her unique perspective on dragons, finds herself trying to foil a plot against the Ardmagar and the peace treaty, trying to prevent an inter-species war, battling the prejudices of humans against dragons as well as the prejudices of dragons against humans and against other dragons whom they perceive as getting too close to humans and protecting her secrets while inadvertently making friends with members of the royal family. And then, to top it off, she starts meeting the grotesques from her garden in real life.

This was a very nice story, set in a medieval-type world (as evidenced by phrases like ‘A recent scandal over the dissection of human cadavers hadn‘t helped matters.' and medieval-sounding saints), well told with flashes of humour - which I always appreciate - and which lightened the mood and kept the story flowing. I love the wonderfully irreverent cast list at the beginning - don‘t skip over it!

Orma moved a pile of books off a stool for me but seated himself directly on another stack. This habit of his never ceased to amuse me. Dragons no longer hoarded gold; Comonot‘s reforms had outlawed it. For Orma and his generation, knowledge was treasure. As dragons through the ages had done, he gathered it, and then he sat on it.

Since most of the story takes place around the palace, we barely see any of Serphina’s home life - just enough to know that her father loves her and her stepmother is kind, but her secrets keep interactions awkward. It is nice to see a royal family who care about each other rather than being distant and it is obvious, although we never get to meet Prince Rupert, that he was a good man who benefitted his country and who will be deeply missed by his family.

I liked this story a lot. Hartman uses language well and in unanticipated ways. She has filled Seraphina's world with medieval clothes and instruments; which, because I was reading this book through Overdrive, I could look up quickly on the web.

houppelande or houpelande: an outer garment with a long, full body and flaring sleeves and sometimes lined with fur, that was worn by both men and women in Europe in the late Middle Ages. The garment was later worn by professional classes and has remained as the familiar academic and legal robes of today.

aurochs: species of cattle, now extinct in our world

wimple: headdress worn by women over the head and around the neck, cheeks, and chin.

oud (Arabic): a short-neck lute-type, pear-shaped, fretless stringed instrument

4.5-5 stars ( )
  humouress | Jul 23, 2021 |
I was all set to give this 3 stars, but liked the ending enough to bump to 4. Seraphina is half human and half dragon: her mother in human form fell in love with an important lawyer and never revealed her dragonself. Family secrets are deeply buried, but Seraphina's uncle is her main tutor. Seraphina is disturbed by her mother's memories, and the human kingdom is disturbed by the murder of the prince. She falls in love with the fiancee of the princess (granddaughter of the Queen), and helps to thwart a plot by her dragon grandfather to break the peace treaty between the species. Really 3.75 stars. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Perhaps since it's not my usual genre, it took a while to get into this one, but once I did, I found it unputdownable at times. I like the universe the author has created, and her characters face all the usual trials - prejudice, war, social stigma, and a little self-harm thrown in for good measure. It is a YA book, after all. Fortunately, there's a bit of humor as well. Will read the next one when it comes out. ( )
  MuggleBorn930 | Jul 11, 2021 |
Omg love! Interesting, really different, dragons, fabulous heroine. Some aspects of the plot were a little clunky, but still, love! I read it in a day. ( )
  AmphipodGirl | May 23, 2021 |
I loved the dragons in this book! The world was very unique and well developed. ( )
  Abiquail | Apr 24, 2021 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (9 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Rachel Hartmanautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Davidson, AndrewArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kolesova, JulianaIllustrator (Title Page)autor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Palisi, HeatherDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Williams, MandyNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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I usually practiced smiling while I slathered my scales with goo, figuring that if I could smile through that, I could smile through anything. Today I really didn't have the time.
We were all monsters and bastards. And we were all beautiful.
(page 90)

"My faith should not come easily;
There is no Heaven without pain.
My days should never flutter past
Unnoted, nor my past remain
Beyond its span of usefulness;
Le me not hold to grief.
My hope, my light, my Saint is love;
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The vagabond sun winks down through the trees,
While lilacs, like memories, waft on the breeze,
My friend, I was born for soft days such as these,
To inhale perfume,
And cut through the gloom,
And feast like a king upon peaches and cheese!
I'll travel this wide world and go where I please,
Can't stop my wandering, it's like a disease.
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what I leave behind,
Though I hope to find,
My own golden city of peaches and cheese!
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I'll ask my true love, and I'll hope she agrees,
How could she not, when I'm down on my knees?
My Jill, say you will, and don't be such a tease.
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I say sweets to the sweet,
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In a world where dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce and dragons can assume human form, Seraphina, whose mother died giving birth to her, grapples with her own identity amid magical secrets and royal scandals, while she struggles to accept and develop her extraordinary musical talents.

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