“I heard a scream,” said Dame Okra. “I considered calling the Guard, but I decided to see what had happened first. Maybe someone merely saw a rat.” She sneered at Lady Corongi. “Close enough.”
Author: Rachel Hartman
Rating: Loved it
Here’s a synopsis of the book:
In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, “Some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read in fantasy.”
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
Bluestocking’s Learned Opinion: I forgot what blog featured this book, but it looked so interesting that I decided to buy it. It was wonderful. I thought that the author had a very interesting take on dragons. I just about every fantasy book that I’ve read, Eragon being the exception, dragons are pretty much beasts. They aren’t usually portrayed as having a culture or being able to learn and grow. And certainly no fantasy I’ve read has dragons as being able to take human form and be able to sire children with humans. I am hoping that in future books, the author will go into detail as to how dragons are able to assume human form.
I really liked the character Seraphina. I really felt for her trying pass as completely human. What a knife’s edge to walk everyday!!! And particularly because she worked in the castle teaching the second heir to the throne. I’m surprised that she wasn’t found out long before she was. I felt rather bad for her father. I cannot even imagine learning that the person you married didn’t even have the courtesy to tell you that they weren’t human; to have someone who supposedly “loves” you put you in such legal danger without your consent. I was somewhat annoyed with the dad for not being a loving father to Seraphina, but then this world was medieval in their attitudes. If you’ve spent a lifetime being taught that dragons are soulless, that would cause a lot of internal conflict in how to relate to your half-dragon child. All things considering, he did the best he could.
Anyway, I’m really excited to see how this series turns out!!! This promises to be a very interesting kind of war- a war of ideology and different generations. I’m hoping that the human population does a lot of changing. The dragons really gave up a lot in order to keep peace, and they get little in return but contempt. You would have thought that one of the dragons would have snapped by now.
Maybe fighting together for peace will make the difference.
Anyway, I would highly recommend this book!!!