Seraphina by Rachel Hartman — Yay or Nay?

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

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 murderedβ€”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.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina’s tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they’ve turned the final page.


Okay guys, here’s the deal. I was so, so, SO excited to read Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. I love fantasy. It used to be the only genre I would ever read. Dragons just totally awe me and the idea of dragons being able to take human form in Seraphina… SO COOL!! It sounded amazing and Seraphina has a 4.17 star rating on Goodreads, which excited me even more.

Then I won a copy of the book and I was like YES! I FINALLY GET TO READ IT! …But I only made it to like page 120. I’m really, really struggling with this book. The beginning feels slow and distant and isn’t grabbing me at all. It took me like two days to even get through those 120 pages. I kept waiting for things to get better — for that hook to finally catch me. It just isn’t happening. And furthermore, the whole tending to the garden vision stuff kind of weirded me out. I feel like it’s really dominating the book right now and it’s just kind of weird…

So what do you think? Have you read Seraphina? Is there some crazy epicness yet to come? Is it worth continuing? Because I’m seriously struggling here and I don’t know if I want to keep pushing myself to finish the book. πŸ™ Looking at the Goodreads ratings, I’m starting to feel like the only person in the world who isn’t loving it.

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    1. Thanks Danny! I’m so frustrated! I’ve also read so many fabulous reviews of Seraphina and I was so excited to read it! I’m just really bummed that it’s not working out for me. This might be the first book I DNF in a long time.. years!

  1. I just finished this book yesterday! I agree the beginning is slow but I think you should continue reading it because the book really does start to pick up, imo πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much! That’s really reassuring to hear. πŸ™‚ I just needed some kind of confirmation that it does get better!

  2. Sorry you’re not liking it. :/ I really hate it when a book doesn’t grab your attention from the start. Even though I haven’t read it, I say keep going. Maybe the second half will out-shine the first. πŸ™‚ Hope it gets better for you.

    Addie R. recently posted: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
    1. Thanks for the encouragement Addie! πŸ™‚ I really hope the second half will make it all worth it!

  3. I felt the same when reading the book, I could not experience the awesomeness other readers found in this book. Overall I thought the story was a bit slow and I could not connect to the characters. And no, it doesn’t get better. πŸ™ At least it didn’t for me.

    Sabrina recently posted: Dear fellow crazies ....
  4. I have just finished this a couple of days ago. This is kind of a “calm” dragon book. It definitely starts slow; I had a lot of problems with the beginning, but I think it gets better afterwards. Give it another try. Maybe read a few chapter, and if it’s still not engaging you, then call it quits πŸ˜€

    Reem @ I Read And Tell recently posted: Short story: The Death Masquerade
    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts! πŸ˜€ It’s good to hear that it gets better towards the end.

  5. Honestly, my experience with this one was like yours – excited to read it at first, then got into it and it just…NOTHING HAPPENED. It was all “info dump, people talk, plans are made, info dump, people angst, plans are made.” But they NEVER DID anything much until like halfway through the book. I LOVE fantasy, and used to read a lot of it, but this one wasn’t great. The writing style, and Kiggs were basically the only things that saved it – and I did like the dragon lore.

    Molli recently posted: Introducing Gilmore Girls Monday!
    1. That’s definitely how I was feeling too! Ugh. On the subject of fantasy/dragon books, I hope Scorched is good! Are you going to read that?

  6. Oh no, this makes me sad! πŸ™ It definitely has a slow beginning, but to be honest the prologue had me hooked so hard that I was willing to continue through the whole thing. It definitely gets better the further you get into it though. One of my favorite things about Seraphina is the slooowwww, realistic romantic buildup. <3

    I really hope you keep reading!

    Kelley (Another Novel Read) recently posted: Interview with Lindsay Leggett – Author of Flight
  7. I just finished Seraphina and admit that I loved it, however I loved it pretty much from the beginning. I thought the mental garden was interesting and it plays a pretty big role as people from there start to play a role in Seraphina’s life. It sounds like you might not enjoy the rest of the book if you aren’t big on that aspect.

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