Ｒａｔｉｎｇ：★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
＊Ｎｏｔｅ：I received this sample from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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.
✩ Seraphina was a little reserved but was observant and intelligent.
❝ I remember being born.
In fact, I remember a time before that. There was no light, but there was music: joints creaking, blood rushing, the heart’s staccato lullaby, a rich symphony of indigestion. Sound enfolded me, and I was safe.
Then my world split open, and I was thrust into a cold and silent brightness. I tried to fill the emptiness with my screams, but the space was too vast. I raged, but there was no going back. ❞
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a sample of this book! All opinions are my own!
This mini-review is only for a sample of the book. I originally picked up this book because I saw other book bloggers speak highly of it and because I’d read her more recent book, Tess of the Road, which made me curious about her first series. With that said, let’s jump into this review.
I’m going to start off by saying her writing style is interesting, but it can be a little more formal than I may be used to for YA. Maybe formal isn’t the right word, it’s really hard to describe. I just know it’s one of those books that I can’t just read casually. I have to be paying attention because there’s so much detail and meaning put behind little things. There just tends to be little references to other characters, moments, etc. that I like to keep track off because it reveals their personalities. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just something I’m mindful of.
Then there was the history/worldbuilding. I can’t speak too much to it because I’ve only read such a small part, but I can say that I enjoyed what I saw so far. I liked the history of the war, the tentative peace between dragons and humans, and the religious aspects. I look forward to reading more when I do my full review and seeing how the worldbuilding continues to develop.
And then there was the main character, Seraphina. I actually enjoyed her character quite a bit because she seemed to be equal parts composed and awkward. She had a thing against being touched, she could understand dragons’ way of thinking, she was really observant. I’m curious to see how she grows and changes with the story into the woman we meet in Tess of the Road. And I’m also looking forward to seeing how the plot develops. Again, hard to make a judgment this early on from the sample, but I can tell it’s going to get interesting.
Overall, I think this is a very promising story!