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SeraphinaIn the magical kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans have peacefully co-existed under a peace treaty for many years. In Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina, dragons have the ability to morph into a human-like appearance. They live and work as ambassadors and teachers. Seraphina Dombegh is an assistant musical mistress and she works for the royal family. She also has a secret.

This novel was published in 2012, and I bought it shortly after it came out. I started it and then put it aside because it was a little hard to get into. It’s different. I picked it back up again after reading a review that made me realize I might have missed something great. While at times, I had difficulty with some of the terminology and keeping track of who was who character-wise, I loved this book. I am so glad I gave it another try. It was amazing. This is a story that has stuck with me, and I find myself still thinking of the characters and wondering what will happen to them next. I existed in that magical kingdom for several days and don’t want to leave it yet. Unfortunately, the sequel is not out until March 2015.

Ms. Hartman writes a story that is believable although I’m still not quite sure I get the “garden of grotesques”. Seraphina has visions, and she learns to manage them by keeping them all in a garden in her mind. Every time the book said she visited the garden, I kept thinking she was physically outside until she started talking to one of the characters from one of her visions and then I’d have to stop for a second and re-think what I had read. I really liked the romantic part of the story, and I loved that Seraphina decides to be truthful and speak her mind. That happens so rarely in YA stories.

If you are looking for a magical story, and you like dragons, I think you will like this book, too. I am really looking forward to March 2015.