Published by: Random House Children's Books
Goodreads link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12394100-seraphina
I have to say that it has been a really long time since I have read a high fantasy book, and I can honestly say that I cannot remember reading a better high fantasy book EVER! This is genuinely brilliant writing, and for a debut novel? I cannot wait to see where she can even go from here, she is already at the top for me.
Seraphina is a half dragon, and she is one of the only people who knows (besides her Dad and her Uncle.) She is meant to not draw attention to herself, but that all changes when she performs as a musician in front of a massive crowd, and now is an employee of the castle, and lives there as well. Seraphina is finding it more and more difficult to hide what she really is. She is always dressing in full sleeve shirts, and even 4 layers so that no one can see her scales accidentally on her arms.
The cast of characters is fantastic from Seraphina, to her instructor, her Uncle, the Princess, the soon to be Prince (Kiggs), and also a dragon that is not really revealed until later in the book. The world building is some of the best that I have read, it did take me a couple of chapters to catch on to some things and really get a feel for what it was like and how things were set up, but once I did, I felt that I was right there for the adventure along with them.
There is a Seraphina 0.5 called The Audition that I did not find out about until after I was done the book, and I do wish that I had known about it prior to reading it so that I did have a little bit of a background story going in, however, that being said, it did not take away from the pure joy I felt reading this book at all! (Here is a link to The Audition that is listed on Goodreads, it is a short 19 page story http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/books/rando-ems/Seraphina_Prequel._V142631888_.pdf if you would like to read it prior to Seraphina, I do suggest it.)
For me a lot of what I took from this book was that we all have something about ourselves that we may feel is wrong or that people will not like us for, or change their mind about how they feel about us once they find out about it. For Seraphina this is how she feels about her dragon side. Most times I think that when that something is revealed, or we talk to someone about how we feel about it, we have made it bigger in our own minds then what it really is, and it generally does not change people's view of us, or they do not see it the same way that we do meaning they do not view it as a negative, they view it pure and simple as part of who we are and what makes us, well us. My FAVOURITE line in this book is absolutely "We are all monsters and bastards, and we are all beautiful", which for personal reasons truly did touch my heart enough to make me cry.
In closing if you could not tell, this is a 5/5 for me, and I strongly advise that if you have not read this novel yet, you must add it to your to be read pile immediately!