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Seraphina

Rachel Hartman's fantasy tale tells of mistrust and deception between humanity and dragons.

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 murdered in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs, the captain of the Queen's Guard. While they begin to uncover a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect the secret behind her musical gift — a secret so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life. (From Penguin Random House)

From the book

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.

I remember nothing more; I was a baby, however peculiar. Blood and panic meant little to me. I do not recall the horrified midwife, my father weeping, or the priest's benediction for my mother's soul.

My mother left me a complicated and burdensome inheritance. My father hid the dreadful details from everyone, including me. He moved us back to Lavondaville, the capital of Goredd, and picked up his law practice where he had dropped it. He invented a more acceptable grade of dead wife for himself. I believed in her like some people believe in Heaven.


From Seraphina by Rachel Hartman ©2012. Published by Penguin Random House.