Seraphina Audiobook, by Rachel Hartman Play Audiobook Sample

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Author: Rachel Hartman Narrator: Mandy Williams, Justine Eyre Publisher: Listening Library Audio Length: Release Date: July 2012 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780307968937

Publisher Description

Lyrical, imaginative, and wholly original, this New York Times bestseller with 8 starred reviews is not to be missed.  Rachel Hartman’s award-winning debut will have you looking at dragons as you’ve never imagined them before…

 

In the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer.

The newest member of the royal court, a uniquely gifted musician named Seraphina, holds a deep secret of her own. One that she guards with all of her being.

When a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, Seraphina is drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive—and dashing—Prince Lucien. But as the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina’s struggle to protect her secret becomes increasingly difficult… while its discovery could mean her very life.

 

"Will appeal to both fans of Christopher Paolini’s Eragon series and Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown." —Entertainment Weekly

“[A] lush, intricately plotted fantasy.” —The Washington Post

"Beautifully written. Some of the most interesting dragons I've read."

—Christopher Paolini, New York Times bestselling author of Eragon

From the Hardcover edition.

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Quotes

  • Winner of the William C. Morris YA Debut Award

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  • A YALSA Teens Top Ten Nominee

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  • Christopher Paolini, New York Times bestselling author of Eragon:

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  • After the death of Prince Rufus, in a manner suspiciously like a dragon's preferred means (decapitation), tensions run high between humans and dragons. Seraphina's position at court exposes her to aspects of both dragon and human societies. When she decides to trust Prince Lucian with her suspicions about Prince Rufus's killer, they embark on a journey that tests her loyalties and strength, and also awakens Seraphina's feelings for him.

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  • In this first of two planned books, Hartman creates a world simultaneously strange and familiar. Her dragons are as magnetic as her human characters. Teens will readily identify with Seraphina's conflicting desires: to please her family or to make her own future.

    - Starred Review, Booklist, May 15, 2012:
  • Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September 2012:"The medieval-esque world, filled with saints and dragons, is as deftly crafted as the characters themselves; Goredd has a distinct history, fraught with struggle and survival, and its residents reflect the conflicting ideologies and traditions that inform their world. Seraphina’s voice--passionate, wry, and wise--easily conveys her internal battle as a half-breed: the nonchalance of her self-loathing makes her struggle for identity even more heartbreaking. Secondary characters are given just as much nuance, and the romance between Seraphina and a bastard prince proceeds with believable hesitation and wariness, given the complications it will bring to both their lives... Readers will want to plan to return to this richly developed world to see where this intricate fantasy goes next."

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  • Starred Review, Voice of Youth Advocates:

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  • Reading this novel is like falling into Alice's rabbit hole and never wanting to come out. Fans of fantasy will devour this book, and with a little pushing, this novel could appeal to just about anyone who appreciates a fantastic read."

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  • Starred Review, School Library Journal, August 1, 2012:“Hartman creates a rich story layered with intriguing characters and descriptive settings. This unique novel will surely appeal to fans of Christopher Paolini's "Eragon" books and wherever readers enjoy fantasies.”

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  • Bookpage

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  • [Hartman's] world-building is so detailed and well-integrated, one wonders if they truly exist somewhere. An engaging and innovative fantasy that uses the plights of dragons and humans as an allegory for the real prejudices we all must face.”

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  • In medieval Lavondaville, an uneasy truce exists between dragons and humans. Narrator Seraphina is the product of a dragon mother and a human father. Dragons can disguise themselves as humans, so everyone believes Seraphina to be entirely human. Only when Seraphina's mother died in childbirth did Seraphina's father learn her true nature. Her mother left Seraphina a gift of "mind-pearls," memories triggered by specific events, and also her talent for music. Dragons are known for their technical skill, and that, together with the empathy Seraphina gained from her human father, makes her one of the finest musicians in the land. She has won a coveted position assisting the court composer.

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  • Dragon books are common enough, but this one is head and talons above the rest.

    - Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, June 6, 2012:"In this complex, intrigue-laden fantasy, which establishes Hartman as an exciting new talent, readers are introduced to a world in which dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce, with dragons taking human form, dwelling among their former enemies, and abiding by a strict set of protocols. Sixteen-year-old Seraphina, assistant to the court composer, hides a secret that could have her ostracized or even killed: she’s half-dragon, against all rules and social codes. Along with the distinctive scales she keeps hidden, she has a mind filled with misshapen personalities whose nature she doesn’t quite grasp. As Seraphina navigates the complicated politics of a court where human-dragon relations are growing ever more fragile following a royal murder, she has to come to terms with her true nature and powers, the long-dormant memories her mother hid within her, and her growing affection for charming prince Lucian. There’s a lot to enjoy in Hartman’s debut, from the admirably resourceful heroine and intriguing spin on dragons to the intricately described medievalesque setting and emphasis on music and family.
  • The dragons could destroy the humans, but they are too fascinated by them. As musician Seraphina describes it, attempting to educate the princess, humans are like cockroaches to dragons, but interesting. As the anniversary of the treaty approaches, things fall apart: The crown prince has been murdered, anti-dragon sentiment is rising, and in the midst of it all, an awkward, gifted, observant girl unexpectedly becomes central to everything. Hartman has remixed her not-so-uncommon story and pseudo-Renaissance setting into something unexpected, in large part through Seraphina’s voice. By turns pedantic, lonely, scared, drily funny and fierce, Seraphina brings readers into her world and imparts details from the vast (a religion of saints, one of whom is heretical) to the minute (her music, in beautifully rendered detail). The wealth of detail never overwhelms, relayed as it is amid Seraphina’s personal journey; half-human and half-dragon, she is anathema to all and lives in fear. But her growing friendship with the princess and the princess’ betrothed, plus her unusual understanding of both humans and dragons, all lead to a poignant and powerful acceptance of herself.

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  • Starred Review, The Horn Book Magazine, July/August 2012:“To the innovative concept and high action, add Seraphina’s tentative romance with Kiggs, rich language lively with humor and sprinkled with an entire psaltery of saints and an orchestra’s worth of medieval instruments, and a political conspiracy aimed at breaking the dragon-human truce, and what you have is an outstanding debut from author-to-watch Hartman.”

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  • An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults Books

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  • An ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book

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  • A Publishers Weekly Flying Start Author

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  • Winner of the Cybil Award for Teen Fantasy and Science Fiction

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  • Nominated for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction

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  • An ABC New Voices Pick

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  • An ABA Top 10 Kids' Indie Next List Selection

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  • A School Library Journal Best Book of the YearA Library Journal Best Young Adult Literature for Adults SelectionA Booklist Editors' Choice

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  • A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year

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  • “Splendid prose…Dragon books are common enough, but this one is head and talons above the rest.”

    - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • Seraphina makes dragons fascinating once again."

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  • SheKnows.com, June 19, 2012:"A beautifully-written fantasy debut about a young girl's journey to gain acceptance of herself.

    - Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2012:
  • In Hartman’s splendid prose debut, humans and dragons—who can take human form but not human feeling—have lived in uneasy peace for 40 years.

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  • Hartman proves dragons are still fascinating in this impressive high fantasy. Equal parts political thriller, murder mystery, bittersweet romance, and coming-of-age story, this is an uncommonly good fantasy... An exciting new series to watch."

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  • “[Hartman’s] world-building is so detailed and well-integrated, one wonders if they truly exist somewhere. An engaging and innovative fantasy that uses the plights of dragons and humans as an allegory for the real prejudices we all must face.”

    - Bookpage
  • A New York Times BestsellerAn Indie Bestseller

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  • An Amazon Top 20 Teen Book of the Year

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  • A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book

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  • “Hartman proves dragons are still fascinating in this impressive high fantasy. Equal parts political thriller, murder mystery, bittersweet romance, and coming-of-age story, this is an uncommonly good fantasy... An exciting new series to watch.”

    - Booklist (starred review)
  • “In this first of two planned books, Hartman creates a world simultaneously strange and familiar. Her dragons are as magnetic as her human characters. Teens will readily identify with Seraphina’s conflicting desires: to please her family or to make her own future.”

    - Shelf Awareness (starred review)
  • “Hartman creates a rich story layered with intriguing characters and descriptive settings. This unique novel will surely appeal to fans of Christopher Paolini’s Eragon books and wherever readers enjoy fantasies.”

    - School Library Journal (starred review)
  • “Reading this novel is like falling into Alice’s rabbit hole and never wanting to come out. Fans of fantasy will devour this book, and with a little pushing, this novel could appeal to just about anyone who appreciates a fantastic read.”

    - VOYA Magazine (starred review)
  • “A complex, intrigue-laden fantasy…There’s a lot to enjoy in Hartman’s debut.”

    - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “A beautifully-written fantasy debut about a young girl’s journey to gain acceptance of herself.”

    - SheKnows.com
  • “Seraphina makes dragons fascinating once again.”

    - io9.com
  •  “An outstanding debut from author-to-watch Hartman.”

    - Horn Book Magazine (starred review)
  • “Just when you thought there was nothing new to say about dragons, it turns out there is, and plenty! Rachel Hartman’s rich invention never fails to impress--and to convince. It’s smart and funny and original, and has characters I will follow to the ends of the earth.”

    - Ellen Kushner, award-winning author of Thomas the Rhymer
  • “A wonderful mix of thrilling story, fascinating characters, and unique dragonlore. I loved being in Seraphina’s world!”

    - Alison Goodman, New York Times bestselling author of Eon and Eona
  • “Seraphina is strong, complex, talented—she makes mistakes and struggles to trust, with good reason, and she fights to survive in a world that would tear her apart. I love this book!”

    - Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author of the Beka Cooper series
  • Beautifully written, well-rounded characters, and some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy for a long while. An impressive debut novel; I can't wait to see what Rachel Hartman writes next."

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  • Naomi Novik, New York Times bestselling author of the Temeraire series:

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  • A book worth hoarding, as glittering and silver-bright as dragon scales, with a heroine who insists on carving herself a place in your mind."

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  • Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author of the Beka Cooper series:

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  • Seraphina is strong, complex, talented--she makes mistakes and struggles to trust, with good reason, and she fights to survive in a world that would tear her apart. I love this book!"

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  • Alison Goodman, New York Times bestselling author of Eon and Eona:

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  • A wonderful mix of thrilling story, fascinating characters, and unique dragonlore. I loved being in Seraphina's world!"

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  • Ellen Kushner, World Fantasy Award-winning author:

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  • Just when you thought there was nothing new to say about dragons, it turns out there is, and plenty! Rachel Hartman's rich invention never fails to impress--and to convince. It's smart and funny and original, and has characters I will follow to the ends of the earth.

    - The Washington Post, July 3, 2012:“Full of grace and gravitas. Readers loath to turn the last page of this lush, intricately plotted fantasy will rejoice in the knowledge of next summer’s as-yet-untitled sequel.

Awards

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A 2012 School Library Journal Best Book
  • A 2012 Booklist Editors’ Choice, Books for Youth
  • A 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book
  • A 2013 Locus Award Finalist

Customer Reviews

Write a Review
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " If this spoils anyone, I am sorry in advance. I think the points that are made in the book are fantastic. From racism, to lawbreaking, detective work, then music and poems is really wonderful. With that said, the bad is the songs and the love interest in the story. I think it needed a love interest, however its ending is a head scratchier. I still think its a great tail and I would read another book in this series, if it becomes a series. "

    - Andrew, 2/20/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Truly one of the best books I've read all year! There was not a single character that annoyed me because they were too stiff! The plot moved along at a nice pace but the book wasn't too short, and the ideas were so original. Plus, the cover is gorgeous. :D I can't believe I have to wait more than a year for the sequel. >.< "

    - Ellie, 2/15/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Pretty impressive world-building. Another fave from 2012. "

    - Darilyn, 2/7/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Truly excellent. One of the best I've read in a while. "

    - Grace, 2/6/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Well, this was a great book. I can't say I loved it because it was a little too dark for my taste. However, it was clever, intelligent, thought-provoking, very interesting, and very engaging. A lot like Midnight's Children in those respects (especially it's dark quality). You know, but with dragons. It gave me a lot to think about on the matters of prejudice and truth and it left me wanting to use big words! I would definitely recommend it. "

    - Emilia, 1/30/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Seraphina was a book I could not put down, each chapter grabbed your attention and kept you intrigued with the plot. I have read Earagon and this book in my opinion is as good if not better then Eragon. "

    - Bree, 1/25/2014
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " The first 100 pages were slow, and didn't capture me. Things improved in the second half. "

    - Angelique, 1/24/2014
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Literally the most interesting dragons I've ever read about. A complicated world to enter at first, but the high stakes and the attention paid to each relationship hooked me quick. I loved this. I await the sequel. "

    - Bridget, 1/24/2014
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " It was a good book. I am not a big fan of a writer making up words when they don't need to. For example she made up a word for bathroom instead of just using bathroom. I don't like having to read a glossary before I start a book. The story was overall was good, slow to start. "

    - Sheila, 1/18/2014
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Great book that combined two of my favorite things--music and fantasy! "

    - Kim, 1/16/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Wonderful YA fiction, just exactly what I needed last week. Engaging and innovative fantasy plotline, yet still easy to identify with the main character, Seraphina. I can't wait for the next in the series! "

    - Rebecca, 1/6/2014
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Nuanced, realistic characters dealing with high stakes issues in a highly developed fantasy world - what's not to love? "

    - Juliet, 12/22/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " A wonderful fantasy with a female protagonist that will keep you reading to try and figure out the mystery. "

    - Marguerite, 10/16/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Fascinating and original, looking forward to the sequel. "

    - Melanie, 9/21/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Fantastic story of self-acceptance and growth and strength in adversity. Richly detailed world that is easy to understand and envision. Twists and turns in the plot. And a love story. I'm only sad that I now have to wait for book two. "

    - Marcia, 7/25/2013
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " It took me a couple chapters to get into this dragon tale, but eventually I could not put it down. "

    - Marta-Kate, 2/7/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " The best dragon book in years. A young half dragon trying to find her way in the human world. "

    - Marleahh, 11/27/2012
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Lovely. I think I need book #2! "

    - February, 11/10/2012
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " an interesting premise, a satisfying story and good female lead character. "

    - Jess, 9/13/2012
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Slow starter, but well worth the wait. Love the world building and new take on dragons/humans. Can I say 'thanks' for not filling it with the common youthful romance/love triangle ? "

    - Lark, 8/8/2012

About the Author

Rachel Hartman is the author of young adult novels, including Seraphina, which won the 2013 William C. Morris YA Debut Award.

About the Narrators

Mandy Williams is an audiobook narrator whose readings include Entwined by Heather Dixon, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, and Small Acts of Amazing Courage by Gloria Whelan.

Justine Eyre is a classically trained actress who has narrated many audiobooks, earning the prestigious Audie Award for best narration and numerous Earphones Awards. She is multilingual and known for her great facility with accents. She has appeared on stage, with leading roles in King Lear and The Crucible, and has had starring roles in four films on the indie circuit. Her television credits include Two and a Half Men and Mad Men.