Seraphina, the court composer’s assistant, has a secret, but it is hard to keep a secret of this caliber when you are solving a mystery with the prince and princess of Goredd. On top of that, the leader of the dragons is coming to celebrate forty years of peace between Gerodd and the dragons, but actual relations are not what one might call peaceful.

Seraphina was published in July 2012 by Random House

Why You Should Read it:

1) wonderful world building. Always the first thing I notice in a book.In this case, the setting is based on the Renaissance era (Italy, perhaps?) except with dragons.

2) beautiful voice for Seraphina, the narrator. Not just beautiful but slightly unreliable and well-rounded and you really want to spend the whole time assuring her of everything.

3) great commentary on political topics like racism and LGBT+ and physical disabilities and mental illness.

4) all the characters. All of them. From the prince to Lars to the Princess to Seraphina’s uncle to those two merchants who seemed kindly at first but you end up side-eyeing them the rest of the book.

5) queendom is a queendom, run by women, inherited by women, enforced by women, you name it. Women.

6) a constant fear that everyone is screwed all the time and no one will have the resources to pull themselves out of any situation because their situations are rough as it is and BAM, stuff happens and your stomach flips.

7) the lack of telling in this entire novel is what captured my heart in the first place. As a writer, this is what I aspire to.

8) the sequel is out. THE SEQUEL IS OUT EVER’BODY. It’s called Shadow Scale and you should read it right after you read Seraphina because I never had that luxury but that does not mean you should be denied it as I have.

Now go, spread the love. Support your local libraries and indie bookstores. Come to me with your tears when you’re done, I’m running low on potion ingredients and I have a lot of tea for visitors.