Author Rachel Hartman debuted her first novel with Random House Children’s Books in summer of 2012, hitting the New York Times Best-Seller list instantly. The buzz for Serpahina didn’t stop there — the book is the recipient of seven starred reviews and recently won the American Library Association (ALA) 2013 Youth Media Awards’ William C. Morris Award for best debut fiction!
Inheritance cycle author and fellow dragon-lover Christopher Paolini was featured in a blurb on the back of the book, raving:
“Beautifully written. Some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read in fantasy.”
We ran a stunning review for the book on the day of the book’s launch and want to republish key parts for your reading pleasure:
“In a world where dragons can shrink themselves into human shape, a treaty was forged between the humans and the dragons so their various races could mingle in peace. Still, in the almost 40th year of this treaty, mistrust abounds between the races (particularly humans towards dragons). A tenuous peace is kept, but not without struggles, racism, and hatred.
I was only seventy pages or so into this almost 500 page book when my roommate inquired about its contents. I took almost a half-hour explaining the intricacies of the plot, the amazing character development, and the unique world. When I told her how much I had read her eyes got huge and she couldn’t believe the amount of detail in such a short span of pages. That really got me thinking about the awesomeness that is Seraphina and even more so of its author Rachel Hartman’s writing. You’d think dragons and medieval settings would feel boringly over-done with nothing unique to offer. Applying that logic to this book would be wrong. Everything about this story felt refreshingly different, even things that were familiar. That’s the gift that Hartman has with creativity.
Another wonderful thing about this book is the familiar elements of a story that make it beloved intermingled in with this distinctive world. There’s lots of personal growth, introspection and struggle for both Seraphina and many of the secondary characters. The fact that people like her father, her uncle, and her potential love interest all had demons of varying degrees made them feel much more real. And the way that Hartman ties them together, whether it be through common history like with Seraphina and her family, or common understanding as with her Prince, was done in a lovely, seemingly effortless fashion.”
We had a chance to speak with Rachel ahead of our Thursday interview with the author and asked how the highly-anticipated follow-up to Seraphina is coming along. She passed along some exclusive information on its progress:
The second book is going well. It’s much more epic in scope than the first, so the challenge for me has been to learn how to tie all the far-reaching, world-spanning elements together. We meet a lot of new characters as Seraphina goes in search of her fellow half-breeds. Fans of Abdo will be pleased to see much more of him; fans of Orma will probably want to hit me once or twice, but I’m hoping they’ll reserve judgement until the end.
Rumors abound that the follow-up to Seraphina hits store shelves in 2013. Not true, say the author and her publicist, who have confirmed that they’re currently targeting April 2014 for the book’s release. We’ll keep you updated!
Be sure to check back this week for a giveaway of ten signed copies of Seraphina, plus an exclusive interview with Rachel Hartman and Christopher Paolini, as well as a guest post from the author herself!