Wow, okay. This took me over a week to actually finish, but not because it's bad. More because I've been busy and...the pace is honestly a bit slow. But we'll get to that.
The story is about a girl named Seraphina, who possesses and incredible amount of musical talent. She lives in a kingdom where a tenuous peace exists between humans and dragons after years of war. As the anniversary of the peace treaty approaches, Prince Rufus is murdered in such a way that many believe dragons are to blame. Seraphina ends up caught up in the investigation.
This is, in many ways, a novel about self-acceptance. Seraphina's emotional journey is extremely satisfying. She starts off hating herself and everything she is. Her connection to the dragon world makes her a secret misfit, but also provide her with unique talents and the ability to understand both cultures.
I especially enjoyed being inside Seraphina's head, quite literally, as we explore the psychic world she has built in order to contain visions and maternal memories that plague her. I found this world and it's inhabitants to be the most intriguing part of the book.
I liked Phina's interactions with Kiggs, the captain of the guard and fiance to the prince. It's not precisely a full-on romance, but there is a flirtation and a friendship that I really enjoyed.
The writing is, in itself, beautiful. The author has a real talent for clever syntax, and for building vivid imagery in very few words.
The only real flaw is the aforementioned pacing issues. There are a lot of slow parts dealing with court drama, solving the murder, and so forth. Not exactly action packed, and so it drags, and so it takes patience to finish. Just be warned of that.
It's technically a YA, but more importantly it is a classic style fantasy novel with a great story. I would recommend it to any fantasy fan. 4.5 stars.