There has been peace between humans and dragons for forty years after a treaty signed by the Ardmager of the dragons and the Queen of Goredd. Dragons can walk in human form and have jobs such as researchers, teachers, ambassadors. Even with the peace, prejudices are rampant and tensions are high between the two species at the anniversary of the treaty drawers closer. Seraphina becomes the assistant music master as one of the royal family is found dead with his head torn off and a dragon is suspected. Seraphina becomes drawn into the investigation with Prince Lucien Kiggs and Princess Glisselda, but she has much to hide. She is half dragon. As the investigation continues, she realizes that there is a plot to end the peace between humans and she must use her unusual powers to help stop it from coming to fruition.
I heard a lot of good things in the book world about Seraphina and was looking forward to seeing what all of the excitement was. After finishing the novel, I see what the fuss is about. It is amazing. However, the first third, if not first half of the novel was painfully slow for me. I could not figure out where the story was going or the plot in general. It was only the fact that I was listening to it as an audiobook and was taking a road trip to Dallas that I pushed myself through the first half. To be fair, the writing is beautiful and well done. I enjoyed listening to the words, even if not knowing the point of the story annoyed me to no end. The world building in the first half was interesting and was something I had never read before, but the action was nonexistent. Seraphina worried about people finding out she was half-dragon was the first six hours of the book and it was boring. There was a ton of description about the world, how the peace treaty came into effect and the religion of Goredd, I just don’t know if all of that was necessary for the book. Once the world building was complete, the book picked up with amazing speed. There was a love interest and someone trying to kill the royal family and the Ardmagar of the dragons. Dragonlore in this book was completely new to me. I had never read anything like it. Having the dragons transform into humans and not have any emotion at all was fascinating to read about. Especially because Seraphina is half-dragon and her struggles to gain self acceptance is heartwarming and difficult to read at times. Because the first half of the novel had little action, the reader really gets to know Seraphina. The character development in excellent for all of the characters and it is most evident in the dragons.
While I had problems with the first half, I can see that it helps set the reader up for the second half of the novel. If you can push through the first half of the book you will not be disappointed. The last half moves quickly and really is worth the read. I can understand why it has gotten so many awards.