I’m not sure why, but I don’t seem to come across dragons in my reading much. I like them (or the idea of them at any rate, having never actually met one) well enough, but the concept seems to have been disregarded lately in favour of an abundance of vampires and zombies. Bring back the dragons! I will happily and gladly read any dragon-y offerings that come my way so get on with it, aspiring authors!
The romance is also done rather well. I can’t deal with books that shove it in your face to the point where the original purpose of the book becomes merely a subplot to the relationship, but in Seraphina it’s nothing of the sort. It’s subtle and gentle and never implies that ‘that dragon bit’ is less important than the romance. I like it and I actually hope it develops further in the sequel, which is something I never thought I’d say.
If it fell down anywhere, it was the detail. Occasionally something just wouldn’t make sense and I felt the little ‘clunk’ inside my head. Nothing major, just little things like… I don’t know, characters suddenly knowing the name of another character without ever asking for it or talking about something they overheard in a language they weren’t supposed to understand. It’s not a big thing, but it did make the overall novel seem slightly rushed and I can’t help but think it would have been a simple issue to resolve.
I also felt like the fairly intricate plot sped off before I was completely comfortable with the characters and the situation. The world-building is wonderful, but I think I would have liked to get settled a little more with the characters relationships to each other and whatever is going on in Seraphina’s head, before being expected the follow the plot completely.
To conclude, I liked Seraphina and will most definitely be purchasing the second book in the series. Still. I can’t help but feel it could have been more – it has a great plot with wonderful writing but the slightly ‘rushed’ feeling meant that it didn’t quite live up to its full potential.