by Rachel Hartman
I am not sure if I've mentioned it, but I think of myself as an oval peg. I have lived in this town most of my life and know just about everyone, or I know someone who knows them. But, just because I know them doesn't mean I "fit in." I suppose that is one reason I love to read. I meet new people everyday and not one of them ever judges me! When I read a summary of this book, Seraphina, it had immediate appeal, because the reviewer was selling it as "a great dragon" fantasy, about a girl who was trying to live in two different worlds. This is something with which I am familiar.
Seraphina, our hero, lives in the castle as the Mistress of Music. She lives in a land where there has been 40 years of peace between dragons and humans. During these forty years humans have become somewhat more comfortable with dragons, because they can assume human form. Seraphina is close to both humans and dragons. Seraphina has a secret. Slowly throughout the course of the book the secret is revealed, first to the reader and then to the other major characters, one by one. We are asked to accept Seraphina in spite of her secret. The major characters are, too. And, in the end, not only did I accept her, I found myself loving her, because of her secret.
My son, just finished the novel himself. And as we were discussing it, I was reminded that this is how change comes about. First, we fall in love, or like, with the person. Next, we learn about their "flaws." Finally, we soften or change our view on the matter because not having the person in our lives any more is not an option. What a wonderful theme for the making of a better world filled with understanding.