Having come to terms with her own heritage, both dragon and human, Seraphina is back for more, following her eponymous first outing (2012).
The dragon-dragon war continues to rage, and it seems a cohort of half-dragons might make a difference. The mental garden Seraphina built to control her visions of other half-dragons is a map to that cohort, and so she crosses kingdoms to raise a different kind of army in hopes of saving the world. Along the way, Seraphina uncovers the truth of the Goreddi Saints, searches for her missing uncle, navigates a complex relationship with a man she can’t have and must come to terms with Jannoula, a powerful half-dragon who seems the shadow to Seraphina’s light. Love, betrayal and sacrifice wind throughout, all narrated in Seraphina’s appealing, slightly stiff voice. Every now and again, a book comes along that reimagines a familiar trope so magnificently it resets the bar, which is exactly what happened with Seraphina, Hartman’s debut. Here, she continues to expand her world with enough history and detail to satisfy even the most questioning of readers, doing it all so naturally that it’s hard to believe this is fiction.
Dragon fiction has never flown higher. Seraphina’s adventures may be over, but here’s hoping there are more Goreddi tales to come. (map, cast of characters, glossary) (Fantasy. 13 & up)