The Encore is an opportunity to share older reviews and posts, and reviews of books I’ve re-read. I hope you’ll join in the conversation, share your thoughts on re-reads and older discussion posts. Enjoy!
SPOILER ALERT! Since this is a re-read, this review will probably contain spoilers. Proceed with caution!
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
I have been mesmerized by Seraphina since I first read it in 2013. It was one of my favorite books that year. The next book in the series, Shadow Scale released this year and I was lucky enough to get approved (just days before the released date) on NetGalley. I was concerned, after slogging through Clariel, that my memory had faded and I wanted to re-read Seraphina before tackling Shadow Scale. But that’s a tough battle for many readers…why re-read when there are so many other unread books begging to be read? Amazingly enough, my library just happened to have an audiobook copy of Seraphina and I took advantage of my new found love for re-reading via audiobooks.
The audiobook sucked me into the Seraphina’s world once again. I was dazzled by the uniqueness of Goredd and all its inhabitants—humans and dragons alike. Seraphina’s world of music seemed more alive to me this time because the narrator actually sang the songs! I love music. I collect movie soundtracks and cast recordings. So to actually HEAR “Peaches and Cheese” and Lin and Claude’s love long made my heart soar.
For those that have read the book, Seraphina is gifted with maternal memories—visions of her mother’s life. In the physical book, the maternal memories are denoted by a break and the text is italicized. In the book, another narrator fills in for Lin. A sterner, more mature, less emotional voice that is full of longing and regret. While these memories seemed to pop up a the most importune times for Seraphina, as a reader, I looked forward to them as I picked up on subtle hints regarding Lin’s life and the political intrigue that I had missed when I raced through the book a couple years ago. I think I identified more with Seraphina’s dual life on my first read through; ignoring Lin’s struggle, Claude’s fears and Kiggs’s devotion. On this second read through, I saw how Seraphina’s life paralleled her mother’s and father’s and how it diverged because of her courage.
And as seems to happen every time I pick up an audiobook of a physical book I have already read, my physical copy is now dotted with post-it note flags marking my favorite passages and quotes. I can’t decide if this is happening because my ear picks up on words/phrases that are emphasized by the narrator or if I’m more willing to “mark-up” my books now that I’m actively sharing my thoughts about them online.
I am certainly looking forward to reading Shadow Scale soon. Now that I have familiarized myself with Seraphina’s world again, I look forward to her adventures as she searches for others like her and fights to save her country from war. I’m happy that Seraphina maintained its status as one of the most unique fantasy novels that I have read and listened to.
The Quick Book Review
SeraphinaAuthor: Rachel Hartman
Narrator: Mandy Williams, Justine Eyre
Published on: July 10, 2012
Length: 13 hours, 15 minutes
Series: Seraphina #1
Genres: fantasy, young adult
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: four-stars
Also in this series: Shadow Scale
Originally Read: January 21 to January 27, 2013