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Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman, is a MUST-READ for anyone who enjoys complex, well-developed characters, secrecy and political intrigue, mystery, and the struggle between two cultures trying to understand each other. Request it here: http://tccl.bibliocommons.com/search?t=keyword&q=seraphina
The book opens with a mystery--who killed the Prince? The urgency of solving this mystery is complicated by the suspicious circumstances of the murder--it looks like dragons may have done it. But why would they jepoardize a forty-year treaty? If anyone can solve this mystery, it's Seraphina, whose unique insight into the habits and behavior of dragons, who are terrifying in their dragon forms, and inscrutable in their human forms. But how can Seraphina manage to solve this mystery when her own past both haunts and mystifies her?
Rachel Hartman has done a fantastic job of making a dragon-medieval(ish)-fantasy tale fresh, rather than a re-hash of other bestsellers in the genre. This book is very much character-driven rather than full of action, but it does have some action, and the suspense of all the secrets Seraphina must hide adds a lot of tension while reading. Hartman is definitely no slouch on world-building, and these dragons are definitely not the usual kind. One of the really fascinating things about the dragons is that they are almost entirely logic-driven, and therefore don't really understand most human emotions, customs, and social conventions, which adds not only occasional humor, but also an insight into what life might be like for people who have these same problems, like autistic individuals.