“Seraphina is a fantastical story where dragons and humans live peacefully amongst each other. Set in the medieval land of Goredd, it has been 40 years since the humans and dragons declared a treaty of peace amongst their peoples. While they do live harmoniously together, they still maintain split existences. The dragons are void of emotion, refusing to allow feelings to clout their analytical thinking. They do not understand feelings, and are unreceptive to the emotional world of music and art. However, the humans, from a logical perspective, intrigue the dragons. They learn to transform their bodies into human shape, which allows them to live among the humans in order to study them. Once a dragon takes human shape, it also takes on human emotion. Unbeknownst to Seraphina’s father, he fell in love with a beautiful singer and musician and secretly a dragon. Seraphina is the product of love affair: a human/dragon hybrid born from a dragon mother that died at birth. Seraphina see’s herself as an abomination, and can’t reveal her true identity for fear of violent intolerance. As the eve of the treaty’s anniversary approaches, a murder takes place that appears to be dragon instigated. Thus unravels a mystery in which Seraphina faces the threat of her true identity revealing itself, even to those that she loves.
This book has some rich vocabulary, both real and fictionalized to fit the story. This novel could work to help students can a better understanding of how to read complex text and decipher unknown words.
This book can be used in a genre study. While it is mostly fantastical, there are elements of mystery that can be used in-group discussions.
Some overarching themes that could be found in the book include accepting people and their differences. Seraphina is born as a “bi-species” half human, half dragon. There are some parallels within the Goredd society and our own society that involve civil rights. Students can discuss why intermarriage between people of different races, religions, or societies is considered controversial.