In a world where peace between dragons and humans is shaky, at best, Seraphina is the daughter of a human man and a dragon woman. Seraphina’s mother died in child-birth and her mother’s silver blood was the first time her father realized he’d married a dragon. The scandal is so great that the dragons no longer speak her mother’s name and her father has remarried, invented a new history of his first wife and given out that the child died as well.
Seraphina is sharp-witted, musically brilliant, and has an odd menagerie of grotesques living in a garden in her mind, as well as scales around her wrist and waist. When she grows up and gets a job at the palace as the assistant music master she meets the prince and princess and with her insight into dragons is quickly pulled into a more visible role than either she or her father is comfortable with.
This is a great story, full in interesting characters in a richly detailed society. I was fortunate enough to listen to the audiobook read by Mandy Williams (with Justine Eyre as the voice of Seraphina’s mother). Williams has an oddly lisping British accent that seems just right for the character of Seraphina, but I think I would have enjoyed the book just as much if I’d read the text myself. Hopefully the next book, Shadow Scale, will be as good.