Best book I have read so far this year! I actually teared up at multiple points throughout. So many feels. I'll do a proper review later. **EDIT** Warning, a very gushy positive reviewSeraphina is high fantasy Younng Adult novel, but not in the watered down way some young adult novels like to pretend they are high fantasy. This novel truly is. It has it's own religion, cultures, languages, races, places and more. The effort that Rachel Hartman put into crafting her world perfectly leaves you to realise your breathless. The novel is set in the land of Goredd where the crown Prince has been murdered by what appears to be a Dragon. Tensions are high because the anniversary of the treaty where humans and Dragons declared peace is drawing near, but if Dragons really did kill the prince it could mark and end to the peace that already seems to be balancing on the edge of a knife. Seraphina, our heroine and willful musician, is drawn into the investigation due to her deep knowledge of Dragons, but the deeper she goes the more danger she gets into as things about her and her family are slowly revealed. Many people have said this book starts of slow, which it might do, but from the start I was so fascinated by the world and the characters that the pace of the book felt necessary to me and by the end I wished it would drag on more. Not a moment of the relationships or discoveries in this novel felt rushed. Everything had a very natural pace at which things were revealed so that you never saw them coming but they made sense all the same. I loved how Hartman developed her characters. None of them felt like stock YA characters that just filled the gap. Seraphina was strong willed and intelligent, always searching for answers. Her passion for her music was endearing and beautiful but at the same time she was a very flawed character. Her self-loathing was not something I often come across in YA or fantasy novels. Teenage girls are stereotypically a bit insecure in YA but Seraphina had a level of loathing I connected to because I had also been like that at her age due to the opinions of others (but for different reasons obviously) and for that it made me feel incredibly protective of her as a character.Another thing I didn't find with this book that I find with other YA is that she didn't lose her voice in my head. Sometimes YA authors make their first person characters so nondescript and lacking in personality that I feel like it's my own voice narrating, but then that makes the entire story arch of the character and their struggles pointless because they aren't my struggles and so I don't feel any sympathy or empathy for the character like I did with Seraphina. The characters around her were also more than just people for her to interact with. The love interest was kind, caring and bound to his honor in a way that sometimes made his interactions with Seraphina infuriating but understandable. He had issues in his past but not ones that turned him into a moper every chance he got to talk about them (this is what I call Edward Cullen syndrome). He also had his fun moments and even though I didn't fall for him as a character I could see the slow, bittersweetness of him and Seraphina falling in love and it broke my heart constantly. Orma was strong even though he constantly questioned his own sanity due to his actions going against his nature. Glisselda could have easily been bratty or mean but she was lovely, if a bit naive from time to time, as well as beautiful and had some real character development through out. I'm really interested in seeing the woman she will become over the next books. The writing was beautifully descriptive without ever sounding to wordy or ridiculous. It sounded wonderful in my head while still sounding like Seraphina's voice which was also perfect for her character because the words almost had a lyrical quality that fit so well with her musical gift. The best thing in this book for me was that I never guessed the outcome of anything. Unlike books like Cinder, where there's something that's a little info-dumpy so it sticks out and becomes an obvious plot point, things in Seraphina relieved themselves when they were ready to because Hartman didn't decide you needed to know some stuff and then tell you too much, she just decided to reveal things when the characters found them out or when they naturally would be talked about. This meant the whole book had a very mysterious feel to it and kept me enthralled through out. So if you can't tell already I pretty much think this is the best book I'll read in 2013 which almost makes me want to read no more books, but I won't. I constantly teared up in this book due to the deep connection I felt with the characters and not many books actually make me cry. I don't think any have made me cry more than once until Seraphina came along. I truly loved it and recommend everyone go out and read it ASAP!