seraphina' by rachel hartman

Book Rec List

I’m bored, home alone, and packing all my books. So here, have a list of book recommendations from yours truly!

Fantasy

  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit
    • A young girl meets a family that gained eternal life after drinking from an enchanted spring, and is left to wonder whether living forever is a blessing or a curse. It’s a fantastic book that hurts your heart in 139 pages.
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    • Six morally horrible people plan an impossible heist for selfish motivations. But the romances between the morally horrible people are somehow still very pure and wonderful. The plot also keeps you on the edge of your seat because you never have all of the information until the last possible second. And if you love fantasy worlds that include POC main characters and LGBTQ representation, this is the duology for you!
  • The Last Dragonlord by Joanne Bertin
    • Human/dragon shapeshifter romance with political intrigue. And really fun worldbuilding, too.
  • Green Rider by Kristen Britain
    • One of my favorite series. The overarching plot is wonderful, you genuinely care about all the characters, and this is one of those stories where “strong female characters” means both “well-rounded, well-developed females with agency” AND “kicks some serious ass”.
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
    • The protagonist is the villain. I wrote that correctly. Artemis Fowl is the villain. The entire series is about his personal journey from villain to hero, with all the beautiful and human mistakes throughout.
    • Also, it’s got fairies. With guns.
  • Dragon’s Milk by Susan Fletcher
    • A super fun (and quick-read) series about people smuggling dragons to safety in a world that is determined to destroy them. Also, lots of baby dragons. And dragons being dragons, and neither morally good nor evil. It’s wonderful.
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
    • The funniest fucking book I’ve ever read. God’s starting the apocalypse, but they’ve somehow managed to misplace the AntiChrist. And it just gets more insane.
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
    • One of my favorite books of all time. It has a fascinating new take on dragons, genuinely fun political intrigue, romances you root for but aren’t the focus of the plot, and a half-dragon heroine that you absolutely fall in love with. And, if you make it to the second book, Shadow Scales, there is massive LGBTQ representation. I’m talking gay and bi characters, I’m talking trans characters, I’m talking people asking “How may I pronoun you?” and strongly-implied polyamorous relationships. And dragons. And plot twists.
  • Castaways of the Flying Dutchman by Brian Jacques
    • When the Flying Dutchman was cursed to roam the sea forever, a boy and his dog who were on board are spared from the curse due to their pure hearts, are washed ashore and granted eternal life and youth. Now they roam the world helping people and getting into adventures. Don’t let the fun fool you, though, it’s fucking heartbreaking. They really don’t skimp on the “we’re immortal so everyone we love dies” angle, and the “wow, this kid looks like he’s seen some shit”. Also the first book feels much more YA than the other two.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
    • I know it’s pretty much only known as middle-school assigned reading, but this book is clever, insightful, and absolutely fantastic. I definitely stood in line to get this book autographed in high school. A boy with no imagination is sent to a crazy world of unique perspectives and interesting insights to rescue Rhyme and Reason.
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
    • That book they made us all read in 5th grade that is actually all it’s cracked up to be. It’s absolutely trippy fantasy with a sci-fi edge to it, and the characters are so utterly endearing. Personally, my favorite is A Wind in the Door, but that’s book 2.
  • The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint
    • Contemporary fantasy at its absolute best. It’s modern urban fantasy that puts the fantastic in our world in such a wonderful and beautiful way. The best part is it’s also a story about dealing with physical disabilities, trauma, past abuse, self-healing, the complexity of forging and rekindling relationships with others when one is hurting, etc. Honestly, it’s just fucking awesome.
  • Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint
    • A book of short stories (all contemporary urban fantasy), and the best way to be introduced to Charles de Lint’s writing. So, if you want to read The Onion Girl but aren’t sure you’re ready for it yet. This is the first book I ever took a highlighter to.
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
    • Do you want to crush your heart and destroy your soul and cry like a baby in 128 pages? You’ll be happy you did.
  • Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
    • This is a standalone novel, and the best way to be introduced to Sanderson’s work. This book has phenomenal and complex worldbuilding, three-dimensional characters with agency you will fall in love with, and a book-long mystery that just blows you away when you figure out the answer. If you enjoy this book, you have to read Mistborn next.
  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
    • Elantris on steroids. This is, without a doubt, the most fascinating worldbuilding I have ever encountered in literature. It’s so complicated, but completely logical, and the plot is so bewitching. And Sanderson can leave you as many clues as he wants - he will still blow your fucking mind when all the pieces come together at the end. The book takes a while to pick up the pace, but I swear to you it’s worth it.
  • Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede
    • A princess gets bored, and decides to volunteer to be a dragon’s captive. Then she gets into a ton of adventures and ends up discovering a plot to overthrow the dragon government. It’s a lighthearted, quick and fun read, and Cimorene is my fucking hero.

Classics

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    • Oh God, read Pride and Prejudice. It’s my absolute favorite book.
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
    • If you can, read the abridged copy. It’s kind of hard to find, so look for the one that was translated by Charles Wilbour and abridged by Paul Bénichou. It’s all the meat of the story and barely a third of the size.
  • Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
    • I mostly like it because it’s written from the rather limiting perspective of Raoul, which means you’re in the dark about the goings-on of the book until someone bothers to tell Raoul what’s happening. It’s actually a lot of fun.
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
    • A grim mystery wrapped up like a romance, where the second Mrs. de Winter is trying to discover what truly happened to her husband’s first wife. It’s by the woman who wrote The Birds (which you may know as the famous Hitchcock movie), if that clues you in to the vibe of the book.

  • I don’t really have enough classics on this list
A-Z Book Recommendations.

What a great idea from my friend at @macrolit :) Had to give it a go. I’ve omitted “A’s” and “The’s” from most of the titles for sake of flow.

  • A - American Gods by Neil Gaiman - A wandering modern “fantasy” that felt keenly poignant to me having grown up in the midwest. You’ll need patience for this one but this book is truly about the journey not the destination.
  • B - Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer - I’ll be honest, I never finished this series. It got a little overblown but the characters are so genuine that I held out a lot longer than I would expect of myself. This first book though is the definition of a classic middle reader. Lot of Adventure and a lovable, fierce, albeit flawed, female protagonist. 
  • C - Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess - I used to read this book every summer. It’s a rough read with some explicit violence (sexual and otherwise) but an important one I think. I recommend reading the “British” publishing which has 21 chapters (the publishers took out the last one for American audiences, because apparently we don’t like character redemption and growth *eyeroll*). The real genius of this book is the vernacular Burgess created from scratch that is truly like reading another language at first. 
  • D - Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab - Not to be cliche but I find that a lot of the titles Booklr obsesses over in the YA genre to be par-baked at best. Not the case with this series! Well developed characters that exist beyond their actions and exhibit real emotional complexity without relying on tropes and a plot that kept me turning and turning pages!

Keep reading

Why you should read the Seraphina Duology

The Seraphina Duology + The Audition are books by Rachel Hartman and I love them so much and I want people to read them and here’s why

  • There’s dragons
  • The protagonist is a young woman/teenage girl ( I can’t really remember i think she’s 16?) who is smart and kinda grumpy
  • Fantasy YA that is not girl meets boy and discovers she’s magic /he’s magic. Girl knows she’s magic and she’s fucking terrified by it
  • Speaking of which, a looooot of the books is about self acceptance/Self love
  • Also about empathy 
  • Most of the cast is female and they’re multifaceted women. There are females in the royalty and in the army and female lawyers and merchants, shy girls, prickly girls, evil women, female dragons, women of color, trans women!!!! *w*
  • In book 2 there’s a trans woman in a fairly important role and she’s cool as frick 
  • they main character is not straight and i’m incredibly happy about it, but to be fair this is not really explored 
  • the worldbuilding is so amazing
  • magic!!! 
  • the story itself is super interesting
  • there’s an entire culture where it’s considered polite to ask for people’s pronouns upon meeting them and to respect people’s pronouns and the protagonist gets called out when questioning this and it was nice
  • dragons are kinda really funny 
  • ORMA ;-;
  • Rachel Hartman (author) is just really chill and educated and talks about her kids a lot on twitter she’s cool
  • it will make you laugh and cry and keep you at the edge of your seat
  • the male love interest is a really great character he’s so smart and intuitive and i love him
  • PRINCESS GLISSELDA IS LITERALLY THE BEST CHARACTER I’VE EVER SEEN
  • STATECRAFT

anonymous asked:

Could you recommend any fantasy books about a squad of lgbt characters going on a quest to defeat a dragon or something? If that makes any sense?

For fantasy adventure with all LGBT characters, you’re probably gonna have to look toward LGBT-only publishers, so you might wanna browse Harmony Ink/Dreamspinner, Interlude/Duet, Riptide/Triton, LT3, etc. I don’t read much creature-centric fantasy, so nothing I can rec with certainty on that front!

For fantasy with squads going on quests that include some LGBT characters and dragon-esque creatures, check out Seraphina and Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (the duology gets rainbowier as it goes on, from what I hear) and The Girl at Midnight trilogy by Melissa Grey. (Also get Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst on your to-read list for 2018!) 

2

The Fionavar Tapestry trilogy by Guy Gavriel Kay Goodreads Five men and women find themselves flung into the magical land of Fionavar, First of all Worlds. They have been called there by the mage Loren Silvercloak, and quickly find themselves drawn into the complex tapestry of events. For Kim, Paul, Kevin, Jennifer and Dave all have their own part to play in the coming battle against the forces of evil led by the fallen god Rakoth Maugrim and his dark hordes.

Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch Goodreads:

An orphan’s life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains — a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans — a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.

The Ascendance trilogy by Jennifer Nielson Goodreads:

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point – he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

Seraphina series by Rachel Hartman Goodreads:

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high. Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

Goodreads:

Nora Fischer’s dissertation is stalled and her boyfriend is about to marry another woman.  During a miserable weekend at a friend’s wedding, Nora wanders off and walks through a portal into a different world where she’s transformed from a drab grad student into a stunning beauty.  Before long, she has a set of glamorous new friends and her romance with gorgeous, masterful Raclin is heating up. It’s almost too good to be true. Then the elegant veneer shatters. Nora’s new fantasy world turns darker, a fairy tale gone incredibly wrong. Making it here will take skills Nora never learned in graduate school. Her only real ally—and a reluctant one at that—is the magician Aruendiel, a grim, reclusive figure with a biting tongue and a shrouded past. And it will take her becoming Aruendiel’s student—and learning magic herself—to survive. When a passage home finally opens, Nora must weigh her “real life” against the dangerous power of love and magic.

The Lost Years of Merlin series by TA Barron Goodreads:

When Merlin, suffering from a case of severe amnesia, discovers his strange powers, he becomes determined to discover his identity and flees to Fincayra where he fulfills his destiny, saving Fincayra from certain destruction and claiming his birthright and true name.

Abhorsen series by Garth Nix Goodreads:

The Ninth was strong and fought with might, But lone Orannis was put out of the light, Broken in two and buried under hill, Forever to lie there, wishing us ill.So says the song. But Orannis, the Destroyer, is no longer buried under hill. It has been freed from its subterranean prison and now seeks to escape the silver hemispheres, the final barrier to the unleashing of its terrible powers. Only Lirael, newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, has any chance of stopping the Destroyer. She and her companions – Sam, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget – have to take that chance. For the Destroyer is the enemy of all Life, and it must be stopped, though Lirael does not know how.

The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne Goodreads:

Atticus O'Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old–when in actuality, he’s twenty-one “centuries” old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer. Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power–plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish–to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

The Heralds of Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey Goodreads:

Talia, a young runaway, is made a herald at the royal court after she rescues one of the legendary Companions. When she uncovers a plot to seize the throne, Talia must use her empathic powers to save the queen.

The Mortal Coils series by Eric Nylund Goodreads:

Nothing interesting ever happened to fifteen-year-old orphans Eliot and Fiona while they've lived in the strict, oppressive household of their grandmother. A chance visit, however, reveals that there is much more to the twins. They are the offspring of a goddess and Lucifer, Prince of Darkness. Now, to settle the epic custody battle between these two families, the fallen angels create three diabolical temptations, and the gods fashion three heroic trials to test Eliot and Fiona. More than ever they need to stick together to survive and to learn how to use their budding supernatural abilities … for family allegiances are ever-shifting in the ancient, secret world they have entered.

“That’s the secret to performance: conviction. The right note played tentatively still misses its mark, but play boldly and no one will question you. If one believes there is truth in art – and I do – then it’s troubling how similar the skill of performing is to lying. Maybe lying is itself a kind of art. I think about that more than I should.”

Seraphina, Rachel Hartman

He did not know the truth of me, yet he had perceived something true about me that no one else had ever noticed. And in spite of that—or perhaps because of it—he believed me good, believed me worth taking seriously, and his belief, for one vertiginous moment, made me want to be better than I was.
—  Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina

darklingaleks  asked:

how abt books with friendship as the theme/a group of friends?

i gotchu