What it’s about: Sixteen-year-old Seraphina Dombegh is hardly like others in the land of Goredd, and not just because of her extraordinary musical talent. Her mother was a saarantras—a dragon in human form—and although the Goreddi-dragon treaty signed forty years ago frames the two species as allies, intolerance remains rampant between them. Seraphina can only keep this secret by remaining out of the spotlight, but when she becomes the assistant to the court musician, Viridius, and begins to be caught up in the multilayered intrigues of Goredd’s royal family, it becomes much more difficult. Yet she might be the only one able to uncover the plot against the dragons, the royal family, and the treaty itself. Read our full review here!
Why we chose it: Seraphina is a multilayered, engrossing fantasy novel full of well-defined characters and intricate worldbuilding. Seraphina herself is one of my favorite protagonists, equal parts sympathetic and flawed, and her emotional journey makes this book beautiful and strong: it’s about more than dragons and court intrigue, it’s about a girl who is, despite her mixed ancestry, deeply and beautifully human. The plot is full of twists and intricacies, similar to a mystery, and the world of the Southlands introduced in this novel is detailed and multifaceted. This is my favorite teen fantasy from this year--I highly recommend it!