Monday, 17 July 2017

The Audition - a prequel to Seraphina

It's quite a while since I read Rachel Hartman's Young Adult fantasy Seraphina - four years, in fact, Goodreads tells me (I do like their new feature which lets you track multiple readings, incidentally...) and it occurred to me that I still had the sequel to read. I'd been hoping it might turn up in the library, but since I swapped to using the mobile library I would have had to be organised enough to order it. And of late, in fact, I have been finding it easier to read everything on my Kindle, because holding books is too painful and tiring, and limits the other things I can do. Since I have a new garden to weed, and have developed a fiendish crochet habit lately, holding real books has had to give way - we have to compromise sometimes!

Anyhow, I'd gone online to find the sequel, and happened instead upon the prequel, The Audition. This is an excellent teaser for the book and, for me, an instant reminder of the characters and why I liked them so much. There's lots of warmth and humour and a feeling that people are complex and multi-faceted - funny, resourceful, childish, manipulative and most importantly, real. Something about Princess Glisselda in the prequel brought to mind James Thurber's princess in his short story Many Moons - since I unreservedly adore Thurber, that's a guarantee that I'm going to be back in a world of toe-curling bliss.

I'd been intending to start Shadow Scale, which is Book 2, but reading The Audition has persuaded me (viz, the Thurber echoes) that what I want to do is re-read Seraphina first - in fact, whyever hadn't I planned that from the first, since I thought it a delightfully original novel, with some truly original and fascinating dragons. If you haven't read it, why not start here with The Audition? You won't find it on Amazon, but you can download it here free:

At the end of my re-read I'll post about the book properly - for some reason I didn't get round to more than a brief comment on Goodreads when I finished it, although I know I meant to review it because I'd enjoyed it so much. After all, what's not to like with a cornucopia of dragons, music and adventurous young women?