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book review

I thought I hated dragon books until I actually started reading some. Rachel Hartman burst onto the YA scene in 2012 with Seraphina, an intricately woven, dragon-filled fantasy epic named for its brilliant and magnetic main character.

Hartman's latest, a companion to Seraphina, is so awe-inspiring, smart and relatable that it seems to physically pulse. And no previous knowledge of Seraphina or the world of Goredd is necessary to get swept away in this story. After suffering immense heartbreak, loss and being written off by her family as a disgrace, Tess runs away with no plan and hope. Like the best fantasy, it overflows with pragmatic truths, but on topics you might not expect including self-worth, consent, gender roles, transitioning to adulthood and taking pleasure from sex. It reads like wisdom of the ages targeted right at people growing up in this (insane) age.

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