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SFF Author: Rachel Hartman

As a child, Rachel Hartman played cello and lip-synched Mozart operas with her sisters. The famous Renaissance song “Mille Regretz” first moved Rachel to write a fantasy novel rooted in music, but her inspiration didn’t end there. She wrote Seraphina while listening to medieval Italian polyphony, Breton bagpipe-rock, prog metal, Latin American baroque, and Irish sean nós. Rachel Hartman lives with her family in Vancouver BC. Learn more at Rachel Hartman’s website.



Bill Chats with Rachel Hartman

Rachel Hartman is the author of Seraphina, which my review called “nuanced,” “layered,” and marked by “complex characterization matched by depth of theme.” Ms. Hartman was kind enough to take out time from working on the sequel to answer a few questions for us. You’ll see right away that complexity and depth I was talking about; enjoy the interview and then pick up Seraphina. We’ll be giving away one copy (with an autographed bookplate) to one commenter.

Bill Capossere: Two major subjects of Seraphina,


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Seraphina: Excellent YA debut

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

To be honest, it’s tough to get too excited about books involving dragons. I mean, when is the last time you read a truly novel take on the creatures? So a tip of the hat and a heartfelt thank you to Rachel Hartman, who manages just that in her YA debut fantasy Seraphina, an excellent first novel that leaves you wanting more at the end.

The book is set in the kingdom of Goredd as it prepares to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the peace treaty between it and the neighboring dragon realm,


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Shadow Scale: Disappointing sequel

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina was a subtle, exquisitely quiet novel, nuanced and filled with sharply realized characters. I absolutely fell in love with it, placing it on my list of top reads that year, so it kills me to report that the eagerly-awaited sequel, Shadow Scale, not only failed to meet my (admittedly high) expectations, but really disappointed across the board.

Shadow Scale picks up shortly after the events of Seraphina,


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Tess of the Road: A tough start, a solid if meandering rest

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

This is the third book I’ve read by Rachel Hartman set in her fictional word. I absolutely loved the first, Seraphina, and was greatly disappointed by the second, Shadow Scale. Unfortunately, Tess of the Road (2018) falls more toward the latter than the former, making for another disappointing foray into this setting.

While set in the same world and in roughly the same timeline as the first books (it covers a lot of ground thanks to flashbacks,


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Weathering a Dearth of Ideas

Today we’re pleased to welcome Rachel Hartman, currently on a blog tour for her newest work Shadow Scale, the sequel to her very well-received Seraphina (I loved Seraphina and chose it for one of our favorite books of 2012). Today she’s writing about a problem many writers encounter at some point in their careers — writer’s block. More precisely, how she overcame hers and managed to finish Shadow Scale. As someone who has been greatly looking forward to this sequel ever since I fell in love with Seraphina,


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Next SFF Author: Linnea Hartsuyker
Previous SFF Author: A.J. Hartley

We have reviewed 8269 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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