Looking for a good dragon book with some unique twists? Here you go.
Seraphina is set in a pre-industrial world 45 years after dragons and humans agreed to a treaty and all the dragonslaying knights were exiled.
I strongly recommend reading the appendix first, because there are many terms that confused me while reading that are defined there.
It’s written in first person from the title character’s POV, a 16-year-old girl with musical talent and a mysterious past. She and most of the other characters are likable. (I was particularly fond of Orma.) There’s a lot of mystery surrounding who’s on whose side, who’s secretly all or part dragon, and what everyone’s motivations are. There aren't many action scenes, but I liked the few there are. The humor is charming, if understated.
The world-building is intriguing. The dragons can pass on memories to their unborn children with the accuracy of a Hogwarts pensieve, for example. They can also shapeshift into human guises, although it takes quite a bit of practice to pass convincingly, and they can’t fly for a few minutes after shifting back, which can be mighty inconvenient in dangerous situations. And, contrary to so many other fictional universes, here the dragons are the ones with the more advanced technology! They have the equivalent of radio receivers and clockwork devices, although they only seem to use them in human form.
Intermarriage is forbidden but half-dragon/half-human children still pop up once in awhile, with unpredictable powers and such a huge social stigma that both sides pretty much consider them “kill on sight,” and their parents’ names stricken from family trees and history.
There are a fair amount of loose ends at the end of the book, but I assume they are addressed in the sequel, which I haven't read yet. Overall, I recommend Seraphina to anyone who likes dragons.