Rachel Hartman is the author of three young adult fantasy novels: SERAPHINA, SHADOW SCALE, and TESS OF THE ROAD. Her fourth novel, IN THE SERPENT’S WAKE, will be published February 1st, 2022. Her novels have been on the New York Times bestseller list and have received many awards, including the Morris Award, the Sunburst Prize, and the Monica Hughes Award. Rachel lives in Vancouver, BC, with her husband and whippet.


Here are some of the many things famous singers haven’t been saying about Rachel:

“She’s a restless young Romantic — wants to run the big machine.” — Rush

“She’s just the beast under your bed, in your closet, in your head.” — Metallica

“Rachel (a dog) having undergone further modifications, ponders the significance of short person behaviour in panchromatic resonance and other highly ambient domains.” — Frank Zappa

“She comes in colours everywhere, but we’re not entirely convinced she combs her hair.” — The Rolling Stones

142 thoughts on “Bio

  1. Pingback: Review: Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman | Tenacity

  2. Hello Ms. Hartman. I am an avid reader of fantasy novels, and your book Seraphina is now one of my favorites. The way you put so much emphasis on music in your book was unlike any other that I have read. Music is a huge part of my life and that you were able to weave it into your story with such perfect ease made the book even more fun to read. I am so excited to read the next book that I am having a hard time thinking about anything else. Thank you for the first one, you certainly know how to make people want to read.

  3. I found Seraphina on our local Barnes and Noble bookstore, and the cover and the blurb piqued my interest (kudos on whoever did those). I bought it as a nighttime reading book for my girls (ages 8, 11, and 13) who are geeks through and through, and it hasn’t disappointed. I echo what others have said. It is a fresh, creative approach to dragons, and does an excellent job of creating a vibrant world full of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of something medieval, and yet not. Oh, and some suggested that you have a page on Wikipedia. I just went to go check out how to make one, and there is one made about Seraphina already (just FYI). If you ever make it down to Southern California, with your next book (hint hint), you’ll have fans waiting for you here!

  4. Hi! I really love Seraphina and can’t wait for the sequel, and heard that you made a comic series a long time back called Amy Unbounded that was set in the same world. I know that you can get Belondweg Blossoming through Amazon, but I heard that was only books 7-12 of the series and was wondering as to where to get the first six.

  5. Pingback: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman | let's talk about that book...

  6. Hello. I adore your prose. I’ve not had to put a book down to enjoy and savor paragraphs and sentences, since I read Ben Okri’s “The Famished Road” when I left school. Like his wonderful book, the way you describe things is enchanting. Are there any authors or books that made you feel amazed?

    Also… They say never judge a book by it’s cover. I’d of not picked your debut up if not for the artwork and that tactile card.

    Thank you,


  7. I am starting chapter 36 and I’m dreading the last page of your beautiful book! I bought it through ibooks on a whim. The blurb sounded right up my alley. My first love is historical fiction and fantasy my second. This wonderful adventure has moved me. I love the characters…all the way down to Fruit Bat and Miss. Fusspots. Your names of people, places and things are so creative. I just can’t say enough about how much I adored this touching story. Thank you for sharing your imagination with all of us readers out there. This one will be kept for my every five year repeats…(my favorites!) Can’t wait to see what you dream up next! Ps. I am a 41 year old female and I would say this is a fantastic read for anyone aged 12 and up!

  8. Hi Rachel, so I was looking for an email address so I could email you my request but since I can’t find one, I shall pitch it over here.

    My name is Nafiza (I met you briefly at the word on the street and embarrassed myself by gushing about Seraphina) and I’m a grad student at UBC pursuing an MA in children’s literature. Some of my cohort and I are running a book blog ( and our theme for January is Canadian Children’s Literature (capitalized for effect). We were wondering if you would have time for a short written interview with us. We would ask you 5-7 (hopefully intelligent) questions and give you plenty of time to respond. It’s completely okay if you are too busy but if you do have time, we would love to have you on the blog.

  9. I LOVE this book. I am very picky about using that word, but this novel deserves being loved and more. Fantastic characters and plot. I just couldn’t put the book down. I was so sad when I turned that last page. I am anxiously awaiting the continued tale of Seraphina and her quest to find the other half-dragons as the country dives back into a war with dragons; all the while keeping her heart in check with Kiggs.

  10. Just finished Seraphina on a librarian friends recommendation. I enjoyed it very much. Anxious to hear news of the sequel ? Many thanks, J

  11. Pingback: Author Interview: Rachel Hartman | The Book Wars

  12. Dear Ms.Hartman!
    em… though I think I should write formally to the unknown person, but I can’t because I’ve just read the last page of your book (finally it’s published in Russia!) and I’m overwhelmed with emotions.
    Your book – it’s plot, heroes, world are so alive, so real, it’s almost impossible to disbelieve in it.
    I’ve been reading it whole day long, just couldn’t tear myself away!
    So I want to say how I’m grateful for your work! Thank you very much for such a wonderful story!
    And of course I wish to see the sequel someday ><
    I can't wait to know more about Seraphina's story and more facts about her world – it's so intriguing and beautiful! Will we ever know St. Yirtrudis story? *_*
    Thanks you very much again…
    And sorry for all this euphoric message)
    so illogically emotional human I am))

  13. Mrs. Hartman, hello! I absolutely loved Seraphina! It truly fit into everything I, as a reader, could want from a novel; I am a musician, a flute player to be exact, and I find myself gravitating towards many fantasy novels with the ability to keep a reader’s attention; so, needless to say, Seraphina was the perfect book, in my opinion! I just finished it last night, and went searching the internet to see if there was a sequel because I really wanted to know what happens next (especially pertaining to Orma, Phina and Kiggs, and whether or not Phina found the others from her gardern…)! I read that a sequel is out, but I have found none anywhere, and no indication on this particular website, that such a sequel has been released as of yet. Has a sequel been released yet?
    Thank you,
    K.M. Cook

  14. I am currently a student in New York Secondary Ed. Graduate program, This is my first time reading this book. It is simply great from the beginning. I loved the idea of the prelude and the whole story that surrounds Seraphina is just amazing. I am at chapter 18 where Seraphina and Kiggs is on their way to find the knight James.

  15. Does a pronunciation guide exist? I work for a non-profit that records audio books for print disabled students and we like to get the pronunciations correct.

  16. Loved “Seraphina” and am eagerly waiting for the sequel. I was just wondering if you have a musical background since music is a very prominent part of the story?
    Also, I was born and raised in Kentucky and went to school in Lexington (University of Kentucky. Go Cats!)

  17. Hi! I’m making a poster about you and your book for one of my classes. I picked it out and I am loving it! I was wondering if you had any interesting personal facts or tidbits (such as favorite place you’ve lived, your favorite color, etc.) I could put on my poster. If you think of anything, please let me know!
    Thanks in advance,
    John Anthony

  18. Hi, my name is Brian and my class was given a handful of ARC’s to pick from and we are to write a paper about the book and try to contact the author. I ended up picking your book, Shadow Scale and I really like that I did. I have not had the chance to read the first book but I feel like a quick look at the plot for the first book got me up to speed. I felt like the world that you created, I felt it was well developed. Personally I’m a big lore buff so I love it when people really make it feel like a living breathing world. It was a good read!

  19. Hi, i just finished Shadow Scale and I loved it. But I was wondering if there was gonna be a third installment to the series or if it ends with Shadow Scale.

  20. Hello! I’m going to mirror everyone on your site and say that I have LOVED both of your books. I grew up reading Tamora Pierce, Anne McCaffrey, Robin McKinley, etc…. and I love when I get to add another author to that list.

    But I am SO curious about what Seraphina was thinking and feeling during that last cave scene with one of her close friends… Trying not to spoil anything, but I had intuited (and hoped) that a scene like that would happen eventually, but I still don’t know how Seraphina felt about it. Any chance you could tell me? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Seraphina does play it close to her vest, I admit. I think she felt a great number of things and will need some time to sort them all out. What they were may become evident in future books, so I really don’t feel like I can lay it all out here, alas.

      • As long as it’s addressed in future books, I’m a happy fan! I’m willing to wait to find out. Thank you so much for responding!

  21. Dear Ms. Hartman,
    I have just finished ‘Shadow Scale’ and that was incredible. Thank you for for my favorite dragons in lit., for character I will never forget, and a wonderful plot!

  22. hey, I’m doing a school project and I need your address for it. it’s a letter project. we send letters to our favorite authors. but I can’t find your address. could you please send it to me?

  23. Hey! I just wanted to say that I am a huge fan of your books! I love how you make life and the mind sound so vast and beautiful. The inside out house was an amazing idea, and I was wondering where you got the inspiration for it? The whole idea of it fascinates me.

    • When I was a teenager I read Douglas Adams’s _So Long and Thanks for All the Fish_, which contained a character called Wonko the Sane (I’m not kidding). Here’s an article about him:

      He felt that the entire world was crazy and should be put into an asylum, but the only way to do that was to build it inside-out. That image stuck with me for 25 years, and was the starting point for my own ideas on the matter.

  24. Rachel Hartman,

    I just finished Seraphina last night….and let me say, I am SO disappointed that I haven’t read this book until now. I absolutely loved the concept of it and now I am waiting (rather impatiently) for my mom to take me to the library to pick up a copy of Shadow Scale. I can’t wait for this unique series to continue and to see what happens next in it. But seriously, HOW DOES NO ONE KNOW ABOUT THIS WONDERFUL BOOK? I’ve never seen anyone I know reading it so I think it of some sort of book-lover’s-fate that I stumbled upon it in the library. I am definitely going to recommend it to all of my friends.

    Lastly, what color is Seraphina’s hair? I realize this is a rather obscure question, but I really want to draw her and I NEED to know. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful world with me,
    – Justine

    PS. I saw several copies of it at Barnes and Noble with an updated cover–might I say it is VERY cool looking. I love the whole silver-on-purple look

    • Thank you for telling your friends, Justine! Word-of-mouth is an author’s best friend.

      Seraphina’s hair is described as “the colour of strong tea.” I realize different kinds of tea are different colours, but I was thinking dark brown with the slightest hint of red.

      • Oh my gosh I just saw this! Thanks so much for taking interest…it means the world honestly. I’m just an amateur so be warned, but I’ll happily get them to you! ๐Ÿ˜€

  25. Dear Mrs.Hartman,

    My name is Cheyanne and I am from the USA.I throughly enjoyed Seraphina. It was similar

    yet so different from Chris D’Lacey’s the penny kettle dragon series and Christopher Paulinis

    Eragon series. I am a dragon fanatic and thought your books were as detailed as though I was

    Seraphina herself. I could imagine what it felt like when Orma was having his brainwashing

    done from her point of view. It was so real that I cried and felt love along with her. The dragons

    in your book are truly unique! I must agree with Tara S. on the fact that how interesting it was to

    add some romance in but not slapping it in at the start. I was shocked when Prince Lucian

    said that she was under arrest right after they hugged one another! It was utterly shocking! I also

    thought that maybe I could share one of my drawings of dragons with you.

    Also try reading Chris D’Lacey’s books they are very well written .As are yours!I hope you continue the series for the lovers of all dragons! Thank you!


  26. Pingback: Seraphina | Rebekah Von Schriltz: Young Adult Resource Reviews for LIBR 265-10

  27. Hi there!
    I just finished Seraphina, and although I haven’t yet availed myself of a copy of Shadow Scale, I will soon. Seraphina was fantastic! The characters (especially Orma, Seraphina herself, Glisselda, Abdo, Lars, Viridius… and, well, everyone), the world building, and the city atmosphere all blew me away.
    I do have one question, though: Are you planning to publish a novel or story about Queen Lavonda? I read the part about Lavonda crossing a mountain pass in the winter with the help of two goat girls to face down the dragons and got deathly curious – not just about her, but about the goat girls as well. I would love to read their story. If not, that’s totally fine, but what do you think their names were?

    • I do want to write about those girls someday, because I think they must have been very interesting and brave. Their names are not yet set in stone, however, and I’d rather not put them in writing until I’m surer. Writing them down is a commitment, you know? So glad you enjoyed Seraphina! ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. I just finished Shadow Scale about five minutes ago, so anyone who doesn’t want to be spoiled, please stop reading this comment now.

    When I finished Seraphina, I was terribly annoyed-I wanted a sequel. I was wondering aloud to a friend about how the book ended on such a note that I immediately wanted to know what happens next. “Well, have you even checked for a sequel?” My friend asked. After I replied that no, I hadn’t, we checked and I found out about Shadow Scale. I went out and bought it the next day.

    Seraphina is a wonderful heroine. I sometimes think authors try to make heroines perfect, in personality and in appearance, to make them more appealing to the audience, but Seraphina truly seems like a real person. I think her relationship to music is very interesting, especially how it connects her to her mother. If you wrote a third book, I would love to know more about the relationship to her mother and father, and about the box of maternal memories that Seraphina locked up in the first book.

    I’m mostly joking when I say this-but how dare you make me want Seraphina to be with both Lucian and Selda! I can’t choose! At the end of Shadow Scale I got the feeling that Seraphina realized she could have feelings for Glisselda, and I need to know what happens. When it was revealed that Selda was in love with Seraphina, I was taken aback, but only for a moment, because it made complete sense the way their relationship was set up. Now I want to know: for how long Selda was in love with Serphina? When did she realize it? When you say at the end of Shadow Scale, “we three knew what we were to each other; we would plan and negotiate and build our own way forward”, what does that mean? Also, it was mentioned that Glisselda would be expected to produce an heir. If there’s a third book (and I hope to St. Capiti that there is one) will that be addressed?

    On another note, did the egg that Eskat was to lay belong to Comonot or Orma? That part was a little unclear to me. Oh man, Orma. I hope there’s another book for his sake. I’m hoping Seraphina will be able to unlock the mind pearl eventually. I’m also wondering if Abdo would be back. I will say, you are devilishly good at leaving little plot nuggets behind for the next part of the story, like briefly mentioning the whole catastrophe with Jannoula in the first book.

    Another question my mom actually asked when I was trying to explain the book to her is this: “When is this supposed to take place?” Obviously it’s a fictional realm, and you’ve woven a lovely world, but is it supposed to be sort of like the Middle Ages? The word houppelande was mentioned anumber of times, and when I looked it up it was a type of clothing worn in the Middle Ages. There’s dragon and quigutl technology around, but is the dress kind of medieval-esque?

    I really enjoyed both books immensely, for many reasons, the first of which is that dragons are just plain awesome. I would love to know what your favorite book/book series is? Now that I’m waiting for your next book, I could use some recommendations! Even if you don’t write another Seraphina book, I would love to read anything you write. I hope you can answer at least some of my questions. Have a nice day.

    • To answer your mom’s question first: it’s a Medieval/Renaissance-ish fantasy, but because it’s fantasy there are also some fantastical technologies. Because why not?

      I have left some of the Lucian/Glisselda/Phina details ambiguous on purpose, partly because I like the idea of Seraphina drawing a boundary between herself and the reader and choosing to keep things to herself, but also because I want to leave room for it to grow and change and evolve, like real relationships do. A “happily ever after” where everything’s fixed and static and can’t change, doesn’t seem very happy to me.

      The egg was Comonot’s. Dragons aren’t jealous, usually. Orma’s a bit unusual, I realize, but… we’ll see. I don’t like setting things in stone before I have to.

      I am working on a second duology, set in the same world, focused on one of Seraphina’s half-sisters, tentatively called “Tess in Boots.”

  29. Hello! My name is Sarafina. And yes, its the same pronounciation as the book Seraphina. I absolutely adore your book. It gave me a sense of belonging and like I, myself, was in the book, and had scales (I have an extra Canine tooth if that counts).
    But Seraphina fits my description of myself perfectly, too. Which made me feel even more as if the book was written for me. I am in my High School’s women’s choir( I am 18), along with an elite singing group in my high school as well. I imagined myself in the book, with my brown eyes and hair, and slender, dressed in beautiful gowns that fit the time period.
    I loved reading this book and believe it was me, kissing a prince, and it was me, side-by-side with dragons. It is an amazing book, and I love that it reminds me of myself.
    Sorry if I talk a lot! But in all honesty, this book is a favorite of mine. And thank you, so much, for making this book!

  30. I very much loved both Seraphina and Shadow Scale. Then I come to your webpage and find out that you are a fellow Kentuckian. You are my new favorite author. Thanks for providing a new world to fall in love with. It is very refreshing and I seriously hope you continue the story.

  31. Hi Ms. Hartman!
    I read Seraphina a few years ago, and since then it’s become one of my favorite books (and series, actually). In the last few months I composed a piece for strings heavily influenced by Seraphina’s journey, and I was wondering if it would be alright if titled it with Seraphina’s name or by finding a quote from the books. If you would prefer that I didn’t, I’d be happy to figure out a different title. Please let me know!

    Cassidy T.

    • Cassidy! I don’t know how I missed this comment previously, and I am so sorry to be so slow getting back to you. I would be honoured for you to name your composition after Seraphina or with a quote from the book.

  32. Thank you. As a nonbinary person who read these books in high school, not knowing who i was, i had no idea that gender could be different from my assigned gender at birth. Shadow Scale was the first time reading the word “misgendered”.
    Now as an adult i am openly weeping in joy at the representations in this book. I cannot begin to describe my gratitude at this representation. Thank you so very much.

  33. Almost finished Seraphina (and absolutely loving it), and I came across the line, “Eskar, go.”
    That was intentional, wasn’t it?

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