This was a lovely, richly detailed, medieval fantasy. In this world, dragons and humans fought a war. The fortieth anniversary of the peace treaty is coming up but tensions haven't abated much. Many of the humans loathe and distrust the dragons. And there is a faction among the dragons who hate the dragon ruler who forged the peace treaty and feel that they could have won the war.Into all this tension comes Seraphina Dombegh. Seraphina is a gifted musician who is the assistant to the court musician. Seraphina is also half-dragon, half-human. This makes her an object of loathing to both humans and dragons. Her very existence is a secret that has to be kept from everyone. Her mother died when she was born and she has been raised by her father who is a human lawyer famous for defending the peace treaty.As preparations begin in the human court for celebration of the peace treaty and a visit from the leader of the dragons, tragedy strikes. Someone has killed Prince Rupert in a way that a dragon would. Seraphina becomes part of the investigation along with Prince Lucian Kiggs who is a bastard member of the Royal family and who is engaged to the Second Heir to the throne Princess Glisselda. In this tale, dragons can (and must) take on a human form when interacting with humans. This is called saarantras. Seraphina has been taught music and about the dragon world by her uncle Orma who has been living in human form. The fact that they are related is a deep, dark secret from humans and dragons alike. In fact, Prince Lucian thinks that they are lovers. There is fascinating world building in this story with a variety of customs and rivalries. The world is very realistic because of all this rich detail. But beyond exquisite world-building, this is the story of a young woman who has to learn to accept herself. Seraphina begins as someone who hates her dragon side. She sees herself as a monster. She feels condemned to loneliness for all her life. Gradually throughout the story this changes. The change comes partially from the friendship she develops with Princess Glisselda and partially from the love she feels for Prince Lucian.The characters, even the secondary ones, are well developed with strengths and weaknesses. I think I fell a little into love with Prince Lucian too. I recommend this story highly for fantasy lovers and for lovers of romance.