Seranfyll

Rated 4.69/5 based on 13 reviews
After having been a slave for all thirteen years of her common life, Rain's free and has nowhere to go. More

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Words: 86,520
Language: English
ISBN: 9781931011242
About Christina Daley

Christina Daley made her first book with neighborhood friends when she was four years old. They "wrote" out some semblance of lettering with crayons, cut up a cardboard box for the cover, and bound it all together with clear adhesive tape. It was brilliant.

Quite a few years later, Christina is trying her hand at writing "real" books. She lives in Dallas, Texas, with a pet plant named Herb.

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Brandy Hunt on Sep. 14, 2011 :
This book really surprised me. I usually have a problem with books targeted toward young adults. They are often either too simplistic, or they are too adult in some way that makes me uncomfortable. This book hits a nice middle ground that kept me engaged, and I would think would keep my daughter interested if she chose to read it in a few years.

The characters are sympathetic, the setting is believable, and the ideas presented are important. Lovely book.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Milda Harris on Sep. 11, 2011 :
This book was a lot of fun and hooked me into Rain's story. I kept reading wanting to hear what would happen to Rain and who Lord Seranfyll was - his back story. This book has a lot of good messages about family and of course, freedom from slavery, but it's also a fun book about magic and flying horses. I really hope there is more to the story! I want to continue reading about Rain, Coal, Snow, and Lord Seranfyll!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Katy Sozaeva on Aug. 14, 2011 :
Rain has always been a slave. She lived with and worked for the kind Lord Peachtree, but Lord Peachtree has had a bad peach harvest for the past several years, and then gambled away what little he had left. After selling off his extra land, equipment and animals, he is left with no choice but to start selling his slaves – and the latest to be sold is Rain. Taken away by a weasely and dishonest Snevil, she starts to despair after days that no one will buy her. However, late one day, a drunken Lord comes along, buys every slave that Snevil had, and then frees them. Rain, along with the boy Coal, decides to stay with Lord Seranfyll, despite the rumors that persist in naming him a devil and magic user. While Seranfyll is a mage, he is also kind and takes in the children, naming them his siblings. Rain’s adventures are just beginning.

This is a charming book, full of fun and magic – as well as danger and adventure – is one I highly recommend for anyone, from the age where they can read this up through anyone of any age. It is a delightful read and I highly recommend it.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Lauralynn Elliott on Aug. 08, 2011 :
This was a delightful book! It kept me constantly entertained with all the magic and fun, and I had a hard time putting it down. But don't think it doesn't have its serious moments. The book is about love, family, and sometimes making the wrong choices...and the consequences of those choices.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Judy Cox on July 28, 2011 :
Enjoyed reading this book, have passed it on to my 13 year old granddaughter. She should really enjoy.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Linda Ash on July 27, 2011 :
This is a complete and utter gem of a book. I would highly recommend it to middle-grade readers. It would be at home on the shelves among other favorite and beloved stories of childhood.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: ken san on July 23, 2011 :
Lovely heart-warming story of love and family. The characters are all so likable, it's such a waste to just stop on one book!! I can't help but want to read more.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Cambria Hebert on July 08, 2011 :
Title: Seranfyll
Author: Christina Daley
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: May 2011 by Christina Daley
AISN: B00508VT3Y
Format: Ebook

Rain was born into slavery; it’s all she’s ever known. She has never had any possessions and doesn’t even have a proper name. Yet, in her thirteen years of life, she has been lucky. She lives with her sister, Snow, under the control of Lord Peachtree who treats his slaves as humans.
But her life is about to change.
Because Lord Peachtree has a little problem…okay, a big problem. With gambling. And he settles a debt with Rain. So she is ripped from the only home she has known and sent off with a thief who only wants to sell her to the highest bidder.
Luck is on her side once more in the form of an eccentric man. Domrey Seranfyll comes to market one day, drawing everyone’s stares. Because he’s drunk. And he’s singing. Did I mention that he is riding backwards?
Everyone in town starts whispering, calling him the devil and watching him warily. They whisper about a flying horse and a cursed Manor. He causes quite the stir when he purchases ten slaves and then leads them from the square while still singing.
Rain isn’t sure what to make of this man and his huge manor that has been neglected for years. What is even stranger is that instead of putting the slaves to work he hands them all their name papers and sets them free.
A slave for thirteen years and a freeman for thirteen seconds, Rain has no idea what to do or where to go. So she stays. And cleans up after the passed out drunk. All the other slaves leave except for Coal, who stays behind to look after Rain.
As Rain and Coal begin to unlock the secrets of the enchanted estate (like brooms and mops that walk on their own! And apple trees that move!), they begin to wonder if the rumors they heard in town are true…could Domrey Seranfyll be the devil and would he curse them when he wakes from his drunken stupor?

Seranfyll is quite a charming tale. The pages practically gleam with glittering enchantment. If you like fairytales and the possibility that there might be more to life than meets the eye then this book is certainly for you. And if you don’t believe in such possibilities then you might after you read this book.
I’ll be honest and say that I was really doubtful when I first started this book. Only because Rain is thirteen and I was afraid that the book would be a little young to really pull me in. I myself, am not thirteen anymore, and I thought that I might not relate to her that well. In this book age is just a number because Rain is not thirteen. She has the maturity of a girl much older. Probably because of the way she was raised and her life up until the start of the book.
Even throughout the book Rain matures, which is fabulous for character development. It is really is good writing when you can see a character progress and change. Which, really, all three main characters do. They all grow in the relationships that they have with each other. And often times they test each other, they don’t always get along but they are bonded together and that makes it possibly to find their way back to what really matters.
I loved reading as Rain developed, deciding upon what kind of person she would be. She is a very gentle soul but does learn that sometimes you must speak up for yourself. She also accomplishes things and experiences things that she never thought possible…and I’m not talking magic here, though I’ll get to that. She meets the king, learns to read and write, and grows an inner confidence that shines.
Domrey is another character that grows throughout the story. In the beginning he comes off as silly, indulgent and selfish. And very, very immature. But really, deep down he feels alone and insecure. Even though it appears that his life has been charmed you learn that it hasn’t. By the end of the book you see him as a man with flaws but also a man who is fiercely loyal, generous to a fault and filled with good intentions. What he does for Coal changed everything in the way the reader viewed him. And okay…he still might be a bit immature…but do you know any guy who isn’t?
Coal is another strong character. He is stubborn, proud and jaded. The perfect contrast to Domrey and Rain. He tends to be pessimistic and lacks the dialogue to say what it is he wants to say so he comes off as gruff and abrasive. And might I add that he is far beyond the mindset of a thirteen year old.
The relationship dynamic is fantastic between these three and I loved that you could see them really working to create a family. In that respect the book seemed very real.
Now, onto flying horses and brooms that clean on their own…
Added in with all characterization was the enchantment. And I was really charmed by the manor and the things that came to life. It reminded me a lot of the castle from Beauty and the Beast and all the things that lived within its walls.
My favorite was the worn and broken mop and bucket that would work tirelessly along with Rain to clean. They were like eager puppies wanting to please their owner. The other brooms, mops and buckets were very naughty.
The flying horses were also fabulous and the knitting of magic blankets to cover their wings was just really clever.
I also, thoroughly enjoyed the apple tree who would offer its sweet fruit when asked.
There is one more thing I would like to touch on before I close. The romance element. I know you might be scratching your head here because there is not romantic element in the story. And that’s okay because it doesn’t belong. These people are building a family. The girl is thirteen and well, just because. BUT as I was reading I (and maybe it’s just me) couldn’t help but wonder as Rain aged how the relationship she had with Coal and Domrey would change. Would it? I could see the chemistry she had with both men. There was the way she argues with Coal as they were old and married to the way she and Domrey seemed to just fit together like two halves of a whole. The way she would lay in bed and watch the light in his observatory and be comforted made me think that maybe she had feelings for him she had yet to name. It would be quite the love triangle. And did Domrey feel more for Rain that a brotherly/sisterly bond? Was he merely getting to know her and allowing her to come into herself before he declared his love? And, would the three settle into a family brother/sister relationship (that they seemed to really work toward) and then any chance of more would be lost? I sincerely hope that Ms. Daley is planning a sequel…maybe fast forwarding two or three years into the future so this can be explored. And also with the all enchanting possibilities this story would make a great series.
You should read this book on a day when the dark clouds are heavy with rain and rumble with thunder because it is the type of book that you can really escape into with a blanket in your lap and a steaming drink (like a latte!) at your elbow.
So there you have it. My opinion.

This review is written by Cambria Hebert
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: John Poindexter on June 30, 2011 :
Never being a fan of Harry Potter, didn't keep me from reading this book.

I found it to be quite an easy read and you should enjoy it as well.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: TC on June 21, 2011 :
I don't generally read a lot of books that are suitable for 10 years + , but when I saw the synopsis of this book with its suggestion that fans of Harry Potter would enjoy it (I love HP) I thought I should definitely give it a try.

13 year old Rain lives in the kingdom of Yoan and is a slave in the service of a good master, but one who has racked up serious debts. Her life looks like it's taking a turn for the worse when she is sold to a slave trader and separated from sister Snow. Locked up at a slave market she sits like a piece of meat for sale, but is then bought along with several other young slaves by a drunk and eccentric young lord with a reputation. The others fear him, having heard he rides a winged horse and is the devil, and flee from the manor after he grants them their freedom. However feeling sorry for him Rain stays. Only one other slave, Coal joins her, more to protect her from Lord Domrey Seranfyll than for any other reason. Life at the charmed manor is a revelation for the new inhabitants, but all the good is outweighed for Rain by the continued separation from her sister.

I thought it was a wonderful world the author had created, and up to about the age of thirteen Celestria would have been my idea of heaven. While the language used and events in the book are suitable for the younger end of the audience it didn't feel like it was dumbed down or patronising. As well as the obvious comparison to Harry Potter it also brought to mind Disney's Fantasia with it's enchanted brooms and buckets. It held definite appeal for me, but probably wouldn't be so much of a fit for those who like their fantasy a bit darker.

The three main characters are very different but all well written, and I hope it's not too wrong that I have a bit of a crush on Domrey! The menacing Lord Morgrav provides a dose of chilling nastiness and a good foil for Lord Seranfyll. I particularly liked the way the author has made Domrey a supporter of the abolition of slavery, and worked that into the plot, and her note at the end got me thinking more about the issue in the wider context.

I found the book well paced, drawing me into the story quickly and other than a handful of typos there's not really anything negative for me to say about this wonderful charming (and charmed) book.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Jennifer McDonald on June 14, 2011 :
Seranfyll is an enchanting story that welcomes the reader into its world. The characters are delightful. Rain is a former slave who finds her life changed by the quirky Lord Domrey Seranfyll. Many think of him as a devil but he really is just a charming, magical, lonely soul. Coal is a former slave who completes the little made up family of Seranfyll. The story is whimsical with a hint of danger. The setting is not easy to identify but I believe that it was intended to be timeless.
Seranfyll is labeled for readers 10 years old and older. I am in no way a 10 year old but I found this story to be endearing. I was reminded of some of my favorite magical moments like Mary Poppins, Mickey as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and the talking objects in Beauty and the Beast. Domrey Seranfyll seems strange to the people who don’t know him. Young ladies find him handsome and other people think he is a devil. As Rain gets to know Lord Seranfyll so does the reader. His house is enchanted which exposes Rain and Coal to some amazing things that they had never seen before. I love the depth that the author gave to this character. At first he seems to be a drunk although loveable. Then a little deeper we see that he is generous and honest. I loved this character. He could be both comical and serious. Rain was a great female character. As a slave she wasn’t given choices. When she is given her name papers she decides to stay with Lord Seranfyll. At first she feels sorry for this lonely person but then their relationship changes to one of trust and family. Coal is the one who holds out the longest with sharing his affection with Lord Seranfyll and Rain. His time as a slave was quite different than Rain. Rain was treated well by her former master. Coal was not so lucky so he doesn’t accept the generosity and affections of others. He takes his time when it comes to trust.
The story itself has many aspects. The main story is about Rain’s journey from being a slave to becoming part of a family unit as a free person. When she was sold she left behind a sister, Snow. Snow plays into a page turning part of the story where Rain has to choose between her love for her sister or betraying Domrey’s trust. There is also the issue of slavery. It is a huge part of the storyline. In Yoan slavery is acceptable but not everyone agrees with it. This issue alone adds to the conflicts in the story. This is a story of love, acceptance, family, trust, honor, and so much more. Christina Daley has created something wonderful. Seranfyll charmed its way into my heart with endearing characters, fantastical storytelling, and varied themes.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Candle Star Press on June 07, 2011 :
Seranfyll, a brand new novel by Christina Delay, will take readers to a wonderful place where horses fly and houses sneeze, where mops and pails bark like dogs and clean of their own accord, where trees walk and butlers are created – willy-nilly – out of chickens. It’s a delightful place. A place of animation and imagination. A place I thoroughly enjoyed visiting.

Ms. Daley’s story is lengthy, but I never felt I was jogging in place. It flows well and contains a nice mix of action, intrigue, fantasy, dialogue and interaction between characters. In fact, this play between three well-defined characters is one of the book’s greatest strengths. Rain, a slave with a sweet, affectionate spirit; Coal, another slave whose distrustful, rude and impatient; and Domrey, the drunken, eccentric, wonderful lord.

The book is also chuck full of wit and sharp one-liners, especially from Domrey, whom I particularly enjoyed. His unpredictability kept me laughing. Knitting on the roof, dancing on the table, leaving a chicken in charge of the manor. But Seranfyll is not without its serious moments with its powerful message against slavery. At times, it feels almost Biblical, such as when Domrey invites the destitute to his banquet, or when he takes Coal’s whipping on himself. Seranfyll celebrates honor, goodness, loyalty, patriotism, friendship and love.

I must say the book is in need of a light edit to fix typos, slash some adverbs and adjectives, and eliminate “wordiness” in some sentences. But don’t let these small issues sway you in your choice. Seranfyll is magical, highly imaginative and fun. I recommend it for children age 10+ and adults who enjoy fantasy with a fairy tale flavor.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: L.M. Stull on May 27, 2011 :
Every once and awhile you read a book that moves you. A book that tackles your heart and soul with such raw emotion that you have no chance of escaping it. Today, I write about such a book. It's title? Seranfyll.

Seranfyll is a young adult fantasy novel about slaves, love, friendship, choices and consequences. I am actually near speechless at what a fantastic job Ms. Daley did at intricately weaving together each of these aspects.

We follow three main characters: Lord Domrey Seranfyll, Rain and Coal. The story begins with Rain, who, because of reasons beyond her master, Lord Peachtree's control, is forced to leave the home she has served her entire life. Rain had been about as fortunate as a slave could be. Lord Peachtree had been a kind and gentle master.

Lord Seranfyll is a noble man. A rich man. And, quite a silly man. During one of his drunken stoopers, he acquires quite a few slaves, including our dear Rain and Coal.

These three provide nothing but pure entertainment for the reader as we follow them through a world of flying horses, magic and some not very nice characters, including Lord Morgrav. There are many times throughout this book where I just simply had to laugh out loud.

Seranfyll is a heart-warming tale about what good can come in life when people care, and when people love a little.

My only complaint with the book is the unfortunate fact that it indeed had to end. I held Domrey, Rain, Coal, Hope and Quinn so very close to my heart. I really wasn't ready to part with them.

I cannot even begin to tell you how highly I recommend this book. You will laugh, cry and most certainly want to read the book again.

In closing, I leave you with a little saying from the book: “Ba-cluck!” (you're just going to have to read it to understand this one!)
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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