Author: Rachel Hartman
Series: Seraphina #2
Publisher: Random House
Source: Received from Publisher for honest review.
Seraphina took the literary world by storm with 8 starred reviews and numerous “Best of” lists. At last, her eagerly awaited sequel has arrived—and with it comes an epic battle between humans and dragons.Shadow Scale is truly a sequel which contains as much beauty as the first in the series. I'm struck immediately by Rachel Hartman's writing style, as it is so easy to become lost in her world, with these characters and the landscape that surround them all.
The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.
As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?
Shadow Scale starts off pretty much right where Seraphina ends, the changes we saw in the first book are being worked on, and Seraphina must work to unite her people with her land, and lead the way to acceptance rather than chaos for dragon kind.
What I really loved starting off about Shadow Scale was that we were able to see more of Rachel Hartman's world, becuase there is SO MUCH DEPTH within it. Each character has an extensive back story, so being able to travel and view the surrounding territories was, for me, a highlight of the novel. A character in the first novel makes an appearance that truly captivated me. This character's importance, while always semi-apparant was easily overlooked. This is reminiscent of my statement with the first book, "You blink and you miss it" and I missed it. I was truly captivated with this character's new depth and importance within Seraphina's journey and I could not turn the pages fast enough to find out what was going to happen next.
And oh, things happened. Lots of things happened...
In short, this book was fantastic, and it truly lived up to the marvel that was Seraphina. I think I actually liked Shadow Scale better than Seraphina, and yes, you read that correctly. I loved the amount of internal struggle in Shadow Scale and so many things were tied together that I was constantly being taken back by the depth of the story.
I loved the grotesques in the first book, but actually being able to delve into that world in this story made me realize that Seraphina is truly only half told - which is why Shadow Scale complements it perfectly.
I feel as if I need to reread Seraphina again just to find all the foreshadowing. It is very apparent that Rachel Hartman planned her world perfectly, and within it each character and being feels real and alive. It is truly incredible.
Of course, I was concerned from the beginning about Kiggs, because I love him, and I must say I was happy with how that story line ended.
There is some heartbreak in Shadow Scale, but it is real, powerful, and even uplifting in a way. I am hoping beyond hope that Rachel Hartman revisits the world for something, because the Epilogue left me hoping for some answers.
I must say, I am pretty indebted to Rachel Hartman's writing style at this point, in fact, I'd read her grocery lists if given the chance. Don't miss Shadow Scale! It's perfect.
Overall: All fans of Seraphina need this book. All fans of fantasy need this book. All people need to read this series. Don't miss it! You won't be disappointed!