Author: Rachel Hartman
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: March 10th 2015
Pages: 608 (hardcover)
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?
After reading Seraphina earlier this year, I was really excited to read Shadow Scale. I really liked Seraphina so my expectations for the sequel were pretty high. And in most departments Shadow Scale fulfilled my expectations.
Shadow Scale picks up a couple of months after the final events of Seraphina. The country is on the brink of a civil war. And Seraphina is sent on a mission to find all the other half-dragons by her prince and queen. The first half of the book mainly focusses on this aspect. Seraphina travels the kingdom in her search to find all of her kin not only so that they can stop this war but also because she wants to give them a home. Rachel Hartman has a true talent when it comes to world-building. She described all the different landscapes and regions so vividly. I could imagine myself traveling in those regions; I could clearly see what everything would look like.
Each half-dragon was unique in its own way. They all had a different experience being one; some were outcasts of the society while others were perceived as gods. I really loved meeting all of them. But because I loved most of them I also found it a shame that we didn’t spend a lot of time with them. Before we could really get to know them we moved on to some new place and new character. I especially missed the characters from the first book: Lars, Viridius, Dame Okra… They were still a part of this book but we didn’t get to see them enough. But the character I missed the most was Kiggs. I loved him in the first book, certainly when he was around Seraphina. Together they are like a master mind. And in this book I had to miss him way too much. So the romance was also pushed to the background and I kind of missed it.
The first half of this novel was rather slow. There was a lot of travelling and meeting a lot of new characters. But it didn’t bother me like it normally does. And this build-up was necessary for the later parts in the book. As with the first book I couldn’t have predicted the plot twists that were revealed later on in the book. I believe that this series would have been better as a trilogy. The whole last part of the book could have been a book on itself. At times I felt like it was all a bit rushed at the end. But the biggest disappointment for me was the ending. I felt so sorry for Seraphina, it looked like she was the only one that had to make sacrifices. She lost everything, while others still had everything. It just seemed a bit unfair to me.
Overall I really liked this book. If not for a couple of things I would have given this book five stars. But now it still gets a solid four stars. If you haven’t read this series yet I would highly recommend that you do because it’s an amazing duology.