Shadow Scale (Seraphina Series #2)

Shadow Scale (Seraphina Series #2)

by Rachel Hartman

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375866579
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 03/10/2015
Series: Seraphina Series , #2
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 128,791
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.90(d)
Lexile: 780L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

As a child, RACHEL HARTMAN played cello, lip-synched Mozart operas with her sisters, and fostered the deep love of music that inspired much of Seraphina. Rachel earned a degree in comparative literature but eschewed graduate school in favor of bookselling and drawing comics. Born in Kentucky, she has lived in Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, England, and Japan. She now lives with her family in Vancouver, Canada. To learn more, please visit SeraphinaBooks.com or RachelHartmanBooks.com.

Read an Excerpt

Queen Glisselda spotted the dragon first. It was a swift-moving patch of darker darkness against the night sky, obliterating stars and birthing them again.

She pointed at it, shouting, "Singleton from the west, St. Ogdo save us!" in imitation of the knights of old. She spoiled the impression slightly by bouncing on her toes and laughing. The winter wind carried the cheerful sound away; far below us the city curled under a quilt of new snow, silent and thoughtful as a sleeping child.

Trained spotters had once scanned the skies for dragon battalions from this selfsame place, atop Castle Orison's Ard Tower. Tonight it was only the Queen and me, and the approaching "singleton" was a friend, thank Allsaints: the dragon Eskar, erstwhile undersecretary at our dragon embassy. She'd helped my uncle Orma evade the Censors almost three months ago, just as the dragon civil war was breaking out.

Ardmagar Comonot, the deposed leader of dragonkind, had expected Eskar to find Orma a safe haven and then return to us in Goredd, where Comonot had established his headquarters in exile. The Ardmagar had intended to make her one of his advisors, or even a general, but months had brought no Eskar and no explanation.

She had contacted Comonot, via quigutl device, earlier this evening. Over dinner, Comonot had informed Queen Glisselda that Eskar would fly in after midnight. Then he had taken himself off to bed, leaving the Queen to wait up or not, as she saw fit.

It was a very Comonot way of dealing with things. The Queen wearied of him.

He'd said nothing about why Eskar had suddenly decided to come back, or where she'd been. It was possible he didn't know. Glisselda and I had been speculating about it to distract ourselves from the cold. "Eskar has decided the dragon civil war is dragging on too long, and means to end it single-handedly," was Glisselda's final assessment. "Did she ever glare at you, Seraphina? She could stop the very planets in their spheres."

I hadn't experienced the glare, but I'd seen the way she looked at my uncle three months ago. Eskar had surely been with him this whole time.

Glisselda and I each held a torch, intending Eskar to understand that she should land on the tower top. This was Prince Lucian Kiggs's idea--something about updrafts and a fear that she'd take out a window trying to land in a courtyard. He had left unspoken the fact that she was less likely to alarm anyone way up here. Goredd had begun to see full-sized dragons in the sky, as Comonot's allies came and went, but it would be an exaggeration to say people were used to it.

Now that Eskar was approaching, she looked too large to land on the tower top. Maybe she thought so, too; flapping dark leathery wings with a rush of hot wind, she veered south toward the far edge of town. Three city blocks still smoldered there, sending the new snow up as steam.

"What's she doing, checking out her countryman's handiwork? Some insomniac is going to see her," said Glisselda, pushing back the hood of her fur-lined cloak, her earlier merriment already dimming to fretfulness. Alas, this was her usual expression these days. Her golden curls gleamed incongruously in the torchlight.

Eskar soared into the spangled sky and then plummeted back out of the darkness, diving toward the heart of the city like a falcon after a wren. Glisselda gasped in alarm. At the last second, Eskar pulled up short--a black shadow against the new snow--and skimmed along the frozen Mews River, cracking the ice with her serpentine tail.

"And now she reveals how she might breach our defenses, flying so high our missiles and flaming pyria can't reach her. That's not how those houses were razed, Eskar!" called the young Queen into the wind, as if the dragon could hear her from such a distance. "He was already inside the walls!"

He had been the third dragon assassin Prince Lucian had flushed out, sent after Comonot by the Old Ard. The saarantras had transformed into a full-sized dragon to make his escape. Comonot had transformed in turn and killed his assailant before he could flee, but five people had died and fifty-six lost their homes in the resulting inferno.

All that destruction, caused by just two dragons. None of us dared to guess how awful the damage would be if Comonot's Loyalists failed to hold off the Old Ard and war came to Goredd in earnest.

"Lars is designing new war machines," I said, trying to inject some optimism. "And don't discount the dracomachists training at Fort Oversea." The elderly knights of the Southlands and their middle-aged squires, hastily promoted to knights, had joined together in this endeavor.

Glisselda snorted derisively, her eyes following Eskar's second circuit of the city. "Even when our knights were at full strength--and quickly trained dracomachists are not knights--this city was routinely burned to the ground. You and I have never seen the like, having been raised in peacetime."

The wind gusted, making it hard to forget how high up we were; my palms sweated in my gloves. "Comonot's Loyalists will defend us."

"I believe they will defend our people, but the city itself doesn't matter a jot to them. Lucian says we must focus on making the tunnels livable again. We survived there before, and we can always rebuild." She raised an arm and dropped it, as if she found it futile even to gesture. "This city is Grandmamma's legacy; it has blossomed in peacetime. I hate that I might have to let it go."

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Shadow Scale 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
reececo331 More than 1 year ago
Shadow Scale (Seraphina, #2) Hartman, Rachel  When I started this book, barely into the pages a young girl in one of my classes had only a few remaining pages. She finished the book during class that day; she had to talk to her friend about the elation and devastation she felt with the end of the book. I could see it would be an awesome read right then and there.  As I got into the story, reading the loneliness and terrible conditions that the Ityasaari (half-dragon) endured made me yearn to have things turn out right. The love story of Seraphina and Prince Kibbs was endearing and challenging. The events unfolding in Goredd and the rest of the Southlands on the edge of another war, are complicated by the Ityasaari Jannoula  a banished half-dragon who has hatred in her heart to destroy all Saar (dragons) and ityasaari and humans alike. The dynamics and breath of the story is amazing. I found that I was inspired by this work, and hope the author is able to print more stories in this great literary world. 
StephWard More than 1 year ago
'Shadow Scale' is the highly anticipated next installment in a thrilling young adult fantasy series. It continues to follow our main character, Seraphina, as she adjusts to the knowledge that she's half-human and half-dragon. She's honing her special skills so they aren't so sporadic and visions don't take her by surprise any time they want. As Seraphina is learning to harness and control her special gifts, a war between humans and dragons begins. The humans are fighting rebel dragons over power. The battle is raging in her land, and Seraphina learns that because of her heritage, she is the only one with the ability to stop the war and unite the kingdom - which she fulls intends to do. Convinced that the other half-breed people will only help her, she goes on a quest to find them and convince them to fight with her. Along the way, Seraphina will learn things she never dreamed possible - from terrible secrets and lies to hidden histories - and the realization that someone is trying to stop her. What makes things worse is the fact that this person is a half-breed like her, one who will stop at nothing to make sure both sides - human and dragon - are destroyed. I have to admit that due to all the hype about the first book along with the huge buzz and anticipation for this installment - I had some pretty high hopes and expectations before even opening the novel. I shouldn't have worried though, because there was nothing at all lacking from this book. It was just as magical and enchanting as the first - immediately sucking me back into Seraphina's world from the opening words and not letting me back out until I was completely finished. I felt that this book deals a lot more with the political unrest in the kingdom and the war between the humans and dragons for power. Normally those types of concepts would make me wary of a book, but I found myself eagerly reading everything to see what was going on and why - and what was going to happen next. I loved that there was a bit of a mystery thrown into the plot with Seraphina realizing that one of her own people is working against her and wants to see both the humans and the dragons destroyed. I continually tried to figure out who it might be, but I couldn't do it on my own and had to wait until it was revealed in the book. There are three major aspects to this book that made me love it so much. The first I've already described above - the plot. It was original and had tons of action and adventure - which kept me on my toes the whole time. There are a couple storylines happening at once during part of the book, and I loved that they were both written in a way that didn't confuse the reader, and also when they melted into each other to return to the main story line. The second thing is the character of Seraphina. She's an incredibly strong female lead for the book (and the series) and continues to grow and mature all the time. We see a lot of growth from Seraphina in this book - she learns that she is the key to stopping the war and uniting the kingdom, the pressure to find others like her to help fight, and overcoming several other obstacles throughout the story. She's already strong - physically and mentally - as well as smart, intuitive, determined, and willing to do whatever is needed to make things right. Because of these attributes and the various situations and problems she encounters in the book, she has to mature even more than before and in a short amount of time. She can't be so blind to things that are going on around her - she has to be alert and always on guard in case something should happen. The changes in her character are obvious at the end of the book, but seem to happen gradually in the book - which I really loved. Lastly, the main aspect of the book that I loved more than anything, was the author's writing. This is where it gets hard for me to put my thoughts and feelings into the right words and I never seem to be able to describe things enough to emphasize how incredible they are. Every part of this book was written with such attention to detail - down to the most minute details - and with such description that it truly brings Seraphina's world alive for me. I immediately felt like I was inside the story alongside Seraphina, experiencing everything that she did. The author used intense and vivid imagery along with incredibly detailed descriptions throughout the entirety of the story. As I mentioned, the world the author creates feels so realistic that I easily slipped right into it from the beginning. I could shut my eyes and see, feel, hear, smell, and taste everything in the story, from the tiniest detail to the important parts like the battles - and everything in between. The book is told from Seraphina's point of view, which is my favorite writing style. Because it's first person, we're able to know every little thing that goes on in her head - doubts, fears, dreams, hopes, insecurities, along with her inner dialogue and the story from her vantage point. By the end of the story, we feel as if we actually know her as we would a good friend or even somehow closer. Using the first person point of view also makes the book feel more conversational in tone and the flow comes naturally - like the story is being told by Seraphina to us - not the author writing it on the pages. It's this part of the book - the writing - that makes or breaks a book, for me at least. The author didn't disappoint with this novel. I was instantly mesmerized and stayed that way throughout the entire book - which is actually really long. It takes phenomenal writing to keep a reader enthralled for such a long period of time. Like I said at the beginning of my review, I can't ever seem to find the right words to describe why I loved the writing so much or what it is about the novel that made it blow my mind. I can never do it the justice it deserves. All I can say in closing is that this is one of the best books I've read this year, and by far one of the best YA fantasy books I've ever read and it's now a new favorite. I can't wait until the next book to see where the story will take us. If you're a fan of YA fantasy, paranormal fiction, action, adventure, mystery, high fantasy - or just a reader looking for something different to lose themselves in for awhile - then you need to read this book. I personally think everyone should read this book due to all the different genres it combines and because it's such an exceptional novel in every way. READ. THIS. BOOK. NOW. I promise you won't be disappointed. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
ruthsic More than 1 year ago
Shadow Scale opens up the world of Seraphina on a much more epic scale. The story begins with the dragon civil war, but it also takes us through the different kingdoms as Seraphina goes around gathering other ityasaari (half-dragons) like her. While the dragons are fighting their war, the human kingdoms are also having upheavals regarding their leadership and how their relations with Tanamoot would be continued. The story takes into it several threads, and brings them all together in an amazing finale. Seraphina's story had begun with her getting caught up in human-dragon politics and now she is becoming sort of an ityasaari ambassador of Goredd to other kingdoms. She ventures out, along with the others, to collect the other ityasaari so that they can protect the kingdom and aid in the civil war. At first, I thought it was a thin excuse to have her going around meeting everyone, but soon as one of the half-dragons from her garden starts to take centrestage, the real stakes of the story are established. Jannoula, who Seraphina had locked away in her mind, is reaching out to the other half-dragons, and her presence during the dragon civil war is not a good sign. Seraphina faces the challenge of standing against a powerful ityasaari whom she had barely outwitted the last time, and as Jannoula's influence spreads, Seraphina's allies keep dwindling. Coupled with this is the question that we had been asking in Seraphina about how rare the ityasaari are. While Seraphina takes us through each kingdom, Ninys, Sam Sam and then Porphyria, we see how the attitudes towards the dragons shapes the ityasaari in each kingdom. Ninys and Sam Sam are vehemently anti-dragon, the latter more so, and the half-dragons there live a life of seclusion. In Porphyria, however, they are given amnesty, so their treatment is different. Even so, existing political ties to Tanamoot mean that the saars living in exile there also are invested in the outcome of the dragon civil war. Seraphina's challenge is to get her allies to cooperate on a single objective, and to prevent Goredd from being ravaged by dragon armies and the new leadership of Sam Sam. The ending was a bit surprising, and considering the way it was basically a Deus Ex Machina, I also felt it was wrapped up too easily. The buildup until that point had promised a much more intense climactic scene than we got, but that worked, too, in a way. As for the world, as I said before, we get a much more complex and detailed building in this one. Much of what had already been established in Seraphina is now further examined in the light of new revelations. Also, I loved Porphyria very much, particularly because of their more open attitude towards dragons, and a much more inclusive society. In Seraphina, we had come across Lars and Viridius being Daanites (as in, gay) but here, in Porphyria, seven genders are accepted, and there is also a trans secondary character. There is also, in fact, a minor arc about gender identity and asking for pronouns, and not assuming anyone's gender, which I really liked. When it came to the romance, however, Shadow Scale took the less is more approach. Yes, Kiggs is still a love interest for Seraphina but their relationship is on the DL for Glisselda's sake. Even so, at the end, that part is resolved in a very nice manner, befitting the relationship these three characters have with each other. I wish it had been more explicit about it, rather than leave it to subtext and one line that
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this one just as much as the first book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Asome
SecondRunReviews More than 1 year ago
I read Seraphina back in 2013 and was thrilled last year to learn there would be a sequel. I was lucky enough to get approved for the ARC of Shadow Scale on Netgalley just days before its release earlier this year. I put off reading it. Seraphina was one of my top reads in 2013, I was worried that I wouldn’t remember much of the complicated world and that the sequel wouldn’t live up to the first book. To prepare myself, I checked out the audiobook of Seraphina and immersed myself in the world of Goredd again. Re-reading Seraphina helped me become familiar with the world and odd language again. Upon initial examination, I can see how the immense size of Shadow Scale (608 pages!) can be overwhelming, daunting even. And once I finished, I can understand how some might be disappointed in how Seraphina’s journey came to an end. Personally, I adored Shadow Scale. Shadow Scale gets a thumbs up from me. It goes against the typical young adult tropes of love triangles and end of the world extremes. I was mesmerized by Seraphina’s journey. I was delighted by some of her grotesques and terrified by others. There are some wonderful revelations that are deftly handled. In the end, I’m happy I decided to read Shadow Scale. I hope my library gets the audiobook version soon! Shadow Scale wraps up Seraphina’s journey of self-discovery. After years in near draconic isolation, she is forced out in the world encountering situations and feelings she has been denied because of what she is. I was fascinated by how the different countries treated Seraphina and others like her. It was a reflection of how the actual world often treats people who have real or perceived differences. I often asked myself, as I was reading, if I was more like the people of Porphyry or the citizens of SamSam when I encounter others? I hope I am like those living in Porphyry. I adored the others that Seraphina shared her journey with. Abdo was my absolute favorite. His joie de vivre poured off the page and was infectious. When Abdo graced a scene, my heart sang. I always seemed to have a smile on my face when he was bounced around the page. My heart broke when he faced the greatest villain. It was difficult to see someone so full of life suffer so greatly. Believe it or not, the dragons brought a bit a humor to the story. The Comonont is forced to stay in his saarantras for most of the novel. His bumblings and attempts to cope with human emotion brought me some laugh out loud moments. Later in the novel, the Comonot actually transforms back to his saarantras JUST to feel a certain emotion he had not experienced yet. It was quite an embarrassing moment for Seraphina! I’m sure that some readers were hoping for more romance between Kiggs and Seraphina. I was happy that it stayed in the background as they had planned near the end of book one. I was happy with how Hartman handled their relationship and didn’t mind that not all the details were shared. After all, in my opinion, this is not a book about Seraphina finding love. It’s a book about Seraphina finding herself.
CJListro More than 1 year ago
Read more: http://www.sarcasmandlemons.com/2015/04/review-shadow-scale-by-rachel-hartman.html the basics It's almost unfair to this sequel to be tied to Seraphina. It's predecessor was such a perfect book, an all-time favorite, that Shadow Scale is bound to suffer in comparison. Indeed, it's a complicated book to review. The first third or so is a bit of drudgery, a slow moving and somewhat aimless plot. I felt bored and quite nervous; I'd wanted to love this book. Thank god, I stuck with it. The brilliance of Shadow Scale hit me (to borrow a phrase from John Green) slowly, and then all at once. The stakes raise, the plot picks up, and suddenly I was unable to put it down. Seraphina becomes locked in a battle against time. She must find the other half-dragons in time to stop a devastating, international, interspecies war. She's thwarted at every turn by a devious enemy, even by her own allies. How do you fight a war when even your mind isn't safe? Life-changing secrets are revealed; cultures are explored; dragons are taught how to behave properly. It all culminates in a shocking clash of warriors and wills that could save Gorredd, or destroy it. While the ending is somewhat idyllic (and raises some questions about feasibility), it's a satisfying conclusion to the duology. And if anyone could make it work, it's Seraphina.
EverAfterEsther More than 1 year ago
Seraphina is a gorgeously written and innovative fantasy book, and it's no secret that I loved it. The opportunity that we get to read more of Rachel Hartman's work, and as a follow up to Seraphina, is a privilege for all readers. Few books are as thoughtful and creative as Shadow Scale, which perfectly compliments the beauty of Seraphina. Reasons to Read: 1. A unique fantasy world: Logic and reason play a central role in the world of Shadow Scale, and it's very interesting how Rachel has worked these characteristics into the world. The mythology behind Shadow Scale's dragons is innovative and thought out carefully. The world building in Shadow Scale is some of the best I have read, and it plays a fundamental role in the story as Seraphina ventures outside of Goredd. I love how important politics are to this world, and how they move the story along and left me quickly turning the pages to discover more. 2. Complex, developed characters: Shadow Scale features a large cast of characters, but it's important to notice how much attention is given to such a large number of characters. Each have distinctive personalities, and I had no problem remember little details about them. Despite the fact that they can't all be as well-developed as the main character, the secondary characters are treated as complex, dynamic beings. 3. A truly charming story: Considering I read Seraphina about three years ago, I was impressed by how much of the story I recalled as I was reading Shadow Scale. I became heavily invested in the lives of these characters, and I genuinely cared about what happened to each and every one of them. That made this an incredibly emotional read for me as well, as the plot is exciting and the stakes are high.  But it's for this last reason that I also had one little struggle with Shadow Scale. There is an epilogue, which did not sit as well with me as I had hoped. I cared about these characters, so I wanted to know what happens to them. I want to know about their lives and the outcomes. But the epilogue just didn't fit the rest of the story and its characters. It felt more like simply trying to wrap up all loose ends from the story, rather than following through on the events told in the previous pages; an ending that didn't feel like it fit the rest of the story. It's a small thing to point out, and the rest of Shadow Scale is breathtaking. But for this reason, Shadow Scale had just a tad less charm for me than Seraphina.  For those of you who are less familiar with Seraphina, it is a book with a slower pace than some readers may be used to reading. Please don't let that deter you - these are wonderful books, but they need to be accepted for what they are. They tend to be slower readers, but they're the type of books which can be savoured and thought over for a long time to come. I'm still thinking about Seraphina, because it's the type of book that sticks with you and leaves a lasting impression.  ARC received from publisher for review as part of a blog tour; no other compensation was received.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
"The world is seldom so simple that it hinges on us alone." The kingdom of Goredd has had an uneasy peace with the dragons found in the neighboring Tanamoot for the past forty years--a time in which the arts have flourished while Goredd's dragon-fighting tools have languished. When mounting tensions between humans and dragons threatens to draw Goredd into the middle of another treacherous war, Seraphina reluctantly finds herself as the center of the conflict. Goredd has few tools left to fight dragons save for rumors of a magical weapon used during the Age of Saints. A weapon Seraphina might be able to recreate with help from other half-dragons like herself. After spending years hiding her true self, Seraphina sets out across kingdoms to seek out the other half-dragons--beings she's only ever previously encountered in her own mind--before war breaks out. As Seraphina gathers her motley band of allies, she soon realizes that war is not the only threat to the half-dragons, her kingdom, or even herself. With so many trying to stop her, Seraphina will have to embrace her true identity, and the ramifications it will have for herself and the other half-dragons, if she has any hope of stopping this senseless war in Shadow Scale (2015) by Rachel Hartman. Shadow Scale is the highly anticipated sequel to Hartman's debut novel Seraphina. While this book does an excellent job of explaining key events from book one, it's still crucial to read these in order. Every aspect of Shadow Scale is handled brilliantly and often surpasses the achievements and charms of Seraphina, which is no small feat. This book is intricate, clever and often unexpected as many given facts from Seraphina are challenged or turned upside down. Shadow Scale picks up shortly after the conclusion of Seraphina but soon moves the story in a new direction as readers learn more about Seraphina's connection to the other half-dragons and how she uses her mind garden to interact with them. Where Hartman's first book is about Seraphina finding herself, Shadow Scale is surely about Seraphina finding her place in the world. Hartman blows Seraphina's world wide open in Shadow Scale as she crosses borders and visits neighboring kingdoms in her search for the other half-dragons. This book is the full package complete with a map and glossary to highlight all of the wonderful details that Hartman has included in this much-expanded world. The way different plot threads and pieces of this world knit together is fascinating and wondrous to behold as this story asks (and sometimes answers) questions about ethics, friendship, love and even what being family can really mean. I can't wait to see what Hartman does next. Shadow Scale is a satisfying and often surprising conclusion to a story where nothing is ever truly neat or perfect but everything does have the potential to be beautiful. Highly recommended. Possible Pairings: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn, Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine, Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Sabriel by Garth Nix, The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin *An advance copy of this book was acquired from the publisher for review consideration*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is as wonderful as its predecessor, Serephina was. These two book continue to weave connections between the worlds Rachel Hartman has populated with good, evil and the ability to connect,or contain, or free what's within each of the characters. We begin where the last book left off, with Serephina and her friends devloping ways to work with and against the others. However, it turns out that in her own way, Serephina's own mind is her worst enemy. What once was contained has outgrown its boundaries, as dragons, samsams, humans and the rest flex their own strength, to the detriment of others. The musical background to this whole book is very diminished, quiet and sad. This book wraps up some of the loose ends of the first book, and the storyline is left open for the third book. It is so hard to write about this without spoilers, however, I do love Hartman's writing, and look forward to the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not want to put this book down. As much as I loved Seraphina, I think Shadow Scale is even better. The story is full of complex, fascinating characters and complicated relationships. The heroine's travels take her on another journey of self discovery that serves as a good reminder of what we can each accomplish when we let our true selves shine.
MarieWillingham More than 1 year ago
Very good continuation of Seraphina's story. You definitely need to read Seraphina first. The beginning was a little slow, and the fantasy world gets a bit confusing at times, but it was worth all 400+ pages. A great read for all who like dragons. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KarenfromDothan More than 1 year ago
Seraphina is different from most of the people around her.  She has a very big secret.  Her secret is that she is only half human on her father’s side.  Her mother was a dragon.  The silver scales surrounding her torso and on her arms are kept well hidden.  Of all her fellow Goreddians only a select few know who or what she truly is.  For if they did know she would be avoided and feared.  Seraphina longs to be with others of her kind, and with war imminent, Seraphina is soon dispatched on a special mission to find others like herself and return with them to Goredd. This YA fantasy, sequel to Seraphina, is not your usual dragon tale.  Even if you haven’t read the first book, you will have no problem reading this one.  It seems to be about celebrating our differences and acceptance of others regardless of their ethnicity.  It’s a tale brimming with secrets and intrigue.  The characters are highly likable.  I especially thought the author did an excellent job with the story’s conniving villain.  Loads of tension right up to the very end. There is a helpful guide to characters/terms in the back of the book.  A pronunciation guide would have been nice, too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SezjbSB More than 1 year ago
Shadow Scale is the last book in the Seraphina duology, a monster of a book at six hundred pages, it's here in the length of the book that I had problems, for the amount of pages that there is there was not a whole lot of story and not a lot happened until towards the end, I struggled getting through this book, normally I can finish a book this size in about two days, but Shadow Scale took me over a week, I just wasn't in a rush to pick it up once I'd put it down. The other problem I had was with the way the book and the series ended, the whole romance situation that was hinted and teased about was a major disappointment, I was invested in the relationship between Seraphina and Kiggs and I don't understand why the author decided to do what she did, the absence of Orma throughout most of the book was greatly missed, I liked the idea of this series but sadly it didn't blow my mind, I wonder if maybe my expectations were perhaps a bit too high. I really wanted to love this series more than I actually did, I do recommend this series to all fans of the fantasy genre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beverly_Stowe More than 1 year ago
Sometimes people are not always who or what they appear to be. If we could look inside their minds, see the truth of their lives we might be surprised. Seraphina is one such character. I haven’t read SERAPHINA, but I think I missed a great story. In the novel SHADOW SCALE, Author Rachel Hartman’s sequel to SERAPHINA, I met the girl Seraphina. The truth of her life that’s she’s kept hidden is that she’s half human and half dragon. Since I love dragons, I was hooked from the moment I learned who she really is. She’s also brave and kind and does not give up easily when she has a goal to complete. Seraphina’s goal in the story is to find other half dragons and bring them together. Family is important to Seraphina, and they are her family. So she sets off to do just that, an impossible task it seems at times. Rachel Hartman paints a beautiful picture of the scenery Seraphina passes through as she travels from place to place in her search. The characters, some good, some bad are fascinating. There are a lot of characters which made it difficult for me to remember who was who at times, but the author provides a Cast of Characters that helped a great deal. There’s also a bit of forbidden romance, for romance lovers, like me. SHADOW SCALE is a story of family, of deceit, and of hope. To me the novel questions whether some people are really evil, or are they simply trying to survive the best they can, no matter what they have to do. The author has written a lovely story that will take the reader to a magical world with a heroine you hope succeeds in her quest. The publisher furnished me with an ARC of the book for my honest review. ###
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This installment of, what I assume will be a series (each book end in a way that it can be the end of the story, but leaves enough room for more if needed) was much darker than I anticipated. And that is not a bad thing, it was just kind of surprising. We start off with Seraphina hopeful, despite the civil war brewing, that she would be able to locate all the Half-dragons in her “garden” and use their abilities to help her country defend themselves in the upcoming fighting. But her hopes and dreams are literally used against her, stolen and twisted by one of her own. What I liked most about this plot is that there was no easy fix, Seraphina literally makes mistake, after mistake, after mistake....because our villain plays on her biggest weakness: her soft heart, and her loneliness. She really wants to have that family that she never got as a child. And she put all her dreams into finding these half-dragon, people who could finally relate to her, who were like her and could be her family. So letting go of that dream and those people...was the last thing she could do. And it is used against her. Her biggest weakness, though, was her fear of her own power and the part of herself what was not human. Due to fear, she tied herself up in and hid away…literally...and this handicapped her in fighting the evil they faced, and with helping her fellow dragons. So she had to fix herself before anything else. She was her own block and had to get out of her own way...like with most people really. We are out own worst enemies. I liked Seraphina. She was wishy washy, and insecure and afraid, and totally in over her head. But that made her real. You can relate. I never liked heroes that were always perfect, and always knew what to do, and were never afraid. That is not realistic. We all have flaws and doubts and hang ups...but what makes a heroine is succeed despite all of that, without necessarily fixing it all. I also loved, loved the villain of the book. If you have a good villain, with good motivation, instead of just cardboard cutout terribleness just to be terrible, then you pretty much have me. The villain’s motives and actions are completely understandable....horrifying and terrible, but based on what you learn of her and her life, you understand why she would reach this place and take the path she did. And you understand why Seraphina is so reluctant to just give up on her and the idea of saving her. The plot reveal of all the consequences that her deliberate actions brought forth was handled very well. I like that you see hints of things throughout a book, and lines of plot almost knitting together.....and then finally in the end they meet and everything makes sense. This book was very nicely paced and plotted, and it tied into the first almost seamlessly. That is not always the case for sure. Another thing I enjoyed, was the time spent on building up the secondary characters. They were also interesting, and full of surprises. That made me care more about the outcome and be as horrified as Seraphina when they were hurt. So good plot. Great characters, and good fantasy world building= enjoyable reading. Based on the questions brought up about Seraphina’s power and some of the revelations in her personal relationships with the Queen and Consort….I expect there is plenty to cover in another book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent continuation- the story manages to stay true to Seraphinas character and offer a lot of surprises at the same time. I really loved delving deeper into the world of dragon polotics and the world of Seraphinas mind garden... this book kept me on the edge of my seat. I read for three hours straight to finish it.