Shadow Scale (Seraphina Series #2)608
Shadow Scale (Seraphina Series #2)608
Temporarily Out of Stock Online
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?
Praise for Seraphina:
A New York Times Bestseller
An Indie Bestseller
Winner of the William C. Morris Debut Award
Winner of the Cybil Award for Teen Fantasy and Science Fiction
An Amazon Top 20 Teen Book of the Year
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Library Journal Best Young Adult Literature for Adults Selection
A Booklist Editors’ Choice
An ABA New Voices Pick
A Publishers Weekly Flying Start Author
An ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book
An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults Book
Recipient of 8 Starred Reviews
“Beautifully written, well-rounded characters, and some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read in fantasy for a long while. An impressive debut novel; I can’t wait to see what Rachel Hartman writes next.”
—Christopher Paolini, New York Times bestselling author of Eragon
“A novel that will appeal to both fans of Christopher Paolini’s Eragon series and Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown.”
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|Publisher:||Random House Children's Books|
|Series:||Seraphina Series , #2|
|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
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 ideasomething 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 shorta black shadow against the new snowand 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 strengthand quickly trained dracomachists are not knightsthis 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."