Before we begin, I'd like to let you know that during December and early January I will be very busy with my outside-of-the-blog duties. However, I will try to post as much as I can. You can always subscribe emails from The Reader's Perch if you want to make sure that you don't miss any posts!
As always, sequels have spoilers written all over them, and this post is not different. Nothing major, but if you haven't read SERAPHINA yet, you should skip the two summaries.
I also feel that my mind is a little addled right now, so I apologize in advance for any errors.
And just to be extra careful...
Warning: there are spoilers for SERAPHINA ahead!
Okay. Back to the fun stuff.
War is brewing between the dragons, and Goredd is in the middle of it. Deciding to aid Ardmagar Comonot, the leader of dragonkind, Glisselda, Kiggs, and Phina know an attack on Goredd's capital city is imminent. A way to help Goredd and the Ardmagar has been discovered, but the half-dragons, who are scattered around the continent, are needed to make it work. Phina, who can reach out to the other half-dragons, begins a quest to find the half-dragons and bring them together.
But there are forces working against her: the dragon generals and another half-dragon whose power and unclear loyalties make her dangerous. The journey becomes far more treacherous than originally thought, and Phina is confronted with things she wishes she could ignore. But one thing is becoming far too clear: there are some very difficult questions that need to be answered.
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?
*This also contains some spoilers. No more than the summaries, but be aware!*
Overall, a good book, but it wasn't quite as good as SERAPHINA. A lot of things that made SERAPHINA excellent weren't present.
Many existing characters did not receive much character development. There are a few exceptions, but overall, little was done in that area. This might be a result of the large number of new characters that are introduced. Another thing I found was the shift in the importance of characters; some major characters in SERAPHINA took on lighter roles and vice versa.
I did not feel any more satisfied with Abdo and Phina's relationship in this book. However, there were definitely some relationships that were explored and expanded upon in SHADOW SCALE. The addition of many other half-dragons created new relationships as well.
The next thing I am going to address is the plot. SERAPHINA did a great job walking that line of being "intricate" rather than falling into the"confusing" void. SHADOW SCALE didn't do as good of a job. It did a good job of being more "intricate" than "confusing", but there was still a little too much "confusing" in the mix.
I must say that there were certain times I wanted to hug this book simply because the plot was going in a wonderful direction. But there were also times I wanted to shake the book until the plot changed into something else; the way the battle ends was one such instance.
The writing was very good, and I enjoyed the artistic voice. Ms. Hartman has a very beautiful writing style, so it is excellent for those who enjoy a well-written book with a great vocabulary.
This book also came with a cast list and glossary, which I found extremely helpful. If you read this series, do not forget about it!
SHADOW SCALE is a fine book, but it was a tad bit disappointing as a sequel to SERAPHINA.
I would like to apologize for the spoilers crawling everywhere, but really, it was inevitable. Thank you for reading if you've made it this far!