Publisher: Random House Children's
Released: March 10, 2015
Format: Hardcover, 608 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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, the sequel and final installment in the Seraphina duology, picks up roughly three months after the events of Seraphina. Seraphina, our half dragon, half human protagonist, has become entangled in the political welfare of Goredd. Not only is Seraphina the unofficial translator between dragons and humans, but she also becomes her kingdoms official emissary.
At the behest of Queen Glissenda and Prince Lucian Kiggs, Seraphina travels to far reaching lands in search of other half-dragons who can help stave off a civil war, and a dragon invasion. I dare say that the first half of this story was a bit on the slow side as Seraphina and her entourage, which includes Abdo, travel far and wide to collect the half-dragons which she is connected to by her inner Garden of Grotesques.
Hartman does really well in creating not only the abilities of the half dragons, but the cultures of the lands they call home, and the fact that Seraphina's journey is anything but smooth because of her connection to one of the major villains of the story, Jannoula, who can enter the half-dragons minds and control them. The only one who is immune, is Seraphina but I won't spoil that story plot for you.
With Jannoula's shadow nipping at her heels at every turn, a civil war closing in quickly on Goredd, and Seraphina not able to discover where her uncle Orma disappeared to, Hartman proves that she can write the unpredictable. There are definite plot twists, surprises, and dragons galore! There is also the interesting romantic possibilities that includes Glissenda, Lucian, and Seraphina. I would have been fine either way, but to say what happens in the end, will just ruin it for future readers.
Considering that we've had to wait nearly three years for Shadow Scale, I dare say that I am a bit miffed and perhaps expected a whole lot more from this final installment, including the romance angle. This is a story that has a cast of hundreds, and Hartman does a fairly impressive job of keeping them all involved in the story. For me, the most intriguing characters were Abdo, Camba, and Pandowdy. But, let's not forget that Jannoula forces Seraphina into becoming the heroine she needs to be.
**I received this book for free from (Random House Children's Books) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**
Other Books in Series
I am giving away (1) copy of Shadow Scale to those who live in the US.
Sorry folks, but I can't afford international shipping.