Title: Shadow Scale
Author: Rachel Hartman
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Seraphina, book two
Star Rating: 4.5 Out of 5 Stars
This book was given to me by the publisher, Random House Children's, through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Seraphina, this book's predecessor, is one of my favorite books of all time. Dragons, beautiful, well-thought out world-building, beautiful prose. I just fell in love. So much so, that a few months ago I bought Seraphina, needing to have it. I was a little nervous about Shadow Scale, because sequels almost never seem to live up to the magic of the first novel.
Well, I'm happy to tell you guys, this book didn't disappoint. It picks up where Seraphina left off, with her making plans to leave and gather her fellow half-dragons. War is coming, and she must stop it, for her sake, her friends' sake, and the world. Forced to confront someone from her past, she realizes that she must fight with every bit of strength she has, and maybe uncover some truth about herself as well.
I loved this book: I loved the way that Seraphina's past was expanded on. I was curious about it, reading the last book, so I'm glad that Hartman gave some closure in that regard. The pacing was breakneck--once I began, I couldn't stop, though it took me a bit longer than normal to read this. I also loved the way the world-building was explained--it all made a lot more sense in this book.
And then there's Seraphina herself. I loved her character development. It was exciting to see her grow into a leader, forced by adversity and circumstance to push herself all the more. But it wasn't just her leadership that made me love her: Despite being a half dragon, she understands what it means to be human, and tries her best to do right by everyone she meets--even those who have wronged her. But what I most loved about her was that she was willing to do anything to save her world, and those she loved.
Another thing I'm nervous about with sequels is the ending--but Shadow Scale didn't disappoint me. It ended well, and all loose ends were explained. I am happily satisfied--and not giving anything away! ;) The bottom line: The explosive, exciting sequel to the smashing bestseller, Seraphina, Shadow Scale has something for everyone! Next on deck: Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman!