Monday, 6 April 2015

Review: Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication Date: March 10th 2015
My rating: 3 stars

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?

Once again Hartman wrote such a rich descriptive read in Shadow Scale, her writing was detailed yet beautiful, I can fully place myself in Seraphina’s world and experience this crazy and dangerous journey with her.

If you thought a lot happened in Seraphina, there was a lot more to wrap your head around with Shadow Scale. With the constant threat against Queen Glisselda, Seraphina was forced to go out and find some sort of defence as suggested by her uncle Orma. The defence being all the half dragon characters that resided in Seraphina’s mind; they had been put there to protect Seraphina, and Seraphina was able to tend to them from time to time, but actually finding them in real life and convincing them to come back with her to protect the Queen was a whole another story. But I was eager for Seraphina to be successful in her mission. And Seraphina had the best support possible in her friend Abdo, he couldn’t speak because of the scales that covered his tongue, but he could communicate into Seraphina’s mind instead, I appreciated this way of communication between Seraphina and Abdo because of the journey in front of them, they needed any sort of help possible.

Of course I didn’t think that Seraphina’s task would be the easiest one, but I didn’t think such a horrid character could twist and worm her way in. Once I did get to learn more of her back story I did sort of feel for her, but then she kept on latching on to the other characters and nearly wrecking all of Seraphina’s work. And it was like wherever Seraphina went, she was there when you least expected her to be, I would let my guard down assuming she couldn’t have thought far ahead right, but no of course she had found a way to worm her way in. That I got to the point where I couldn’t trust anybody. I had to be constantly on the lookout for her character. She was such a sneaky character, but it seemed that she got powerful as the story progressed; she was able to topple even the oldest and strongest of characters. Would there be any way for Seraphina to accomplish what she had been sent out to do?

Despite this other being around and being hell bent on destroying everything, I enjoyed meeting the quirky personalities of these half dragons along the way. Hartman really upped her game in introducing such a variety of characters, they were all so unique in their own ways that with so many being introduced along the way I didn’t have a hard time keeping up. Also even though we didn’t get to spend as much time as I’d hoped with these characters, a few quickly did go on to become favourites. Shadow Scale was a fantastic follow up story from Hartman; my only complaint was that we didn’t get to see much of Orma or Prince Kiggs as much as I’d hoped for. Regardless of this, the world building and Hartman’s writing was so exquisite, I have to commend her for the amount of detail and rich descriptions she weaved into her story. Although Shadow Scale takes on a different track from Seraphina, fans of the first book will not be disappointed.


  1. Awesome review Jasprit. <3 I'm so glad you liked this book. But aw, I'm sorry you didn't love it :( Sad face. I loved it a lot. But I get why you had some issues :) And omg, the villain in this book. Shudders. SHE WAS SO AWFUL. And so damn amazing too. It was awesome. I'm so happy you liked the new characters :) I did too. They were awesome. Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3

  2. I haven't read the first book yet, but I've heard great things. The villain in this book sounds disturbing and I think she's someone who'd get under my skin. I love it when villains can do that. I do love the sound of the world building. I'll try to pick it up over the summer.
    Lovely review, Jasprit!

  3. I share the same complaint as you on this one, Jasprit. I felt like Hartman created a few really strong relationships in Seraphina and wasn't able to give them as much screen time in the sequel--which I completely understand given the nature and magnitude of the story being told--but I wanted it, nevertheless. Still, I adored this duo and can't wait to see what Hartman will write next. I hope she returns to this world very soon! :)

  4. *whimpers* We don't get enough of Orma either?
    I've been trying to wrap my head around the lack of Briggs but if there isn't enough Orma how am I going to deal with all of this?? ahhhhh


    I am sad now. I'vet been waiting for this sequel too long and seeing both you and Keertana having similar complains makes me wary of the sequel and diving in. I love that the world building is still awesome and we get to meet other awesome characters but I don't like that it's at the sacrifice of not giving my favs from book 1 enough screen time *sigh*

    I will eventually read it, given how much I loved book 1, but I am going to go back and not acknowledge the fact that there won't be enough Orma and Briggs in this follow up :(

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  5. What a wonderful review, Jasprit! I expect a lot from this, but I'm terrifid of disappointment. I really want it to be as fabulous as Seraphina, but sequels so rarely are. I'd want more of Kiggs and Orma as well, I don't know that I'll enjoy the book with them mostly absent.

  6. Wonderful review, Jasprit! I haven’t read Seraphina, but I’ve heard so many praises. Maybe it’s time for me to pick it up.

  7. the writing and good world building sounds like it makes this one a nice read

  8. Lovely review, J! I haven't read the first of this series, but I'm glad the second/last book doesn't disappoint. I've heard great things in particular about her writing. :)

  9. I haven't actually read this, I have yet to read Seraphina - although, I have heard great things about both of these books. I do look forward to reading them though, the world building plot sounds amazing - Lovely review Jasprit <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

  10. I've already read Seraphina and loved it, but I've been hesitant to pick this up since I can't remember too much about the first book. I'm sad to hear that there ins't too much of Orma and Prince Kiggs here. D:

  11. This series might not be for me, but its world building sounds good. Glad you enjoyed it despite some issues. Great review!

  12. AAAAAND I still haven't read the first book. I'm so fail. I will read it as soon as I can though because despite your problems with the book, the rich descriptions and the diverse and unique cast of characters are enough to reel me in, hook line and sinker. Good thing for me that I won't have any trouble of forgetting anything because I'd be reading the two books in succession!

    Faye at The Social Potato

  13. Uhg! Characters like that drive me crazy because I want to reach in and shake the main character and tell her/him to watch out for that sneaky one!! Loved the first book, need to read this one.


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