Shadow Scale (review)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Title: Shadow Scale (Seraphina #2)
Author: Rachel Hartman
Release Date: March 10th, 2015
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: YA
Source: NetGalley
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?”
RELATED: Seraphina (Seraphina #1)

*Received a copy via NetGalley for an honest review.*

I have to say I am torn on this one. When I read Seraphina, overall I enjoyed the story. It had its slow moments, but the world was fun and the characters were entertaining. So I was super excited to be approved to read Shadow Scale via NetGalley.

Book two started with a prologue written by a future scholar who was looking back on past events, recalling the very events that made up book two. Right away I got this gut feeling that a certain plotline was going to turn out in a way I wasn’t particularly fond of. So I started reading this book with a hesitant mindset.

This book was all about preparing for war and assembling the pieces to the puzzle of the human-dragon hybrids that we started to uncover back in book one. Shadow Scale takes place a few months after book one ends, but you do not really feel like much time has passed between the two books.

I hated the romance in this book. While I never got the feeling the romance was going to be the main plot after reading book one, I wanted something more -anything- to happen in this one. Neither Prince Kiggs nor Seraphina wanted to overstep that line that would end our suffering from watching their longing. He was promised to marry his cousin, whom both he and Seraphina were fond of, and neither felt it was the right time to hurt her by sharing their newfound feelings with each other. So we waited. We sent covert glances to each other. We ignored the other. We waited. We did our duty.

It was like we have this fiery explosion at the end of book one, and then reality sat back in and it was over. I wanted them to get together. I wanted them to make it work. But as the story continued, we lost that focus and it became all about the half-dragons and the saints of old.

Which isn't to say it took a bad turn, because I loved meeting the rest from her garden. Even if there were parts in her journey that felt redundant because of the sheer number of characters. There were things about their religions and saints and the dragons from book one that I glossed over when I read Seraphina because it was a lot to take in. But reading this book, it was apparent how things were woven together from the start. I really enjoyed that aspect of the story.

But I think the book was a bit too long. Shadow Scale really felt like it was two books put together in a sense. We had about 90% of the book with her off looking for her fellow half dragons, then we had the bit at the end when she returned to her city. And Seraphina from part a, is not the girl from part b. It's like she looses a part of herself and becomes passive. So she just goes about her days while everyone else is where they've becomes trapped. It wasn't this girl who went off to brave angry dragons, and wander off on a foolish hope she can find the hiding half dragons.

Words To Live By

"He smiled again. I felt a little guilty for cultivating those smiles; I wasn't allowed."

"Logic can lead to many ends, citizen. No one likes to admit that- not even your philosophers. Dragons revere its incorruptible purity, but logic will coldly lead you over a cliff. It all depends on where you begin, on first principles."


I liked Shadow Scale overall, but I am a little disappointed. The book wasn't bad, but I am not in a hurry to reread.


  1. See this doesn't really make me want to read this series. I've had the first book forever and never gotten around to reading it. I'm not really big into fantasy books, but I'm staring to read more than I used to. But I just don't know if this is one of those fantasy books for someone who is flirting with a genre.

    1. "But I just don't know if this is one of those fantasy books for someone who is flirting with a genre." Honestly, no, I don't think so. As far as good fantasy novels I'd recommend: A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, Written in Red by Anne Bishop, Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski, Eon by Alison Goodman.

      I could go on, lol. XD I'm sure you probably read some of those.


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