Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Review: Shadow Scale

SHADOW SCALE by Rachel Hartman is the sequel to the popular dragon vs humans fantasy SERAPHINA.
In the first book, Seraphina discovers her true identity as half-dragon, half-human. In this gripping followup, Seraphina goes on a quest to gather together other half-breeds with the hope of bringing peace to a world at war. However, she comes to realize that dark forces are against her and many would like to see both dragons and humans destroyed.
The refined characters, intricate world-building, and multi-layered backstory make this a much more sophisticated fantasy novel than many other young adult works. Although some readers will enjoy the details, others may find that the detail slows down the story.
Hartman’s amazing descriptions of Seraphina’s mental garden are a unique and compelling alternative to telepathic communication found in many other books featuring dragons.
Readers who enjoy dragon fantasy will be impressed by both the first book as well as the sequel. However, librarians should keep in mind that this is a young adult novel rather than a middle grades fantasy. The elaborate world-building and multitude of characters may not appeal to readers looking for a fast-paced fantasy and the complexity may be overwhelming for younger children.
Fans who have been waiting to return to the kingdom of Goredd will enjoy revisiting their favorite characters and meeting new half-dragons. The two books were intended to be a duet with a clear ending, so don’t expect to revisit this kingdom again unless the author explores a different facet of the world.
To learn more about the author, go to http://rachelhartmanbooks.com/.
Published by Random House on March 15, 2015.