Shadowscale by Rachel Hartman Review

ShadowscaleTitle: Shadowscale

Author: Rachel Hartman
Publisher:  Random House Children’s Books

Format: Hardcover
Publication Date: March 10, 2015

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

Seraphina took the literary world by storm with 8 starred reviews and numerous “Best of” lists. At last, her eagerly awaited sequel has arrived—and with it comes an epic battle between humans and dragons.

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?


I loved the first book in this duology, Seraphina and this book was not a disappointment. There was such a long waiting period between the first and second book, that I really worried that the second book would be a let down. However in this book Seraphina really starts coming into her own, and realizing that she doesn’t have all the answers. It’s difficult to read at times, because Seraphina means well but sometimes her choices are just so ill-advised I found myself shaking my head at her.

Most of this book takes place with Seraphina away in multiple different lands searching for other half dragons. The author does a fantastic job of creating characters with depth and personality. Part of what made this book work was the coming together of all of the ityasaari, and seeing how all their personalities related to each other. Especially when you compared them to Seraphina’s mind garden. It was a fascinating process that was fun to read.

There were parts of this book that did get tedious and dull. It was a long book at about 600 pages, and at times it really felt it. The pace was slow and it did make me feel the tension creeping in throughout the book. There was a sense of things not happening fast enough, and that was shared by Seraphina. So I absolutely have to give Rachael Hartman credit for being an outstanding writer.

I was a little disappointed in the romance department especially since it was such a huge piece of the first book. I honestly felt like this could have been a trilogy and it would have been perfect. The ending seemed rushed a bit because it was pushing 600 pages, and it could have been more satisfying broken into 3 books with a little extra added to the ending when Seraphina gets back to Goredd.

That being said, I did love it. I loved all the fully fleshed out characters and the fact that they felt like characters that could carry a story of their own. I would give this 5 out of 5 stars despite the little bit of disappointment.



**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**


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