Shadow Scale

shadow scaleShadow Scale

Rachel Hartman
Random House, 2015

If you like dragon fantasy then this is the story for you. Shadow Scale is the sequel to Seraphina but it can stand alone – mainly because of the extensive review in the very beginning by a often used device, “the historian.” The twist in this story is dragons and humans coexist (and even cohabitate) but it is a tenuous peace that is between them. There are the folks who hate dragons and want to kill them, there are the folks who love dragons and want to live with them, and there are mostly just regular folks who accept dragons as a part of daily life. Of course it helps in this story that dragons are able to morph themselves into human form and some do it so convincingly a person is unable to tell the difference.

The main character, Seraphina (aka Phina), is the result of a dragon/human cohabitation. Her mother was dragon, her father human. She didn’t even know this until she hit a certain age and her dragon scales grew on her body. The ityasaari, or half-dragon, half-human, all have something extra about them – whether physical or mental – something that sets them apart from regular old human folk. Seraphina has scales around her midriff and on her forearm; Abdo, Seraphina’s close friend has scales in his mouth that have rendered him mute; Dame Okra has a tail she hides under her matronly skirts; Ingmar has wings that he hides under his clothes so that he looks like a hunchback. The ityasaari must keep themselves hidden because while dragons-in-human form are mostly acceptable, half dragons are not and they are automatically executed.

So into this world comes Jannoula, an ityasaari, who seeks to destroy all dragons and will stop at nothing – include war – to do it. Seraphina must join with her friends, human, dragon and ityasaari to fight Jannoula, but in the end, Phina finds she has to face the not only the terrible half-dragon in front of her, but the equally scary half-dragon inside herself.

This is a tale of adventure, fantasy, and triumph of good over evil with a sprinkling of romance thrown in.It has been 2 years since we read (but not reviewed) the first book (Seraphina) but after getting caught up, or rather, reminded of what happened in the first book by the ‘historian’ there was no confusion of what was going on. The action is nonstop, the dangerous situations Phina was in caused me worry about her and her friends. I love a book that stirs my emotions! We got the book from the library, but it is on my list of books to buy!

Rating:  4 paws

bobbiesue booksReviewer: BobbieSue

12394100 – Book 1

Rachel Hartman

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