Late to the Party ARC Review – Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

16085457Title: Shadow Scale

Author:  Rachel Hartman

Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: 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?

Huge thank you to Random House Canada for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

Shadow Scale was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015. Colour me surprised when I had the chance to meet Rachel Hartman back at OLA and was given this ARC. There was a lot of running around the convention centre squealing like a madwoman, but let’s face it — it’s not every day you get to meet a favourite author and have them sign your book.

ANY WAYS… Shadow Scale took me over a month to read. Why? Because for a sequel, it’s a very slow and dense burn. Although a lot of the world and it’s rules have been established in Seraphina, there was still a lot of political conflict and strife that took centre stage, needing a lot of time to develop. Reading Shadow Scale you get a strong sense of how well crafted the world and the characters are, and how every instance of the novel feels so deliberate and well paced. Seraphina also faces difficult hardships in her travels, though can I just say her and Lucian are that darn cute? ’cause they are that darn cute.

Plus the politics between the humans and the half-dragons was just such a fascinating read. I thought Jannoula was such a fantastic and well-developed villain. I loved her motives, how methodical she was, she has a lot of depth within the narrative, and the more you learn about her, the more depth Hartman gives her. She surprised me, because in her introduction I didn’t think she’d be as interesting of a villain, so I was so shocked that I enjoyed her development.

Shadow Scale is a wonderful sequel to Seraphina and it was completely worth the wait. If you haven’t readSeraphina — do it. You can tell Rachel Hartman pays homage to a lot of the classic fantasy writers, but her writing has its own unique twist that really keeps it fresh. Beautiful descriptions, well developed characters, I was s sad when I hit the ending of this book because admittedly, I just didn’t want the story to end. For me, that’s the testament of an amazing story — when everything lingers even well after I’ve read the last page.

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