I wish I could remember who recommended Seraphina to me, because I have absolutely loved these books. I wish there were more. In fact, halfway through reading Shadow Scale (Seraphina #2), I searched for #3 in my library’s database and had a tiny tantrum when I saw that there WASN’T one. Part of me was glad that I knew Shadow Scale would be it (at least for the time being), because it made me savor the rest of the novel, knowing this might be the last time I got to spend quality time with these characters, but mostly I was SO MAD that all I had left was it, and I felt so unprepared to say goodbye.
You might say I get a bit too attached to the books I love but you probably shouldn’t say it to my face. Also none of you would ever say that because YOU GET IT.
Anyway. (I feel like all of my reviews start this way. Pointless screeching about something slightly related to the book and then a non-sequitur and then an ANYWAY.) But anyway. Anyway.
Seraphina introduced us to a world of clever characters. Not just Seraphina, of course, but her friends Selda and Kiggs, her uncle Orma, and her half-dragon kin, Abdo, Lars, and Dame Orka. The world is now aware not only of the existence of half dragons, but there is also a dragon civil war on the horizon, and the humans have to hurry and choose a side. Seraphina, and her friends, have chosen the side of the less judgmental dragons (seems smart), the ones who don’t look at the half-dragons as an abomination (at least not all the time). Seraphina is tasked with tracking down more half-dragons, the ones from her mind garden (go with it), so they can come together to create a weapon that should, fingers crossed, take down their dragon enemies.
Complicating things is another half-dragon named Jannoula. Seraphina had been tricked by her as a child into allowing Jannoula to take over her brain. When she reappears, this time in real life, Seraphina is understandably skeptical of her motivations. And when Jannoula hooks her mind to some of the other half-dragons, it’s genuinely terrifying.
There’s a melancholy undercurrent throughout most of this novel. Things seem especially impossible for our heroes, and Jannoula is a terrifying foe. She’s able to manipulate the half-dragons whose minds she’s infected but, scarier still, she’s able to influence humans by showing them her dragon “mind-fire,” causing them to think she’s some sort of holy being. Seraphina watches in horror as she begins to infect those closest to her and the process is horrifying to watch (or…read, I guess). I liken it to watching a beloved friend or family member become enamored of a presidential candidate who you know to be a narcissistic, racist, sexist, orange-tinted buffoon with tiny hands NOT THAT WE’D KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THAT WOULD WE.
Ahem. Politics aside, you should absolutely read these books. Both of them. Then you can be sad with me that there are no others.