Shadow Scale is the sequel to Seraphina, a book I reviewed a few months ago, which is easily one of the most original books I’ve read in a long time. Since it’s a sequel, Shadow Scale didn’t have quite the same feeling of magic and wonder, but I loved it all the same for giving me more time in this universe with these characters.
These books take place in a kingdom called Goredd, in a world where humans and dragons co-exist, mostly peacefully (at least before the start of Seraphina, that is). As with my previous review, I hate to give too much away because half the joy of these books is the excitement of watching this strange, unique world unfold.
The protagonist of both books, Seraphina, is the product of an illegal coupling between a dragon in human form and a regular human, and Shadow Scale mostly focuses on her journey to discover others like her. It brings back many of the fantastic characters from book one, although it does suffer from the fact that Seraphina’s dragon uncle and mentor, Orma, is mostly absent in this one. He was one of the best characters in the first book. Still, being introduced to other half-dragons, all of whom are different in appearance and abilities, made up for a lot.
Both Seraphina and Shadow Scale have a sort of melancholy feeling to them, especially Shadow Scale. Even as Seraphina meets beings who are like her, the things that set her apart are highlighted and she seems sort of doomed to walk this earth alone. Still, she’s a relatable character with clear motivations and a great deal of humanity. Sometimes fantasy books are missing that piece in favor of the magic and fantasy portion; that’s definitely not the case for these two books. I’ll definitely return to them, and I think they’ll still be incredibly enjoyable on reread.