Review – Seraphina and Shadow Scale, Rachel Hartman

This review is something of a throwback since I actually read these books for the first time last year. But what is this blog, if not a place to suggest to you lovely individuals books that you might want to read yourselves.

I’ll make it a short one, however, on the off chance that the plot isn’t fresh enough in my mind to fully convey how entertaining these books are.

Broadly speaking, these books are set in a fantasy world where humans and dragons were once at war but, 40 years prior to events in the book, a peace accord was struck. The dragons are able to transform into humans and study among them but are not entirely welcome by large numbers of society. Our main character, Seraphina, is a musician working in the court, who hides a secret she can share with noone. When a prince is murdered and peace seems more tenuous than ever Seraphina is thrust into the midst of a political turmoil, all the while struggling to hide who (and what) she really is.

Shadow Scale follows on from the events of Seraphina but broadens the scope of the world in which these characters live. It’s a really good sequel and I think it would stand alone fairly well (although you’ll certainly appreciate it much more if you read the two together).

What I love about these books:

Mainly the dragons. I love anything with dragons and this particular series has them written in such a wonderfully unique way. I also really liked the writing style and the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ characters without it feeling ‘tickboxy’.

shadow scale

If you like YA fantasy with minimal cringy angst and a lot of action and adventure you’ll hopefully really like this series. If you wanted to you could always give the first one a try and not read the second (but who could live in a world where you don’t finish a story?).


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