Thursday, March 19, 2015

When I was asked if I'd like to participate in the blog tour for the sequel to Rachel Hartman's New York Times bestselling Seraphina, I couldn't say yes quickly enough. I enjoyed Hartman's debut novel so much when I first read it that I found myself unable to adequately review it…and I've left it unreviewed to date. Here's hoping I can succinctly describe how amazing this sequel is. ;) Check out my review below and enter to win your own copy of Shadow Scale.

Title: Shadow Scale
Author: Rachel Hartman
Series: Seraphina, book #2
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Seraphina took the literary world by storm with 8 starred reviews and numerous “Best of” lists. At last, her eagerly awaited sequel has arrived—and with it comes an epic battle between humans and dragons.

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?

Considering it had been nearly three years since I first read Seraphina, I decided a re-read -- or re-listen, in my case -- was necessary. It's amazing how much you can forget in that length of time and yet still remember just how much you enjoyed the story the first time you experienced it. However, once I returned to this world of dragons and music, I found that it was like I'd never left it.

I must admit, though, that after listening to Seraphina prior to picking up this sequel, the pacing of Shadow Scale did seem a bit slow. It definitely picks up, but it required pushing through the first third or so of the novel to get to that point. But once it does, it's twice as engaging as the previous installment. And just as full of surprises.

There are far more characters to love and loathe in this sequel -- dragons, half-dragons, and humans alike -- but I found that I missed some of my favorites because of Seraphina's separation from them while on her quest to find others like herself. And I found myself missing some of the characters I'd only just come to know as they morphed right in front of my very eyes. Someone Seraphina had once called a friend is now set on destroying her, using the very people she cares about the most in order to do so. It makes it nearly impossible for Seraphina to trust anyone but herself. But Seraphina is more powerful than even she knows, besides the fact that she's quite intelligent and remarkably observant. She can outmaneuver even the cleverest adversary once she puts her mind to it, which is exactly what the situation warrants in the conclusion to her story.

Shadow Scale felt less about dragons themselves and more about politics and alliances and avoiding an all-out war, but it was such an intriguing end to the story, leaving Goredd and seeing how the rest of the world looked upon dragonkind. It was also a bit of a relief to see some of the loose ends in Seraphina finally tied up, including the romance and Orma's exile. The ending was maybe a little bittersweet, and not just because I found myself unready to say goodbye to these characters, but that's what I love about these books: Hartman writes the story as it needs to unfold for these complicated characters and not just the way we want it to be written for them. Her ability to craft such a complex world, full of characters with so much depth that you'll never find the end of them, still has me in awe.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Rachel Hartman’s first YA fantasy novel, SERAPHINA, was published by Random House on July 10th, 2012.

Rachel was born in Kentucky, but has lived a variety of places including Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, England, and Japan. She has a BA in Comparative Literature, although she insists it should have been a BS because her undergraduate thesis was called “Paradox and Parody in Don Quixote and the satires of Lucian.” She eschewed graduate school in favour of drawing comic books. She now lives in Vancouver, BC, with her family, their whippet, and a talking frog and salamander (who fight zombies)(really. There are a lot of zombies in the Pacific Northwest).

Find Rachel:

Website | FacebookGoodreads

Random House is graciously offering up a copy of Shadow Scale to one lucky winner in the US/Canada.

  • This giveaway is US/CAN only. The publisher will be providing the prize for this giveaway.
  • One entry per household. 
  • Entries will be verified. Any entry found to be falsified will result in disqualification of all entries for that participant. 
  • Winner will be notified via email. Winner will then have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected. Please check your SPAM folder!!! 
  • We are not responsible for lost packages. 

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Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!


    (Yes, that had to be in all caps.)


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