shadow scale  4.5 out of 5 stars

Where do I start?! Shadow Scale was an epic follow up to Hartman’s first hit, Seraphina. I enjoyed Seraphina, but man did I love Shadow Scale. I mean what’s not to love, there are freaking DRAGONS! And as if that weren’t awesome enough, there are half dragon/humans…..with special abilities!

I absolutely adore the way dragons are portrayed here, their cool, logical demeanor, and the way they can go from dragon form to human form. It made for such an interesting story to see the way the humans affected these emotionally stunted dragons with all their many feels.

I loved seeing the consequences from these human-dragon intermingling. In Shadow Scale the dragons were a race divided, and the brewing war between them was now affecting everyone, human and dragon alike. Especially considering one of the sides considered humans to be silly little creatures guided by not sense but emotions, which was basically tantamount to having coodies on the playground. Except for all the dragons wanted to just eradicate all the dumb coodie-ridden humans.

One thing that sucked me into this story to begin with in the first book, was Seraphina and her intriguing little garden of grotesques. What an amazing addition to have these inhabitants of the garden be found in the real world throughout this story. Each one of these Ityasaari (half-dragons) had such an interesting story to tell. I so enjoyed getting to know each one of them, of course some more than others, but each of them were compelling in their own ways.

I do feel as if this story started off a little slow, but that realistically could be the fact that this is a really in depth fantasy book, and I read the first one almost two years ago, so it took me a bit to get back in the swing of all the foreign terminology again. Once I had it down though the story really took off. It was nice to get a broader look on this world Hartman created. Seraphina traveled to many lands in Shadow Scale, and I really liked seeing the differences between the communities and the way they think and feel about the dragons and the Ityasaari. I rooted for dear Seraphina to finally all the answers and the peace that she was looking for.

The ending could not have been more perfect! That was a freaking 10 out of 5 star ending. I felt so many things at once! I adored EVERYTHING about it. I think Hartman took some risks here, and in my opinion they paid off in a huge way! Nothing truly ended the way that I had initially expected, it was 1,000 times more awesome. I also want to mention the writing in this book, it is incredibly beautiful! The imagery created here was breathtaking. Such a wonderful story, told in such a eloquent way.

  *Sigh* Why can’t there be dragons in real life.

I received a copy of this ARC from Random House Chikdren’s via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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