Seraphina And Shadow Scale By Rachel Hartman

I know I said in a comment reply that I’d make a list of my favourite dragon books, and I’ve already started so that is happening at some point, but I just finished reading this brilliant book series and I need to talk about it now (but I’ll do it in a non-spoilery fashion).


These books are by Rachel Hartman (who actually has a wordpress blog, check it out!).

The first book, Seraphina, came out in 2012. I saw it at my high school’s library during a semester where I’d spend my daily spare period reading. This was in late 2013, I believe. Wikipedia’s spoiler-free overview of this book is: “Seraphina is set in the kingdom of Goredd and follows the sixteen-year-old Seraphina, a court musician. She’s drawn into a murder mystery when the Crown Prince of Goredd, Rufus, is found decapitated in a manner that insinuates that he was murdered by dragons. The murder occurs on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the signing of a treaty that ended the war between humans and dragons. Dragons can take human form but find human emotions baffling, which only lends to the continuing distrust and hatred between them and humans.”

I am a huge dragon fan, so I was drawn to this. What I loved about this book was that it was such a unique world. It was completely unlike any dragon book I had read. It had all the parts that a great book should: reliable and likeable narrator, interesting characters, suspense, a bit of romance, a great plot, and the ability to take the reader to a crazy new world. This book also had its own language. There were a slew of made up words. Luckily, there was a glossary and character list at the back of the book…I wish I had found those before I finished it…

Seraphina is easily in my top book favourites. I got the feels.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. I knew a sequel was coming, but I forgot about the book until a month ago when I was shopping with my mom and saw it on display at a store. I saw the cover of Shadow Scale and thought to myself hey, this looks like that book Seraphina I read last year. And then I noticed that it was its sequel and it came out earlier this year. So right away I logged into that store’s wifi and put Shadow Scale on hold at my local library. It came in when I was still at school, so it was a fun treat to come home to. But I couldn’t start reading it yet. You see, because I read Seraphina during a time where I tore through books and then had time passed, I didn’t remember much about it. So I got a hold of that book too and fell in love with it all over again (harder, this time, I’d say).

Shadow Scale is the conclusion to Seraphina, taking place three months after. I’d post the Wikipedia synopsis too, but that’d spoil Seraphina for you. Just know that it majorly involves a character who was mentioned a few times in the first book, as well as a bunch of new characters, some fun travelling and still has those great aspects.

I did like the first book better. Some characters that I liked weren’t as present in the second book, and I just like the first book’s plot better. And while the second book didn’t end on a bad or unhappy note, it wasn’t my preferred ending. That’s not to say that Shadow Scale was a bad book because it so wasn’t. I enjoyed reading it so much and I’m glad I got to see the world and characters again as well as fall harder in love with things. I’ll forever love these two books.

Some last thoughts:

  • Glisselda is basically Glinda from Wicked and I am 100% in love with that.
  • In fact, the more I think about that, Seraphina is kind of like Elphaba…only there’s no need for ‘What Is This Feeling’.
  • If these were to be movies, I’d want Darren Criss to play Prince Lucian Kiggs even if he is probably a bit too old for the part…
  • There’s a transgender minor character in Shadow Scale and that’s pretty cool.
  • This book is good for all ages.

So yes, y’all should read them. Especially if you love dragons or fantasy. Or perfect fictional characters. Or just good books in general. If you have read them, or at least the first one, what did you think?


5 thoughts on “Seraphina And Shadow Scale By Rachel Hartman

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I think I may have seen this book around or not, I’m not sure… I definitely have to check it out though!

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