Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
This is a sequel to Seraphina, and follows a couple of months after the end of the previous book. It was more complex and offered more details about the world in which our main character lives. Not just to her native Goredd, but also the neighboring countries… Their religion, politics and social structures. Even the inner workings of the Tanamoot, or dragon society, that seems to be crumbling in itself.
In that regard, it was a wonderful book. I felt it constructed a whole universe where these characters dwell and where interacting with dragons and Ityasaari (half.-dragons, half-humans) is entirely possible. So many things were explained, from the actions and reactions of people to their believes and motivations.
We got to know Abdo‘s family, and his gods, Chance and Necessity. Of all the religions I’ve ever read about, this is one that makes the much sense to me. This world, in all its complexity, completely bowled me over. It was wonderful.
On the other had, though, there were many thing that Seraphina did or didn’t that I found frustratingly near-sighted, and while the ultimate fate of Jannoula felt right and appropriate, the actual end of the book felt way too sad.
Jannoula‘s goal was achieved at the end, she took everything of sentimental value away from Seraphina. She tainted her life goals and chased away her brethren, she killed her friend and took her beloved Uncle Orma from her.
And even when, thanks to her need to fight Jannoula back, she managed to unleash her powers and come to a better and deeper understanding of the world, she never gets to keep the love of her life. Prince Lucian Kiggs ends up marrying Queen Glisselda, even when even the Queen herself seems to be in-love with Seraphina. How messed up is that?!
I think it was all just too sad.
And even worst, she didn’t seem all that heartbroken about it! That is what I found the most perplexing. I can understand about duty and putting the needs of the nation before her own heart’s desires, but she ends up all alone and… I don’t know. It just felt depressing.
Still, it was a great book… magnificently written.