(This post is full of spoilers for Seraphina and Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman. If you haven’t read both the books from that series, I would seriously recommend you don’t read this. If you’ve read them and don’t agree with my opinions, please, feel free to say so. I would seriously enjoy knowing what others thought of this)
Have you ever had a book ending going circles in your head all night?
I couldn’t stop thinking about Shadow Scale‘s ending. Seraphina, the main character, ends up all alone and kind is stranded among the remains of her old life.
Or, at least, that’s what it felt like to me…
My first thought, after Queen Grisselda confessed her love for Seraphina and her cryptic words afterwards, was to think that maybe they would end up, together with Prince Lucian Kiggs, in a non-traditional three-way marriage/relationship where they all three loved each other equally.
I think that would have made more sense to me, but I also understand that would have tipped this books out of the YA category into the Adult section… So I guess that was too much to ask for.
But then… And idea came to me… Something that I think would have also made sense, if expanded upon.
At the end of the story, to free her friends (and basically everyone else) from the mental influence of Jannoula, Seraphina manages to free her mind powers by stepping out of herself… Or at least that’s how she explains it… And by doing so, she manages to feel the life energy (or mind fire, or soul light, or whatever you want to call it) of everyone everywhere.
And she is specific enough to explain that she means…
Not just within the city she’s standing outside of, but people in far away places, too. And it fills her with wonderment, understandably, but also with love. Love for everyone everywhere, I’m assuming.
Later on, while she’s recovering for the confrontation, Prince Lucian says something that kept bothering me, and in many other circumstances I would have consider it a horrendous thing to say to the girls you’re supposedly in love with… He says, that in all that display of power and energy, for a moment, he felt he loved Jannoula.
As in, the same way he and the queen love Seraphina? As in, everything they think they feel is a byproduct of her being a half-breed and not of their free and honest will?
And if she will for ever feel the echo of this connection to everything and everyone that she felt while she was one with the universe… Does that mean she will forever more be able to feel this unlimited love for all living beings? Would that take away her ability to love one single man completely and selfishly?
That WOULD make her saintly… wouldn’t it? Would it show with her insistence that Kiggs marries his cousin, Queen Grisselda? (which stills sounds highly incestuous to me, not so much for the fact that they are family, but mostly because they actually grew up together)
Even when Dame Okra Carmine confronts Seraphina about her feelings about the wedding party (that she not only attends, but plays and helps plan!), and the obvious necessity that the future of the royal bloodline will eventually bring along… she’s very flippant about it all. And it doesn’t feel like an I’m strong, I can do this kind of thing. She honestly seems unable to care much about it. Detached. Would that be a symptom of her inability to be selfish about her emotional needs?
And then, there was the lost of her uncle, Orma. We are very clearly made aware that he might not be lost for good, and that there’s hope of getting him back. but we never know about the fate of Seraphina‘s father. The has just been a war, and dragons were falling out of the sky in flames… and she never even wonders about her father and his family?
What do YOU make of all this?