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Publisher's Summary

Seraphina took the literary world by storm with eight 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?

Praise for Seraphina:

A New York Times best seller

An indie best seller

Winner of the William C. Morris Debut Award

Winner of the Cybil Award for Teen Fantasy and Science Fiction

An Amazon Top 20 Teen Book of the Year

A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year

A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year

A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

A Library Journal Best Young Adult Literature for Adults Selection

A Booklist Editors’ Choice

An ABA New Voices Pick 

A Publishers Weekly Flying Start Author 

An ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book 

An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults Book 

Recipient of eight starred reviews   

“Beautifully written, well-rounded characters, and some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read in fantasy for a long while. An impressive debut novel; I can’t wait to see what Rachel Hartman writes next.” (Christopher Paolini, New York Times best selling author of Eragon)

“A novel that will appeal to both fans of Christopher Paolini’s Eragon series and Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown.” (Entertainment Weekly)

©2015 Rachel Hartman (P)2015 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"...the intricate plotting, clever surprises... and lovely prose make this a worthy conclusion for all of Hartman's big-hearted characters." (Booklist)

"This is a tale of love, mistakes, double-crosses, and pain - one that left me tied up in knots!" (Tamora Pierce, New York Times best-selling author)

"...[Hartman] continues to expand her world with enough history and detail to satisfy even the most questioning of readers, doing it all so naturally that it's hard to believe this is fiction. Dragon fiction has never flown higher." (Kirkus Review)

"Williams sweeps us along on the journey, never stumbling over Hartman's invented words or the panoply of dragon, half-dragon, and human characters.... It won't take long for listeners to be drawn into the story's intrigue or to find themselves rooting for a happy ending." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Shadow Scale

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent sequel to the first

I really liked the originality of the original and if you don't want to spend time on a trilogy it's a good duology. Does what a good sequel should, changes the kind of story while keeping the spirit and characters from the first. The first dealt with political intrigue and romance in a single city, here Seraphina travels the world to find her fellow half-dragons. However, she is not the only one with special powers and someone from her past is out for revenge. Unresolved questions from are explored with greater focus on her special mind powers and dragons play a bigger role.

While social justice and prejudices are a strong theme throughout this is one of the best stories that handle diversity in it's characters. Characters are not defined by their diversity and it doesn't waste time uselessly exploring it.

Doesn't have the typical happy ending but it is satisfying. While not answering all questions it does feels natural and not forced. Plot had me guessing till the end.

If you liked the first book read this.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Doesn't live up to the first book

Same great characters, same lovely narrator... but the talented author of the first book is only visible in tiny snippets. Otherwise it reads like bad fan fiction of the first volume.

It's worth reading for closure to the mysteries brought up in Serafina. But go in with low expectations if you want to enjoy it.

3 people found this helpful

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Loved Serapina, hated Shadow Scale

I loved Seraphina in the first book. She was inquisitive and earnest. She tried her hardest at everything. She was also quick witted.
In this book however, she seems to have lost all of that. She chooses the easiest option and mopes when things don't go her way. She spends most of the book ignoring the one thing she is repeatedly told to do. I also hated the ending. It was unfinished and lacking. The prologue hints at more of an ending than the epilogue.

3 people found this helpful

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Not as good as the first...

I was really hoping for a fantastic finish after enjoying the first book, unfortunately I found it pretty disappointing. After building intelligent, witty, and lovable characters I hoped to find more of the same in the second installment - instead they went the opposite way and I really struggled to finish the book.

1 person found this helpful

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A Unique Sequel

Mandy Williams is an excellent narrative, with a silky and comforting voice! She handles all creatures and characters well. Characters are easily distinguishable, and there are many.

I found the writing complex and rich in description, but sometimes it is difficult to really imagine; perhaps too much detail at times, especially Seraphina’s garden. The build up to the climax is well thought out, but I had to listen to the resolution 3x to fully grasp the concepts. I would have preferred a slightly different ending, but I suppose it has to be this way.
I would recommend this set of books if you like fantasy, some magical properties, dragons, and a complexly woven story with strong characters. Seraphina is a wonderful metaphor for both a figurative and literal guiding beam of light, with positive energy and power to do right in the world!
Would that we all could use our minds and think inside out well enough to make peace instead of war, and to help each other, rather than be so divided by our differences. I do tend to be idealistic!

1 person found this helpful

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Satisfying but also leaves me wanting more

Great prose and poetry, peppered with humor, this is a wondrous adventure which I hope we can continue in future books. Marvelous world building unfurls into glorious color as Seraphina explores the world looking for her fellow half-dragons, even though she finds only despair and destruction when her nemesis Jannoula appears to always be one step ahead. Romantic, philosophical, and creative, SHADOW SCALE is a worthy successor to SERAPHINA. Mandy Williams singing as a Quigutl is not to be missed.

1 person found this helpful

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Rich world building fantasy

It’s not often that I love a sequel book even better than the first but this is true here. I loved the first book in the series but I adored this one. The author intelligently built a whole world with its own culture, politics and religion. I cared deeply for many of the characters but the series is too short for her to fully flesh out all of the main characters. At least the main character had great story and characters development. I’m tempted to also buy a physical copy so I can see it on my shelf of favorite books in my home.

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Better than the first?

This second installment about the adventures of Serafina continues the rich world building of the first book. The full cast of half dragons that is eventually assembled helps add color and texture. They also provide the necessary foil for the continued development of Serafina herself as she moves from self-loathing to self compassion.

The story is by turns fun, funny, exciting, sad, surprising, and even tragic. It’s never boring.

The narration was strong and made the book a pleasant listen. Definitely recommend.

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Better than Seraphina

I enjoyed this book more than Seraphina because I found the worldbuilding more intricate, and it was fun to travel from place to place and country to country on a quest for half-dragons. It helped make the story feel more creative and epic. Also, the concept of the saints being half-dragons was an intriguing concept and compelling twist. The narrator did a good job bringing the story to life and was skilled at using different voices for different characters.

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Definitely not Seraphina

The book progressively devolved. It got weirder by the sound bite. I simply could not finish it.

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Profile Image for Sara Salyers
  • Sara Salyers
  • 12-30-20

Killed by the narrator

The voice is pure RP, but the delivery ... I thought I could cope with the sing-song narration. I might have stopped grinding my teeth eventually. But then there was the dreadful wrong emphasis in one sentence after another, chapter after chapter, eviscerating not just nuance but meaning. Where you might expect something like "he entered by the other door" to emphasise 'other' as the writer intended and indicating the character's choice, this narrator will invariably put the stress on either "he" or 'entered' and this is a very mild example. You are left with the sense of being read to by a bright high-schooler who does not really get the story or understand the information the writer intends to convey. The whole experience is like being listening to nails being drawn down a chalkboard. I'll certainly return this, buy it as a Kindle book and read it over again with some enjoyment. When I have got over this ghastly audio experience.

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  • Nise Shen96
  • 10-05-20

Excellent sequel!

Exactly what I needed as a reader, a conclusion that gives me room to create further stories and conclusions. Wonderful listen!