Your Bookmark Here: Shadow Scale
Seraphina, Rachel Hartman's first novel, was an almost instant bestseller and if you're someone who was glued to each of it's 465 pages the way I was, you'll be excited to hear that the sequel Shadow Scale is even more rich and gripping than the original story. Taken together, Seraphina's two-part story has my vote as "most likely to become a classic" in the world of teen fantasy literature this decade.
Part of what makes Seraphina's story so great is Rachel Hartman's unusual take on what it is to be a dragon. Not to spoil the story, but in Seraphina's world dragons and humans have a long history of war and a short history of peace. They don't understand each other, partly because humans are emotional creatures and dragons much less so. In fact, dragons see emotions as a kind of disease, leading to primitive and irrational behavior. Dragons are logical, mathematical, musical. But they can take on human form, and when they do, they can mate with humans and produce children. Underneath the amazing fantasy world Hartman has created is a pretty provocative question: how does the body we are in affect how we experience our world and live our life?
Shadow Scale asks some other interesting questions too, questions around political power, personal choices, and even Sainthood. Plus there's a love triangle, and characters with awesome names like Fruit Bat, Loud Lad, and Gargoyella. What are you waiting for? Go read it! And after that, go see Rachel Hartman's book reading and signing at the Lillian Smith Branch on Friday March 20, from 7 to 9:30 PM. I can't wait!
There are a few cool interviews with Rachel on youtube. Here she is talking to Christopher Paolini about Shadow Scale: