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Set the World on Fire

Seraphina, everyone's favorite half-dragon-half-human, is back in Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman!

Set the World on Fire

BOOK REPORT for Shadow Scale (Seraphina #2) by Rachel Hartman

Cover Story: Slam Dunk
BFF Charm: Platinum Edition
Swoonworthy Scale: 2
Talky Talk: Grammartastic
Bonus Factors: Villains
Relationship Status: Dearly Beloved

Cover Story: Slam Dunk

Wowzers, yet another slam dunk/home run/touch down (and that’s all I know about sports, ladies and gentlemen) for this series! Look at the artistry in this cover - it’s gorgeous.

The Deal:

We pick right back up where we left off in Seraphina, with Seraphina, Prince Lucian Kiggs and newly-crowned Queen Glisselda gearing themselves up for a full-blown war between humans and dragons. Seraphina must travel beyond the borders of her own country to find more half-dragons like herself - they hold the key to creating the best hope for fending off the dragon attack. It’s not easy convincing a bunch of suspicious outcasts to join her cause and fight for another country, but Seraphina is determined to unite them - if she isn’t beaten to it by Jannoula, the terrifyingly sweet and manipulative half-dragon that is creeping into the minds of Seraphina’s friends and taking control of the whole war.

BFF Charm: Platinum Edition

Seraphina just rocks, you guys, plain and simple. She’s a fascinating combination of being really vulnerable - she makes the same kind of foot-in-mouth mistakes that I’m sure several of us [ahem, ME] frequently make, and it’s really endearing - coupled with being really brave. And I don’t just mean brave in the sense that she’s a BAMF when it comes to physical bravery, because she totally is. Raised in an anti-dragon society, she’s always hidden who she really was. Now she’s putting herself out there in the biggest way, asking people for help and risking major embarrassment when she does a cultural goof in a foreign country, dealing with rejection and disappointment in a way that old Seraphina from book #1 would never have been down for.

Swoonworthy Scale: 2

Dreamy/smart Prince Lucian Kiggs is here, but mostly this is a book about self-discovery and growth, politics and intrigue, fear and bravery...you know. Leaving very little time for swooning. BUT fear not, because I didn’t feel the lack of swoonage as a problem - I was too busy being wrapped up in how the hell everyone was going to get out of this mess alive.

Talky Talk: Grammartastic

You GUYS this was amazing. The writing was just as atmospheric and lovely - and often really funny - as Seraphina, but this time it goes above and beyond. Seraphina’s world expands as we meet all kinds of people - gay, straight, transgender, you name it. Book #1 hinted at this, but Shadow Scale really delves in, and we get to see fleshed out characters deal with (and be super chill about) their place in society. And the best part? Dear to this little English major’s heart? THEY DO IT WITH GRAMMAR. Seraphina does her best to learn a language with multiple pronouns, allowing all kinds of people to define themselves in day-to-day life. You might be native feminine, you might be emergent masculine, but you and you alone get to choose how a stranger may “pronoun you,” as they say. How freaking genius is that?!

Bonus Factor: Villains

Hinted at in Seraphina but now fully explored, Jannoula is the half-dragon who once tried to take over Seraphina’s mind before Seraphina - with her dragon uncle Orma’s help - safely locked her out. Well, Jannoula is back, and she wants more minds to control. And the scary thing is, she’s everywhere - and you probably won’t know until it’s too late. Seriously, how terrifying is the idea of mind possession? Super. Terrifying.

Probably not as terrifying as that bowl cut, though. Just saying.

Casting Call:

Jane Levy as Jannoula

I’m sticking with my casting for Seraphina, but I had to cast Jannoula. Jane Levy - of Evil Dead fame - has the perfect combination of disarming prettiness and underlying ruthlessness.

Relationship Status: Dearly Beloved

Book, the only downside to you is that there isn’t more of you, and I really can’t fault you for that (gotta know when to fold ‘em, I guess). I know I might sound like I’m rushing things, but when you know, you know, man - you and I are in it for the long haul. I’ll be recommending you till death do us part.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Random House Children’s. I received neither money nor Cadbury Creme Eggs for this review, unfortunately. Shadow Scale is available now.

Savannah Kitchens's photo About the Author: Savannah Kitchens is doing the Lord’s work spreading YA lit to the masses as the head (and only member - but who’s really counting?) of the YA department at her library near Birmingham, Alabama. When she’s not disappointing her parents, she’s bottle drinking wine and playing board games with her husband.