Author: Rachel Hartman
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Summary: Although I still loved the politics and world-building in this sequel, I found the pacing too slow and the action unengaging.
As a half-dragon, Seraphina has a unique connection to others of her kind. However, her country of Gored has only recently made peace with the dragons and now this fragile peace may be shattered by a dragon civil war. The fragile peace means that many humans still hate dragons and that most half-dragons such as Saraphina must hide who they are. Each half-dragon has unique gifts and together they might be able to protect Gored if Seraphina is able to use her own unique powers to find them. To do so, she will have to avoid humans and dragons who want to stop her. But the biggest threat is one very bitter and very dangerous half-dragon who uses her powers to control others and manipulate the war for her own purposes.
I’ve read a number of reviews that made me expect to like this as much as I liked Seraphina. Even having read it, I feel as though I should have liked it as much as the prequel. It had the same fascinating world building, perhaps even more so since Seraphina does a lot of travelling and learns many new things about her powers. It also had a similar focus on complex political situations, which I enjoyed more and more as the story developed and further complexities were revealed. Unfortunately, the world building and politics weren’t quite enough to pull me in.
I think part of the problem was that I’m pretty busy right now and this was a slow starter. It was hard for me to make myself make the time to slog through the beginning before the more interesting details of the political and magical situations were revealed. I also had trouble connecting to the story. The characters were interesting and unique, but none were explored in great depth. The action sequences often occurred off-stage and even when they were described in detail, they didn’t make me feel any urgency or excitement. The ending, in particular, felt predictable, contrived, and therefore anticlimactic. I did have fun reading this book, but it feels overwhelmingly average to me. I realize ‘meh’ isn’t the most descriptive of words, but that was my first thought when I finished. Given how much more I liked Seraphina, I suspect this is just a case of reading a good book at the wrong time. For a more glowing review, I’d recommend visiting Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings.
Do you ever finish a book and want to tell it “it’s not you, it’s me”?