The fourth book in the Jennifer Scales series.
About the Book
Like most young women, Jennifer Scales is slowly coming into her own. But for her, this means reconciling two sides of herself. She’s half weredragon—and able to shift into that form at will But she’s also half beaststalker—the deadly nemesis of all dragonkind. So she’s an odd girl out on both sides of her family.
But now the seemingly endless mutual hatred may finally be overcome. There is hope that diplomacy—not fire and sword—might enable the longtime enemies to coexist. But in both camps, suspicion runs rampant and bad blood boils. Now to secure the peace, Jennifer will be called upon to learn the most ancient skills of dragonkind—if she lives long enough to finish the lessons…
I’ve read and enjoyed the previous books in the Jennifer Scales series, so I was really looking forward to this the latest instalment.
I was in for a bit of a shock, when I started to read this one though, the previous books have all been from the Jennifer’s point of view, and her sarcastic sense of humour was missing, making this already darker book feel even more so.
In fact, for most of this book Jennifer herself is not present (although it could also be argued she’s present on every page as the events detailed all eventually revolve around her).
Seraph of Sorrow, follows six of the main secondary characters in the years and decades leading up to the present day and the dramatic events that are about to place, events which will change all their worlds forever. We get to know their histories, dealings, and connections that have shaped who and what they are, and we learn more about their involvement in Jennifer’s previous adventures.
We also get to follow from each of the six narrators, the lead-up to a point in the story where the beaststalkers, weredragons and werachnids, meet in a dramatic showdown that not all will survive.
I can see many fans initially hating, such a departure from the previous books. And whilst reading it, I like I suspect many, spent the time reading it, waiting for Jennifer to return.
But, once I had finished the book and had had time to think about it, I realised what a good book it was, this is a sophisticated and complex tale, that treats it’s audience with a great deal of intelligence.
And despite her reduced physical presence in the book, she is there in the background, even decades before she is born, the events are all leading to this one point in time, and right at the centre, the catalyst, is Jennifer Scales.
It does suffer from a slight – unavoidable – repetitiveness as we relive events from other points of view, some of which as I have noted we have seen from Jennifer’s in the previous books. But, the pay-off is that we gain new information each time that drives, each sub-story and the main arc forwards.
It is as I say a much darker world we are in now, and especially with the adult view point, the depictions, events and language reflect that.
The real value in this book I think will come in re-reading the book as part of the complete series, when you haven’t had to wait for the book to come out and the wait again for the next one.