I can say that Serpent of the Shangrove is not as good as Darkspire Reaches, it is considerably BETTER. Although Serpent of the Shangrove can be read as a standalone novel, it is much more satisfying, in my opinion, if you have read Darkspire Reaches first. Lesley is extremely adept at creating new, believable, fantasy worlds populated by fascinating and interesting creatures.
Serpent of the Shangrove begins fourteen years after the Drakkens had fled their world through the star portal for a new beginning. The reappearance of the star portal and an ill-timed remark to Copper, about his half-breed status sends him back through the portal in search of his lost creche mate back in the old world. So begins a tale rich in excitement, action and emotion.
One of the things I particularly like about Lesley's writing is her ability to recreate human emotions in her creatures and to evoke empathy and understanding in the reader's minds. We are treated to some thought provoking ideas about loss, love, honesty, dignity, status and "racial" harmony, all wrapped up in a cracking adventure story.
I was very disappointed when this book ended, which is always a sign of how much I've enjoyed it. I note with satisfaction that there has been an opening left for a third book in the series, should the author desire it. I hope she does.
A wonderful book that I highly recommend and give it a full five stars, without hesitation. In the fantasy/world creation stakes C N Lesley is up there with the best. Great job!