Book Review: Balancing the Scales
A Unique Tale of Dragons and Love
A dangerous quest, dragon lore, poisonous ash—these are all elements that make for a fun and engaging story. "Balancing the Scales" by Laura Christian is an action-packed tale of familial love and commitment. Tiffin, a 14-year-old herder, lives with his father and aunt in a small kingdom. When a dragon attacks their lands, the poisonous ash causes Tiffin’s aunt to become deathly ill. The only hope is for Tiffin to collect a scale from the very dragon that attacked his home.
Christian’s dragon lore and magical system are unique and interesting. It utilizes both natural and learned abilities to create powerful characters. Tiffin’s struggles, set in a fantastic world, are relatable because he evolves while facing challenges and making concessions for the love of family.
"Balancing the Scales" is a novella targeted at upper middle-grade and lower YA readers. It includes low levels of fantasy gore and violence. Christian excels in painting environments that allow you to imagine Tiffin and those who join him on his quest. If your tween has been reading Wings of Fire or enjoys How to Train Your Dragon, they will likely enjoy this short and action-packed tale.
I could see Tiffin’s story continuing in the future, with hopefully more about his journey as a dragon tamer.