Happy Wednesday! Today I am excited to share with you one of my new favorite book series, the Balance Keepers by Lindsay Cummings. I’ve followed Lindsay’s YouTube channel for years now, and when I found the first book in this series at a library book sale, I knew I had to scoop it up. I don’t read a lot of middle grade novels, so I was nervous this wouldn’t be the series for me. I am so happy to say I fell in love with the Balance Keepers, and I hope to encourage more people to pick up these books. Here are five reasons why you should read the Balance Keepers trilogy by Lindsay Cummings!
The Balance Keepers trilogy is a middle grade fantasy series consisting of The Fires of Calderon, The Pillars of Ponderay, and The Traitor of Belltroll. You can read my full, non-spoiler review of the first book in the series by visiting my Goodreads page HERE.
1. Imaginative Magic System
The first reason I love the Balance Keepers trilogy is the unique magic system. This series takes place in the underground world known as the Core, which works to ensure the Earth above is safe from danger. Our protagonist Albert is a Balance Keeper, and he must work to restore any imbalance in one of the three realms to keep Earth safe. Each Balance Keeper gets one magic power by diving underwater to retrieve a tile with a symbol on it. Whenever you wear your tile in the Core, you get to use its magic power! There are tiles that allow you to speak with animals, tiles that give you an incredible memory, tiles that help you swim, and many more. I loved seeing this magic system come to life, as it encouraged the characters in the book to work together to solve problems.
2. Strong Friendship
Speaking of the characters, another reason to read this trilogy is the strong friendships represented in the story. Albert is put onto Team Hydra with a boy named Leroy and a girl named Birdie when he arrives to the Core. These three become fast friends, and it is wonderful to see how much they care for one another. They work as a team to keep the Core safe, but they also support each other and build each other up if one is feeling sad. It’s also wonderful to see Albert, Leroy, and Birdie grow as friends throughout the trilogy!
3. Exciting Adventures
Another reason to read this series is the aspect of adventure. In addition to competitive training simulations, Team Hydra is always on the move around the Core to discover more information and learn all they can about this new place. Each book also ends up with a trip inside a magical realm, where Albert, Leroy, and Birdie must figure out how to deal with the realm’s unique geography and creatures to help restore its balance. I really enjoy adventure-filled stories, and the Balance Keepers trilogy always keeps me turning pages for more!
4. Magical Creatures
If you are an animal lover, you are going to adore this trilogy! In addition to a wide variety of interesting creatures, this series features a special dog named Farnsworth. While he looks like any normal dog, Farnsworth can actually live for many, many years, and he also has flashlights for eyes! Farnsworth is Albert’s companion creature, and goes with him everywhere he possibly can. It’s so sweet that Farnsworth plays such a big role in the series, and I loved reading about him and the other creatures of the Core.
5. Strong Writing
Last but not least, I think this series stands out because Cummings has a great writing style. This trilogy is aimed at middle grade readers, so it does cater to that audience in terms of the tone. However, the writing can definitely appeal to adults as well. I was very impressed with how Cummings weaves her storylines together. While there is one over-arching plot in the Balance Keepers series as a whole, each book also has a smaller plot that concludes nicely. In addition, I found the series to be quite unpredictable. I could never guess what was going to happen next, and that kept me wanting more. I’m also inspired to read more of Cummings’s books now that I know I enjoy her writing!
I hope this blog post introduced you to a new series, and that you will give it a try! These are just some of the reasons I adore the Balance Keepers trilogy, but there are many more, including the character of Pap, Albert’s adorable grandpa. Whether you are already a fan of middle grade fantasy, or you are looking for something out of your comfort zone, I think the Balance Keepers will keep you entertained from start to finish. Please be sure to let me know if you read the series!
What is your favorite middle grade fantasy book? Let me know in the comments!
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