Vengeful realm tim facciola book review
book review

Book Review: The Scales of Balance by Tim Facciola

THE SCALES OF BALANCE by Tim Facciola is a captivating fantasy with strong characters and even stronger combat scenes. Check out what Timothy Thomas has to say in his book review of this indie fantasy novel.

The Scales of Balance (A Vengeful Realm, 1)

by Tim Facciola

Genre: Fantasy / Action & Adventure

ISBN: 9798986285528

Print Length: 530 pages

Reviewed by Timothy Thomas

A captivating fantasy with strong characters and even stronger combat scenes

Even in the most ideal of circumstances, peace is an elusive thing. Even in our world where we employ diplomacy to resolve conflicts, there is an implicit acknowledgement that the path to peace is paved with blood. Such a peace cannot last. 

It is this understanding of peace that author Tim Facciola brings to the pages of A Vengeful Realm, a fantasy novel replete with spilled blood in the name of a peace that every faction defines differently. Gods, judges, kings, mages, gladiators, slaves, all vying for position in a life that demands the deaths of one’s enemies to be achieved. 

New Rheynia is on the brink of another civil war. As King Varros stands before his kingdom, Queen Danella plots his assassination should he not heed her request. With the kingdom in the balance and the rebellious Revivalists’ in the shadows, Prince Laeden takes it upon himself to protect his father by bringing down the insurgents, unaware that the blood he seeks spilled is his stepmother’s.

And somehow, Zephyrus finds himself in the middle of all of this. Having awakened with no memories and the only indications of who he is foretelling opposing paths for him, he is made a pawn in the Prince’s game and enters gladiatorial slavery for his exceptional fighting abilities to be a spy on Laeden’s behalf. To establish his future, he must secure his past, for therein lies the key to his freedom from the arena, and toward his destiny. 

It is difficult to overstate the storytelling prowess of author Tim Facciola. As if representative of the balance the title speaks of, his writing rarely finds a scene that is not appropriately captured in tone, pacing, and dialogue. The rich catalogue of characters all have a greater depth than what may initially be perceived, and all have their own mostly sympathetic motivations. Perhaps most noteworthy of all is the vividly illustrative way in which the combat scenes are written. From a chaotic slave rebellion to an assassination attempt in the dead of night, the author does a remarkable job of writing action sequences in readable and easy to follow prose. 

The Scales of Balance is a story full of detail. There are many narratives and plot points to keep track of, not to mention the worldbuilding elements that grow in significance throughout the story. On a first read it can be difficult to find traction because of the sheer amount of material and history that one needs to keep track of. This isn’t as much of an issue with the characters and their individual perspectives as it is with the society as a whole. The difference between factions, their goals and aims, as well as the distinctions between the Judges and the Gods are not always apparent, making understanding the larger narrative difficult at times. 

In spite of this, this book is impressive. Readers of fantasy with a penchant for middle-aged settings will applaud its intricate storytelling and thoughtful worldbuilding. As this is the first of a planned trilogy, I look forward to seeing what other adventures this world holds for the future.

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