Book Review : Scales and Sensibility

Book Review : Scales and SensibilityScales and Sensibility (Regency Dragons, #1) by Stephanie Burgis
Series: Regency Dragons #1
Published by Five Fathoms Press on October 4th 2021
Pages: 307
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four-half-stars

Sensible, practical Elinor Tregarth really did plan to be the model poor relation when she moved into Hathergill Hall. She certainly never meant to kidnap her awful cousin Penelope's pet dragon. She never expected to fall in love with the shameless - but surprisingly sweet - fortune hunter who came to court Penelope. And she never dreamed that she would have to enter into an outrageous magical charade to save her younger sisters' futures.


However, even the most brilliant scholars of 1817 England still haven't ferreted out all the lurking secrets of rediscovered dragonkind...and even the most sensible of heroines can still make a reckless wish or two when she's pushed. Now Elinor will have to find out just how rash and resourceful she can be when she sets aside all common sense. Maybe, just maybe, she'll even be impractical enough to win her own true love and a happily ever after...with the unpredictable and dangerous "help" of the magical creature who has adopted her.
A frothy Regency rom-com full of pet dragons and magical misadventures, Scales and Sensibility is a full-length novel and the first in a new series of standalone romantic comedies.

Sometimes a novel manages to feel like it was written just for the reader, ticking off all the boxes of everything we could ever want to read. Scales and Sensibility was the case for me, and it very much felt like the author wrote it just for me, somehow knowing of my abiding love for both Jane Austen and dragons and then writing this purely fun and magical tale:

 

Jane Austen inspired? Check. 

Dragons? Check.

Intelligent and resourceful female protagonist? Check.

Despicable familial relations? Check.  

Dreamy male lead who loves the female protagonist for who she really is? Check.

 

“It was a truth universally acknowledged that any young lady without a dragon was doomed to social failure.”

 

In Scales and Sensibility, dragons not only exist, but are the height of fashion for ladies as, of all things, a living and breathing accessory. The novel follows young Elinor, a poor relation, staying with her weary aunt, abrasive uncle, and her spoiled rotten cousin, Penelope. In their home, she is treated more as a servant than as a treasured family member, reminding me more of Austen’s Mansfield Park than Sense and Sensibility. Though Elinor can withstand her own treatment, she cannot abide by the abusive treatment Penelope’s dragon, Sir Jessamyn is faced with at the hands of Penelope, and spirits the poor dragon away, leaving the house and setting off on her own. 

 

“Of course he was a romantic ideal come to life! What else could possibly make this moment more painful?”

 

After departing her relatives’ home, Elinor encounters a dashing young gentleman named Mr. Hawkins, who isn’t bothered by her new dragon’s nervous vomiting on his waistcoat, and has a lot in common with her. She also finds that Sir Jessamyn is very grateful to be free of his former master, and that dragons may not be as bereft of magic as previously believed. Finding herself in a newly impossible situation, Elinor and Sir Jessamyn must now navigate the upper echelons of society, while Elinor tries not to fall hopelessly in love with the swoon worthy Mr. Hawkins who, in a true entangled Austen fashion, wishes to marry her awful cousin Penelope, and comes closer and closer to figuring out all of her secrets.

 

I didn’t expect Scales and Sensibility to go in the direction it did, I won’t say too much because I don’t want to spoil the novel, but I really enjoyed the surprising ride. In fact, I couldn’t put the book down because I need to know how it ended! Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Scales and Sensibility is utterly charming. I found myself laughing aloud at the humor in the book, rooting for the heroine, and loving Sir Jessamyn the dragon just as much as Elinor. Sir Jessamyn was really the standout of the novel for him, and I loved the bond between Elinor and her precious dragon.  

 

I really feel that Scales and Sensibility was such a unique and inspired idea, which captures all the hallmarks of Jane Austen and the regency time period and all of its social rules, and then infuses it with fantasy and magic. This is all without the novel taking itself too seriously or being afraid to depart from the works of Jane Austen. I absolutely adored Scales and Sensibility and I already can’t wait for future entries in the series, which will feature Elinor’s sisters! If you love dragons, regency era, Jane Austen, romance, or magic, read this book at once!

 

 

four-half-stars
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Book Review: Scales and Sensibility - Blogging with Dragons

Posted November 2, 2021 in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Romance

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