Scales and Sensibility by Stephanie Burgis

An advanced digital readers copy was provided by NetGalley.

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

Scales and Sensibility, p1

A delightful regency romance filled with magic, dragons and impending disaster, Scales and Sensibility is a wicked blend of Christies Third Girl mystery and disguise and a clever supernatural homage to Jane Austen.

Exhausted by the tantrums and demands of her spoilt cousin, Elinor rescue’s Penelope’s pet dragon, gathers up her things and turns her back on the family who ‘took her in’ after her parents death.

A chance encounter with the carriage of a handsome stranger and a wish for more sets off a chain of events proving dragons aren’t just a fashion accessory and love is worth more than money.

What I Liked: Elinor was great fun. Sensible of her position in life (so like her namesake) but tired of the selfishness of her Aunt’s family, Elinor sees the chance to change her future and grabs it with both hands. Given the opportunity to be someone else, Elinor forces herself out of her comfort zone and starts speaking, and acting, with confidence, with style and with flair.

Tiny domesticated dragons that drape around your shoulders like a cat! This idea is wonderfully cute and our dragon hero is lovely. Small hints at the history of dragons and their capabilities are dropped leaving you ready for more. Speaking of dropping….I loved watching how Sir Jessamyn’s and Elinor’s affection for each other built his confidence as a reflection of her own growing strength.

What I didn’t like: Considering the title, the dragons in the story were underused – especially considering how pivotal they are to the progression of the story. I wanted more page time with Sir Jessamyn – I wanted to understand how he ticked, which of the fairy tales were correct about the history of dragons, and I wanted to see more of his relationship with Elinor.

Some of the characters were a little two dimensional – the motivation of the villains didn’t really make sense, the penury of Elinor’s family was purely a plot device to place her in her cousin’s home as a setting for her romance – it didn’t really develop naturally and the poncy scam felt too ridiculous to be real.

Conclusion: Three Tregarth sisters, three books. I might have some issues with the plot but I’m still ready to put my hand up and enjoy more Regency Dragons. I had fun reading this and will happily keep reading.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

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