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The Fires of Calderon

(The Balance Keepers #1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  378 ratings  ·  102 reviews
The first book in an epic middle grade fantasy adventure series that takes place in an underground society at the center of the earth. Packed with action, humor, magic, and mystery.

After following a mysterious map into the woods and then under the woods, eleven-year-old Albert Flynn learns he’s a Balance Keeper—someone with special magical skills for fixing problems in thr
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  378 ratings  ·  102 reviews

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Lindsay Cummings
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: books-i-wrote
check out some cool fan art here!

I LOVE THAT SOMEONE PUT IT ON HERE! :) I can't wait for yall to read this series! :) In the words of my dear friend Victoria Scott, rating your own book 5 stars is super fun to do. :)
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, signed
GUYS. This series is going to BE AWESOME. Just click that you want to read it right now! A series that is described as Harry Potter meets Percy Jackson...could it get better than that?! I'm dying for this series to come out so you can all read it!
Jan 24, 2013 marked it as to-read
"Harry Potter meets Percy Jackson"?

Jen Gray
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
WOO! GO LINDSAY! This is so super exciting. Even though I've known for a few days! Gosh Lindsay, you're killing me with all these 2014 book releases! ILL DIE FROM HAPPINESS! But seriously, congratulations. This is such a big achievement, and you deserve it! I'll be here cheering you on! Hugs!!
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Yay, I've officially read all of the Lindsay Cummings's books! Haha. :)

This probably won't be a super long review, but I guess I'll just say why I decided on a 4 star rating instead of a 5. I feel like if I had read this when I was 10-13 years old I would have LOVED it! It's a really amazing adventure book about friendship and magic. I just found it hard to connect with the characters, as the three main characters were all 11 years old. I hate to say that, but it's the truth. That being said, I
Lauren Cummings
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
love this concept! congrats to Lindsay for the trilogy deal, can't wait to buy copies of all of them!
A. Rolland
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of Balance Keepers. Cummings sculpts a madly creative world with impressive ease. The imaginative settings are stellar and by far my favorite part. I also enjoyed the clever way the characters acquire their powers. Balance Keepers is reminiscent of some of my favorite series, particularly Harry Potter and even Ender’s Game- without giving too much away, “the Pit” in the story reminded me of the battle room in Ender’s Game (one of my favorite books of ...more
Mar 29, 2013 marked it as to-read
Oh, I don't know if I can wait a whole year...or MORE!!
Becky Savoie
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
So I loved this book! Don't usually read too much in middle grade, but I liked this one. The characters were well-rounded and didn't feel super-cliche. The idea of the Balance Keepers was interesting and I can't wait to see what the other realms look like. I like that just because certain characters are teamed up with the most unlikeable ones, doesn't always mean that they're all just as mean and spiteful (a.k.a. NONE of Slytherin staying to fight). Even the "bad guys" can surprise you from time ...more
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book thru the First Reads Program.

Fun book with great characters and lots of adventure. I can see a great series developing from it!
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After following Lindsay Cummings online for a few years now, I finally picked up one of her books after finding The Fires of Calderon at a library book sale. This is a middle grade fantasy novel, and the first the Balance Keepers trilogy. Readers follow a boy named Albert who is visiting his father for the summer. Albert plans to work in the Dead Letter Office at the local post office, but his summer changes when a dog named Farnsworth brings him a letter that needs to be delivered. This letter ...more
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ok, this book may be geared towards the younger readers but I am still a kid at heart (So that counts right). I loved this book. The magical world that the author built was great. Instantly I like Albert did not want to leave. I was a little sad when the book was over. Which it seemed like I had barely just opened the book before the story ended. It was a very fast read. As I was reading this book I could not help but picture Harry Potter. While Albert is not a wizard, he is a great Balance Keep ...more
Sama Aziz
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I want to say that this review is entirely unfair for me to write. I usually don't exactly like MG books because obviously I've grown out of them and have no idea what it's like to love a book so... childish anymore. But I'll try my hardest to act as though I was a 10 year-old reviewing this.

When I first heard what this book was about, I was all like "YEA! I LOVE HARRY POTTER!" But I also heard it was a crossover of Percy Jackson too and I'm like "UGH I don't like Percy Jackson!" S
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, arc
This was such a fun read, full of creativity and adventure, and featuring a great humorous voice. I could definitely see middle-grade readers who loved series like Harry Potter and Keeper of the Lost Cities eating it right up. And Farnsworth deserves a special mention as both best pet and best-named pet in recent memory. :) Kudos to Ms. Cummings on a terrific MG debut!
When Albert is given a letter to give to someone in the woods little does he know that its the start of a magical journey to save the world. He is told that he is a Balance Keeper and will spend the summer in the Core training to keep the balance between the realms. Along with his teammates Birdie and Leroy, Albert must train as fast and hard as he can because there is a devastating imbalance in the Calderon Realm and the world above is suffering. Albert also needs to figure out his magical powe ...more
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: ☆☆☆☆.5/☆☆☆☆☆
By: Lindsay Cummings
Pages: 335
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
ISBN: 9780062275189

The Fires of Calderon is the first book in Lindsay Cummings trilogy, the Balance Keepers. In the book it follows a boy, Albert, who is from Herman and all he wants to do it have a great adventure and make some friends on the way. His wish is granted. At eleven years old he is called to the center of the Earth to become a Balance Keeper. A Balance Keeper is someone with powers, based on the tile t
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Can I tell you I really loved this book? I am quite fond of Middle Grade reads because they are so fun and have such strong stories full of imagination and make believe. I read Lindsay Cummings YA book and loved it so this book was a must for me to read and she did not disappoint. She created a world underground and 3 lovable characters that reminded me a little of the friendship in Harry Potter. I adore Albert, Leroy and Birdie and I loved the friendship they had, three quiet kids that connect ...more
*NOTE: This is a review of the entire trilogy.*

I'd heard great things about Lindsay Cumming's The Murder Complex duology. I hadn't heard many things about her Balance Keepers trilogy, but I had been wanting to read a lot of middle grade fantasy books lately, so I figured I'd try it before The Murder Complex. I ended up loving it. In fact, I loved it so much that I read the entire trilogy in two days, which is no easy feat considering the size of the books.

I loved everything about The Balance Kee
Bayram F
May 28, 2014 rated it liked it
*an e-ARC of this book was given to me via Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review*

I'm usually not a person who reads MG books (Rick Riordan's books are, of course an exception) but after seeing Balance Keepers on Edelweiss I decided to request it for the hell of it. While it was certainly a fun book to read its not one that I necessarily loved let alone really liked. The author meets her target audience with this book but as a mostly YA reader I just didn't feel that click towards it
Michael Burns
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I picked up this book because I was a massive fan of Lindsay Cummings’ previous novel THE MURDER COMPLEX, yet it sat on my shelf for months before I finally found time to sit down and read it. And I’m so glad that I did. I don’t read a lot of Middle Grade, but books like this remind me of why I should. I’ve heard BALANCE KEEPERS be described as ‘Harry Potter meets Percy Jackson’, and while I don’t normally take reviews like that to heart, I have to say that if you love either of these series’ (o ...more
Jan 15, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book based on the rave reviews and ignored the negative ones. After struggling to finish the book, I see the issues others were talking about. The story itself is fine and I'm sure young kids will find it appealing who don't know or remember much about Harry Potter. With that in mind, that was my problem with this book. I lost count as I finished the novel of how many ideas in this story are reused ideas from Harry potter. They are outright glaring and anyone who has read HP knows wha ...more
Jan farnworth
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ok, this book may be geared towards the younger readers but I am still a kid at heart (So that counts right). I loved this book. The magical world that the author built was great. Instantly I like Albert did not want to leave. I was a little sad when the book was over. Which it seemed like I had barely just opened the book before the story ended. It was a very fast read. As I was reading this book I could not help but picture Harry Potter. While Albert is not a wizard, he is a great Balance Keep ...more
Louise Galveston
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book has all the elements that will draw young readers in and keep them turning pages: a likable, adventuresome main character in Albert, well-drawn sidekicks in Birdie (she's full of feist), and Leroy who is not so adventuresome, but totally endearing and a jolly, mysterious mutt. The world building is wonderful and the writing is both clever and beautifully descriptive. Kids will love the fantastical Core creatures, and root for Albert and his friends when they come up against challenges ...more
Dec 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Albert is in the dead letter office of the post office in Herman, Wyoming for the summer. His dad is the postman. Albert is asked to deliver a letter and finds his way to a whole new world. He becomes part of a team with Birdie and Leroy.
The story is well written and imaginative. It is the beginning of a series. I really like it because the kids just keep working at getting better at their new job of Balance Keepers in spite of bullies and challenges. Like most children's books they end up the
Sep 23, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Predictable. Nothing new or fresh about the idea. I was looking forward to this a lot. It felt like the author was forcing the story and characters on me, to make me like it all. It was hard to get into also, not sure what all the high reviews are so far except probably friends and family and over excited fans. Will be interesting to see over time how the general fans respond to the book. The story also, to me, was hard to tell if it was MG or YA, since the author already as a YA book out and a ...more
Tammy Crosby
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Read this to my son who's 8 and he had this to say;

"I loved the book very much. I liked the adventures they all had together. I loved how you made Alberts tile unknown. I want the next book to come out VERY soon!!!! I love your book so much Lindsay."

I enjoyed reading this to my son. Very similar to Harry Potter series, perhaps too similar for my liking, but without the darker edge to it. A good clean fun read and not too scary for the sensitive hearts.
Taylor Knight
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lindsay Cummings is such a masterful writer. I was just amazed by the writing style and how she pieced together such a great fantasy world. The world of the Balance Keepers is a really interesting place. The overall plot was very much Harry Potter meets Percy Jackson but there was a lot of original and creative ideas.
This is one of the best middle grade books I've read.
Aug 07, 2014 marked it as dnf
This was fine-ish, and I think kids will really like it. Maybe. Kids are weird. I mean, I work with them every day and I still don't get what drives kid trends.

Anyway, I got about halfway through and it felt like a slog. I could pretty much guess where everything was going.

A thought: why can't the Chosen One have two girl friends? Or BE a girl? Perish the thought.
Apr 02, 2013 marked it as dnf
Shelves: fantasy, dragons
DNF at 37% - I love these types of stories, but this one isn't working for me. Cummings paints a strange world, but not one I find exciting and I don't feel any sort of connection to the characters. I guess there are only a certain amount of times I can handle the 'chosen one' plotline.
Craig MacLachlan
Absolutely phenomenal book by Lindsay Cummings. What an excellent story with memorable characters! I will not spoil one bit of this for anyone so buy it when it comes out!
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Lindsay Cummings is the #1 NYT Bestselling co-author of ZENITH, along with her duology, THE MURDER COMPLEX from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, and the MG trilogy THE BALANCE KEEPERS, from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins. She is represented by Pete Knapp at Park Literary in NYC.

Lindsay deals with chronic fatigue, writes full time from her home in the deep woods in North Texas, and loves to ch

Other books in the series

The Balance Keepers (3 books)
  • The Pillars of Ponderay (The Balance Keepers, #2)
  • The Traitor of Belltroll (The Balance Keepers, #3)

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