Book Review#16: The Balance of Heaven and Earth


I have been unable to write a judgement that does not seem to offend my conscience, or indeed Heaven, in some manner. Because I do not wish to influence your thinking unduly, I have destroyed all my personal papers and notes in regard to this dispute, preferring you to start afresh. Forgive me for this. All I ask is that you consider and examine Jade Moon most carefully before coming to a decision. I find her fascinating and unsettling in equal measure, and fear the consequences of a wrongful judgement. I will say no more.

My sincerest best wishes to you and your family,

Magistrate Qian
Fifth District, Chengdu Prefecture
1st day of the 2nd Moon, 1085

So ends the letter of welcome (and of warning) to Magistrate Zhu, newly arrived in the remote border town of Tranquil Mountain. He has travelled far from his extensive family estates on the outskirts of Kaifeng – the glorious Song Dynasty capital – hoping to find atonement for past mistakes.

Yet he quickly discovers that Tranquil Mountain is anything but tranquil. The town is beset with simmering tensions since the death of his predecessor. Before Magistrate Zhu even has time to accustom himself to his inexperienced and wayward constabulary and the lowliness of his new surroundings, there is a mysterious murder, rumours of ghosts and blood-thirsty bandits out on the streets, and a disturbing kidnapping to solve – as well as the tragic and tangled legal circumstances of the local heroine Jade Moon to unravel.

For the balance of Heaven and Earth to be maintained, and to prevent catastrophe coming to Tranquil Mountain, Magistrate Zhu is well aware that not a single injustice can be allowed to stand. As he struggles to reach the correct judgements, he realises he has no choice but to offer up his career and perhaps even his own life for the greater good. And, in so doing, he discovers that as Jade Moon’s fate rests in his hands, so his fate ultimately rests in hers.


#balanceofheavenandearth by#laurencewestwood is a mystery book about Ancient China where magistrate and constables replaced detective and policeman. This book is set in the Tranquil Mountain; a town in China (in 1085), and revolves around the two main characters of this book Magistrate Zhu and Jade Moon. Magistrate Zhu just arrived to the Tranquil Mountains from his home town for his new job. He accepted this new position just to remove the word “DIS” in Dishonored from his reputation, but less he know is that Tranquil Mountain is anything but Tranquil and that his arrival will set the things in motion.

Within sometimes he found himself in heaps of paperwork and had to face the blood-thirst bandits, rumors of ghost, tangled circumstances of Jade Moon to unravel, and to solve the unsolved murder mystery.

For the balance of Heaven and Earth Magistrate Zhu have to prevent any injustice for the sake of Tranqil Mountain and to prevent the upcoming catastrophe, and for doing so he can offer his job or even his life for the reatee good; BUT, less he know that his fate is in Jade’s hand and so does Jade’s fate rest in his hand.

I love this book for the following reasons:
1) I absolutely love the concept of this a beautifully pen-down mystery book.
2)The characters were well built.
3) The world building was intensely realistic.
4) The writing style was distinct and we’ll developed.
5) The book shows the clear image that how deeply the author have researched for the book.
6) The book offers immersive experience.
7) The book have the tint of the crime shows (-they are mine Favourite).
8) This book shows all the elements of a crime fiction, whether it’s about the characters, place, victims, infact everything; and this shows how well researched the book is, and TBH I love this fact as if your writing a book then you should know about everything especially related to timezone.
9) Even the book was well researched but the story was slow paced and I found it kinda dragged at some points.
10) I personally think that the author would have done better if he could made the Magistrate Zhu’s character a bit more interesting and Jade Moon’s character a bit more prominent.

Over all this book is worth reading, Laurence had done a wonderful job in creating this world , a world that is reincarnated to a time that seems to lost, He had paid his finest attention to ever big and little details and it shows how much Laurence love China.

Recommend to the lover’s to crime fiction/ thriller, who want to read ancient history of China, and to those who want to read something different.



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