The Birr Elixir by Jo Sparkes (YA Fantasy)
This short book is the first in a series called The Legend of the Gamesmen. It caught my interest right away, and I read it in one afternoon. It’s a fantasy with princes, potions, good guys and bad guys, and a team of gallant young gamesmen engaged in a competitive game called Comet.
The female lead character, Marra, has inherited a book of potions from the deceased herbalist with whom she was apprenticing, and among the potions is an elixir that helps the gamesmen win against tough odds. Male leads include the captain of the Comet team and a prince traveling incognito who joins up with Marra and the gamesmen. I suspect this will turn into a love triangle in coming books. Meanwhile nasties have kidnapped the prince once and are trying to do it again, so there’s lots going on.
The writing is very good and the story is quick-moving and fun. I enjoyed the cleverness of the game the author has invented and how it is scored. Things are a little confusing because this book leaves some basic questions unanswered, like why the nasties want to kidnap the prince, which you might expect to find out before the first book ends. But it wasn’t enough to keep me from enjoying the story, and since the book is so short, moving on to book two, The Agben School, is an easy fix.
Bella gives The Birr Elixir four stars.
Bella Reads and Reviews received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.