Monday, September 2, 2013

Elixir of Fantasy

Book: The Birr Elixir
Author: Jo Sparks
Pages : 164
Rating : 4/5

Something from the Book : 

“Ignorance, my son. A blessing in a woman, a fault in a man. And a fatal flaw in a King.”All of Tryst’s carefully marshaled arguments faded. Like it or not, he was going on the epourney.

I will read it today!
Hell, I have so much work; I will surely read it tomorrow!
It has been a week!!! I am starting sure today.

And that today didn’t come for four more weeks. But when it finally came I skipped my lunch hour cause I didn’t want to leave the story unfinished. Not that I had to finish it, but I was scared that if I leave the book now and for some reason I can’t resume reading it soon it would drive me crazy. That was the power of “The Birr Elixir” by Jo Sparkes. A fellow blogger had posted information about this book and after I read it I just needed the book. Thank you so much Jo for letting me review the book.

The Book begins with the Skullan Prince Tryst and his meeting with his father. He sets off on a journey to explore his lands and connect and understand his people. Around the same time a young girl named Marra is made to work in a small herb shop by the evil brother of her now deceased Mistress. She was the only apprentice her Mistress ever accepted and before she died she gave Marra her book of portions – A book she specifically asked Marra to keep away from her brother Stark.

Marra’s world transforms totally when Drail the Leader of the Hand of Victory asks her to brew a powerful portion to help them win a game called COMET and Marra brews the Birr’s Elixir. When Drail and his team achieve the unfathomable feat of defeating Skullans he decides to take Marra as his Brista. But when he comes to take Marra with him to the faraway lands they find an unconscious man in the shop and Drail decides to take the man along with them. The sleeping man is under an unnatural sleep spell that Marra manages to break with her skills during the journey. But who is this man? What is Marra going to do as she was just an apprentice and not a portions Mistress but now is Drail’s Brista? What will the journey change in Marra’s life, a girl who had never left her desert town. And who is this unconscious man?

The book is a total roller coaster ride of the world Jo has created. Also the mystery of Tryst and the fox boot person looms over the entire story. The narrative pulls you totally into the world of Marra and the description of the Comet game is very vivid. The fast pace of the book keeps you hooked till the very end and as this book is the first book of the series it leaves you yearning for more and leaves a lot of questions unanswered for the readers to torment their grey cells. The book covers everything from magic to adventure to drama. And the story of the characters is strong and not just happy or sad.

  1. The book is very fast paced and involving and Jo’s strong narrative keeps you totally engrossed in the book.
  2. The description of the game Comet is just amazing and our imaginary horses can actually sketch the whole scenario while reading.
  3. The Characters are strong and very well used. I particularly loved the character of Drail and Stark.
  4. The way the plot thickens is very intriguing. Literally, loved every bit of it.

  1. The description of the areas they were travelling to could have been more. That would have made the land more authentic and readers could connect well.
  2. The resemblances – Comet with Quidditch, Continents and lands with Game of thrones – Westeros. Though not the fault of the Author, avid fantasy readers would directly make the connection and may find that to be a negative point about the book.

Overall it is an amazing book, a four out of five. Light, fast paced, easy to follow fantasy. An enjoyable read for both the young and the old fantasy readers. And as far as I am concerned, the only thought I have right now is “When is the next book coming?”