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The Agben School ~ Review, Spotlight and Excerpt

The Agben School
The Legend of the Gamesmen 2
By Jo Sparkes

This is the second book in the Legend of the Gamesmen series and reading the first book is not necessary (I haven't read the first book, though I want to after reading The Agben School) though I'm sure it would help to know whom the various characters are.

Marra has a gift - the ability to work with herbs.  And this gift makes her invaluable to the The Hand of Victory, Gamesmen who played Comet.  Marra's gift is responsible for The Hand of Victory's journey to Missea, because she was able to awaken Tryst who had been left in an induced sleep and left to die.

Who is Tryst, you ask.  He is the lost prince of  Missea, who has kept his identity hidden, because of the betrayal that took him a year from his home.

But betrayal and treachery still thrive in Missea, thus Tryst, Marra, and anyone associated with them is in danger - mortal danger.  The Trumen are blamed for the Prince's "death" and war is about to catch them unaware.  But Tryst is convinced that there are some Missea at the heart of this evil that has infested his kingdom.

With time running out Tryst and Marra must determine how to stop a war that could utterly destroy the Trumen.  But the threat remains elusive, who is behind this unrest that is seeping into all levels of Missean society?

Marra's skills with herbs and her thirst for knowledge could be the only hope for those who dwell on the continent.  For someone who desires to live in the background, this demand could very well crush her beneath the weight of expectation.

Get ready for an ending you won't see coming!  And believe me it is a shock as the instigator behind the betrayals is revealed!

This book will appeal to fans of fantasy and it is a clean read so parents won't have qualms about letting their tweens and teens read this delightful book.  This is one that will leave them wanting more...

I was provided a copy of this book by the author through PUYB in exchange for my honest review and my tour participation.

Now to track down a copy of book one The Birr Exilir so that I can get the back-stories which were referenced in this book.

About the Author:

A well-known Century City Producer once said that Jo Sparkes “...writes some of the best dialogue I’ve read.” Her body of work includes scripts for Children’s live-action and animated television programs, a direct to video Children’s DVD, commercial work for corporate clients. She won the 2012 Kay Snow award for her screenplay, Frank Retrieval.

She’s written numerous articles for internet sites. As a member of the Pro Football Writer’s Association, she was a contributing writer for the Arizona Sports Fans Network, where she was known for her humorous articles, player interviews and game coverage. Jo was unofficially the first to interview Emmitt Smith when he arrived in Arizona to play for the Cardinals.

She served as an adjunct teacher at the Film School at Scottsdale Community College, and wrote “Feedback How to Give It How to Get It” for writers, actors, and other artists.

Her latest book is the fantasy, The Agben School.

For More Information:
• Visit Jo Sparkes’ website.
• Connect with Jo on Twitter and Facebook.
• Become Jo’s friend at Goodreads.
• Visit Jo’s blog.
More books by Jo Sparkes.
Contact Jo Sparkes.

About the Book:

Agben had stood for a thousand years. A mysterious school housing more than
students, it was the seat of the powerful Women of Agben, and the center for
harnessing the potency of herbs. Few knew all that transpired within the walls.

And now Marra stood at its gate.

Friends and support stripped from her, the fragile life she’d built for herself
now lay in tatters. And the source of this evil hunted her like a deer culled

The gateway before her was her only hope.

For as the city itself crumbled, all depended not on a prince trying to save his
people, nor the valiant men who’d brought them this far.

Everything depended on finding a magic powder in the vaults of Agben itself.

Everything depended on her.

For More Information

• The Agben School is available at Amazon.
• Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
• Read Chapter One here.

Title: The Agben School
Author: Jo Sparkes
Publisher: Oscar Press
Pages: 384
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Paperback

Book Excerpt:


Mik was all of ten years old, and had responsibility.

That’s what his mother had told him this morning, when it was time to open the
shop. His grandfather was ill, and needed care from time to time.

“Just keep it closed for the morning,” Father had suggested.

“Not with four ships in port,” Mother had snapped back.

So it was his job to mind the shop.

He’d done everything before, of course. Poured out the herbs, wrapped them in
paper. Kept them close to himself until the customer paid in coin. “A poor little Mid Isle
shop taking credit would go broke in a month,” his mother smilingly explained to any
who asked.

Yes, he’d seen it all and he knew what to do.

Until the pretty girl walked in. Maybe 16 years old, he guessed. Maybe more. Her
clothes weren’t as nice as many before her, but nicer than some. She had that desert air
about her, down to the sandal shoes, but her hair was long in the Missean fashion, not the
short cut of the Flats.

She didn’t seem Agben. But she didn’t seem not Agben, either.

It was a dark red hair, braided down her back. When she turned in the sunlight
from the door the red flashed at him. Little wisps escaped and curled around her face,
making her seem too soft.

Women of Agben were never soft.

Mik realized that responsibility did indeed have weight, just as his father said. He
was feeling that weight on his shoulders this very second.

The girl looked over the shelves carefully, and he didn’t interrupt her.

And then she turned to him, and smiled. The smile alone was almost enough to
prove she wasn’t Agben. Almost.

“Illsmith,” she said. “Do you have any?”

Mik nodded. “In the back, Miss. How much do you want?”

“Just a handful, please.” Her eyes were blue, he saw, but not the faded blue of his
mother and baby sister. Hers were a deep blue, like the sea’s depths as evening fell.

He hurried to fetch her Illsmith.

“And Musk Oil?” she called after him.

Ahh hah! The pretty girl must be of Agben, Mik realized. Illsmith was a desert
plant, and Musk Oil from the Great Continent. Those two went together, he knew, to rub
on sore muscles and strained shoulders. He knew because one of the Agben women had
told his mother so when his father had hurt himself pulling in the big swoopfish.

Mik grabbed a tiny glass bottle of oil – all of ten copper, he told himself – and
then the crock of Illsmith. Returning to the girl, he set both on the counter, and produced
a paper for the Illsmith. “Twelve copper,” he told her as plucked out a good handful of
the herb and wrapped it proper.

Some people frowned when the price was mentioned, but this girl merely pulled
coins from a pocket and counted it out.

Mik stooped low, to open the box his mother had told him he shouldn’t know
about, and snatch the pretty bauble inside.

He carefully wrapped it in a soft cloth, the kind used for fragile glass on long
trips. And then presented it to the girl.

 “What is this?” she asked, starting to lift a wrapped corner.

Mik stopped her as old man Tanner strode into the shop. “Take it,” the boy

“Mik, my boy,” Tanner grinned, looking around for his mother. The old man
always wanted advice on a new ache. “Your mother not here this morning?”

The girl hesitated, still staring at him. He snatched up the coin she’d placed on the
counter, and tugged the step ladder over to just beneath the Stomach Cure jar.

“That’s right,” Tanner told him. “Just a swig, my boy. Just a swig.”

Mik felt the pretty girl’s eyes on him. Surely she knew no one else was supposed
to see that thing. Surely she knew to stick it in her pocket and pretend it didn’t exist.

The girl gave him a last frown, but said no more. By the time he’d wrangled the
tonic down from the shelf, she’d gone.