When a young apprentice makes a mysterious elixir from a recipe in an old book, she’s suddenly the talisman for a daring Gamesman – and the weapon in the conspiracy against a prince.
Review by Katy Haye:
I loved the world-building in The Birr Elixir – I was really there feeling the dust and sand under my feet. There were some great characters – Marra was very easy to identify with and I enjoyed watching her blossom from a down-trodden start into a capable young woman. The Hand of Victory team were also an engaging bunch, and there were several mysteries to keep me guessing. Oh, and I’m well aware of the old adage, but look at that cover, what a stunner!
Lively, entertaining and good humoured, The Birr Elixir was a super read.
What stopped it getting 5/5 was that a couple of characters wandered into gadzooks “that it be” speech patterns for a line or two before wandering back to normal speech (much better idea). And this is entirely my own fault for not paying attention to the length before I bought it – it’s a novella and very much the start of the story for Marra and the Comet team. One narrative thread was tied up neatly at the end, but I felt a bit cheated that the big story set up at the start wasn’t resolved. Don’t take that to mean you shouldn’t read it, you absolutely should, just be aware that The Birr Elixir is only one part of a larger whole. Fortunately, The Agben School, next in the series is published and ready to move straight onto (review to follow).