The Agben School by Jo Sparkes

Official blurb:

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.

With 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 from the herd.

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.

Cover of fantasy novel The Agben School, by Jo Sparkes

Another winner by Jo Sparkes

Review by Katy Haye:

The Agben School follows on from the events of The Birr Elixir (reviewed previously) and it was a pleasure to return to the world of Marra and her friends.

Sparkes’ world-building is superb. I was right there in the story, and her description is always beautifully vivid (I could stay for days in the Agben school’s wonderful garden). All the characters (including some new ones) developed believably during the course of the story, and I really liked the fact that even the minor characters had their own desires and worries, and lives that carried on outside the pages.

The plot cracked on at a good pace with lots of tension and intriguing twists and turns.

There were a couple of unconvincing moments between Drail and Marra, particularly when Drail found Marra in a part of the Agben school most students weren’t aware of, much less stray men who shouldn’t be wondering around the school in the first place.

However, the twist at the final comet game made up for any wobbles – it was such a blinder I gasped aloud. An excellent finish and I can’t wait for The Dim Continent so I can spend some more time with Marra and the others.

Four piranhas piranha stars turquoise 4

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