Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “The Dim Continent: Series Finale (The Legend of the Gamesmen Book 3),” by Author, Jo Sparkes

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

The Legend of the Gamesmen

More than mere sport, the gamesmen stand for an idea. That humble men can win the day, that the lowly are not so low. That the least of men may yet succeed. This is the tale that launched the legend. 

The Women of Agben use potions to heal and enhance. Now Marra knows of a third use, one that brews goo capable of detecting a prince or a potion to hide a creature’s appearance. It’s forbidden – and being wielded against Tryst’s throne.

Its key ingredient grows only on the Dim Continent.

Journeying with her mentor to this fabled place, she stumbles on another secret. Agben allows Terrin females into the order, the same hairy creatures that kidnapped a king. Now the trust that bound the two species together is rapidly corroding.

Marra doesn’t know Prince Tryst has also pursued the traitors to this wild, dangerous land. Or that Drail travels with him, to provide gamesmen cover.

In a land of strange beings and dangerous animals, the three friends must again pool their skills, this time not just to save themselves – but to save all their people. The fate of Skullan and Trumen alike depend on defeating a powerful enemy who has plotted their destruction for centuries.

The final battle looms in the evil heart of power – the Dim Continent.

Title: The Dim Continent: Series Finale – The Legend of the Gamesmen Book Three

Amazon Author Page: Jo Sparkes

Publication Date: August 30, 2018

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Science fiction & Fantasy, Children’s E-books, Fantasy & Magic, Sword & Sorcery

Goodreads

MY RECOMMENDATION: 

I’ve read and reviewed the first book in the series, “The Birr Elixir,” HERE. Book two is “The Agben School,” and you can read my review, HERE. Please note: The Author as changed the book covers from my previous reviews. ❤

At the Agben school, Marra has learned the art of concocting potions that help to heal and enhance. She has a keen sense of smell and this ability helps her surpass all expectations.

But when she stumbles upon the concealed body of King Bactor, she also discovers there exists a forbidden potion that can change and deceive appearances, found only on the Dim Continent.

The Skullan empire is under siege and the healers of the Agben school are forced to act. One of their own, Rain, has grabbed more authority for herself by betraying the trust of their order and escaping to the Dim Continent. Could this evil have spread to more of the healers? The time has come for Kirth and Marra to venture to the Dim Continent to seek out the truth of Rain’s deceit. 

Weaving throughout the story is the game of Comet. The “game” is played in an arena with two opposing teams. At an inner circle in the field, a line is drawn in the sand by a judge. It is forbidden for the teams to cross the line until the judge allows it. There is much jockeying for the balls by both team members. Four leather balls need to be dropped into a cone-shaped area to score points, which are determined by the judge. Each ball has distinctive markings which ascertain the number of points each ball is worth.

As contact sports go, I envisioned the game to be a combination of football and hockey with players participating in a competition to the death to win, if necessary.

The Skullan and the Trumen are the usual gamesmen. The Trumen are the smaller, weaker race, while the Skullan is the physically superior race which rules the kingdom. But this time the game is different. On the Dim Continent, they encounter the Terrin. Huge hairy, long-fanged beasts that play to win. Even the Skullan are out of their realm, now.

Meanwhile, the elder Kirth, Marra, and a female Agben Terrin, named Tinge set out to make things right. Their only hope is to get to Rain before any more damage can be done!

This has been a delightful epic journey and if you love epic fantasy you will love this series. Jo Sparks has created fantastic lands, filled with creatures you will never forget. I found this story from start to finish to be quite unusual in the realm of fantasy. It was a pleasant surprise.

The author devises characters that are rich and multifaceted, often motivated by human needs. I found the inclusion of the game of Comet to greatly enhance the story. The game paved the way for the different peoples to relate to each other. And, in much the same way, the book will appeal to everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed the series. 

I received this book as a gift from the author and because I enjoyed the novel, I chose to review it. 

MY RATING:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies

5 fairies

About the Author:

Author, Jo Sparks

From television shows to football articles, Jo Sparkes can’t put the pen down. She’s interviewed Emmit Smith and Anquan Boldin (as Arizona Cardinals), taught screenwriting at the Film School at SCC, and went on camera to make “Stepping Above Criticism”.

An award winning writer, she lives happily in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their dog, Oscar.

How to Connect with the Author:

Blog:  josparkes.com

Facebook: Jo Sparkes

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sparkes777

LOVE FANTASY? I got your back! This is one series you will enjoy! 
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 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also! ❤ Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments.

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Silver’s #BOOK #REVIEWS – “The Agben School,” BY Author, Jo Sparkes

  • Title:  The Agben School, Book 2 of the Legend of the Gamesmen
  • Author: Jo Sparkes
  • File Size: 2569 KB
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  • Publisher: Oscar Press
  • Publication Date: July 19, 2014
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN:  B00LYO1VFE
  • ISBN-10: 978-0-9853318-5-6
  • Formats: Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Sword & Sorcery, Sports, Fantasy, Teen & Young Adult

*The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows*


“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 lays 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.”

The second book in the series, this one takes place in Missea. The third book, “The Dim Continent,” is in the works, and will be the last in the series. However, I’ll probably write more stories in this world because I won’t be able to resist.

From the Inside Flap: Hiding from an evil that stripped away friends and support, a young woman discovers the future of her race depends not on a prince trying to save his people, nor the heroic men who’d brought them this far. Everything depends on her.


The Agben School is the exciting sequel to The Birr Elixir which I read and reviewed here. The story resumes with Marra and the Truemen team finally arriving in the land of Missea, where Tryst is a Skullan prince, although nobody knows his real identity. The Skullan and the Trumen are the gamesmen. The Trumen are the smaller, weaker race, while the Skullan is the physically superior race which rules the kingdom.

New to the city, Marra looks for a shop where she can buy herbs for her elixir for the team. The boy running the shop presents her with a mysterious box. She keeps it hidden, not knowing its actual use, or who it was meant for. As a Truemen, Marra is required to be subservient to the Skullan, so she keeps her secret.

Marra’s herbalist skills out surpass many other Bristas. It is revealed that she possesses an acute sense of smell, a gift so rare, it earns her a coveted place as a student at the school. Once there, she learns the Women of Agben are the most powerful in Missea. There is a mystical magic found in the potions and elixirs created and taught at the institution. However, there is a dark magic that hangs over the palace. Soon it becomes clear that only Marra can rid Missea of the evil malignancy growing within the castle walls and possibly within the Agben school.

Weaving throughout the story is the game of Comet. The “game” is played in an arena with two opposing teams. At an inner circle in the field, a line is drawn in the sand by a judge. It is forbidden for the teams to cross the line until the judge allows it. There is much jockeying for the balls by both team members. Four leather balls need to be dropped into a cone-shaped area to score points, which are determined by the judge. Each ball has distinctive markings which ascertain the number of points each ball is worth. As contact sports go, I envisioned the game to be a combination of football and hockey with players participating in a competition to the death to win, if necessary.

The author, Jo Sparkes, skillfully weaves a story within a fantasy kingdom that leaves you wanting more. The detail in the Agben School and the study of herbs was excellent. There is a mystery here, and I am sure all will be revealed in the last book of the series, The Dim Continent. I must add that this book could stand alone because the main details from The Birr Elixir are intertwined within the pages of the story. Even so, I loved The Birr Elixir and would encourage everyone to read it first. The rich descriptions put you right into the action, and you feel like you are peeking over Marra’s shoulder waiting to learn her fate.

If you love epic fantasy with the added excitement of tournament games, you will love this book and the series.


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Author, Jo Sparks

About Jo Sparks:

From television shows to articles for Arizona Sports Fans Network, Jo’s been writing for years. She’s taught screenwriting at the Film School at SCC, interviewed Emmit Smith and Anquan Boldin (as Arizona Cardinals), and went on camera to make “Stepping Above Criticism.”

Her fantasy ‘The Birr Elixir’ was awarded a Silver Ippy; her script ‘Frank Retrieval’ won the Kay Snow Award.

She’s probably most recognized as the lady walking her dog in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

You can connect with Jo Sparkes through her Twitter at https://twitter.com/Sparkes777
and her blog, josparkes.com

FANTASY is the best! Thanks for stopping by to meet Jo! ❤