Hello readers! Welcome to my stop on the Ultimate Blog Tour for Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall! This is my first blog tour with The Write Reads, so thank you to Dave @The_WriteReads for including me in this tour and also to the author for the opportunity to read this book!
Title: Knightmare Arcanist
Series: Frith Chronicles #1
Author: Shami Stovall
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: June 18th, 2019 (Capital Station Books)
Synopsis: Gravedigger Volke Savan wants nothing more than to be like his hero, the legendary magical swashbuckler, Gregory Ruma. First he needs to become an arcanist, someone capable of wielding magic, which requires bonding with a mythical creature. And he’ll take anything—a pegasus, a griffin, a ravenous hydra—maybe even a leviathan, like Ruma.
So when Volke stumbles across a knightmare, a creature made of shadow and terror, he has no reservations. But the knightmare knows a terrible secret: Ruma is a murderer out to spread corrupted magic throughout their island nation. He’s already killed a population of phoenixes and he intends to kill even more.
In order to protect his home, his adopted sister, and the girl he admires from afar, Volke will need to confront his hero, the Master Arcanist Gregory Ruma.
Volke Savan dreams of becoming a famous arcanist like his idol, the legendary Gregory Ruma. To become an arcanist, he first needs to bond with a mythical creature, but as the gravedigger’s apprentice, his opportunities are rather limited, until he comes upon the chance to bond with a knightmare, a creature made of shadows. Bonding with the knightmare, Luthair, comes at a price though – he seeks to avenge the murder of it’s former master and the murderer is none other than Gregory Ruma himself who is spreading corrupted magic. As the plague continues to spread, Volke must master his magic, a task made more complicated due to him being the Luthair’s second bonding, in order to protect his adopted sister Illia and seek out the truth of the matter.
I went into this book with no expectations one way or the other, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I ended up enjoying it! It has been a while since I’ve come across a book that flows so well and it was so easy to read. After a series of several really heavy novels that I’ve been reading recently, this was a welcome change.
Personally, I thought that this wasn’t too much of a character driven novel and much of the emphasis was solving the mystery of sorts, to figure out if Ruma was truly the culprit and what his plans were. Volke’s drive and ambition, despite facing such a strong pushback and prejudice on his home island, was admirable, as wass his willingness to fight for his dream. Illia was another intriguing figure though she was more of a side character in my opinion, I’m curious to see where her story goes next, but Nicholin was hilarious and just so adorable. Zaxis turned out to be a far more interesting character than I initially thought, vacillating between friendly and helpful, to extremely defensive and outright hostile. I still don’t like him much, but the uneasy alliance to a sort of friendship that developed between him and Volke over the course of the book was very well done and he was the sort of character that grows on you with time.
My one complaint is that I wish this book had been longer. There’s still so much I would love to know – more in depth world-building, and in particular, more detail on the training of the arcanist apprentices. It felt like we only got a token scene or two and I really want to know more about their powers and other mythical creatures. While it was a generally a fast paced novel, the finale did feel a little rushed and I was expecting a fight that was a little more…epic maybe.
Overall, Knightmare Arcanist was an interesting start to the series and it was nice for once to not need to try and unravel layers of complicated plot and simply enjoy the ride, a rarity in fantasy novels these days. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel and follow Volke and Luthair’s next adventures and would definitely recommend this book!
About the Author
Shami Stovall is a multi-award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction, with several best-selling novels under her belt. Before that, she taught history and criminal law at the college level, and loved every second. When she’s not reading fascinating articles and books about ancient China or the Byzantine Empire, Stovall can be found playing way too many video games, especially RPGs and tactics simulators.
WINNER of the B.R.A.G. Medallion for Fantasy
WINNER of the New Apple Literary Award for Fantasy
Coffee Pot Book Club’s Pick for 2020 Reading
“Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall was rollicking good fun! Perfect for those who enjoy the Codex Alera series, the Homas Wildus series and the Harry Potter series. Stovall is quickly becoming a name I look for.” – Seattle Book Review
“Volke carries readers into a darkly engrossing world with a passion that makes Knightmare Arcanist satisfyingly unique and hard to put down. Readers looking for a magic-based quest fantasy will find this story compelling and nicely written, with strong characters propelling action which is often unexpected and revealing.” – Midwest Book Review
“A spellbinding first installment of what promises to be an addictive series, Shami Stovall has produced a mesmerizing story of magic, intrigue, and true adventure.” – ManyBooks
“Richly crafted and laced with wry humor and intriguing magic, Knightmare Arcanist is a page-turner.” – The Prairies Book Review
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!