A GREAT START TO A YA FANTASY SERIES
Welcome to my stop on the Write Reads Ultimate Blog Tour for Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
Gravedigger Volke Savan wants 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 will 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.
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.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THE BOOK
A bit of advice: go in blind into this novel. Do not read the summary. You will be rewarded with a novel experience.
The first book in the Frith Chronicles, Knightmare Arcanist, by Shami Stovall, engrossed me from the first page and kept me interested till the last. Not a small feat for an over-three-hundred-pages fantasy novel.
The biggest strength of this novel is fantastic worldbuilding. Stovall instantly drew me into her riveting world of magic, mystical creatures, and pirates. She explains the magic system lucidly without subjecting me to the torture of an information dump.
For a young adult fantasy novel, it features a richly detailed story; however, it is easy to keep up with the details. Further, all the different mystical creatures were vividly described and so were the arcanists bonded to these creatures. After reading the book, I desperately wanted to bond with a rizzel. If you do not know what it is, you got to read the book.
A three-dimensional cast of characters further bolsters the strength of the novel. Each character has a distinct voice in Knightmare Arcanist. While Volke and his adopted sister Ilia are the underdogs, Zaxis and Atty were born with the silver spoon. However, Stovall digs deep beneath the surface and lays bare the hidden feelings of each person. As a result, I connected with even the most unlikable character.
Take, for instance, Zaxis. Initially, he comes across as haughty; however, by the end, he undergoes a sea change in his behavior resulting in a strong supporting character. I have got a feeling Zaxis will be a pivotal character in the sequels.
Further, the sibling bond between Volke and Ilia was endearing. It was not cloyingly suffocating, rather, they were always present for each other no matter the situation even if it meant sacrificing their wants.
A GREAT START TO A SERIES
I would have been over the moon if the stakes would have been even higher in the climax and, therefore, darker, but as it is just the first installment, I am happy with the present climax.
Further, in the first few pages, the way Stovall emphasizes on phoenixes, I thought, our protagonist, Volke, will be bonding with a phoenix. However, it soon becomes clear this will not be the case. It was a stroke of genius on the author’s part to have him bond with a knightmare, a creature that evokes terror and is made of shadow. This sets the tone for the oncoming story and underlines the fact that Volke will be different from the others.
To conclude, Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall is a great start to a YA fantasy series. This book was so good, I could not stop reading until I finished it. I honestly do not know why such good books are not talked about enough. It deserves five out of five stars.
I will heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in a good fantasy novel. Although the target audience is young adults, even adults will enjoy this thrilling adventure.
Thank you Dave @ The Write Reads for organizing the tour. Many thanks to the author for providing me a free copy. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.
Disclaimer – The Amazon.in link is an affiliate link. If you buy from this link, I will get a very small commission at no extra cost to you.
Have you read the book? Let me know your thoughts below in the comments section.
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.
If you want to contact her, you can do so at the following locations: