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Title: Knightmare Arcanist (#1 Frith Chronicles)

Author: Shami Stovall

Published: 18th of June 2019 – Captain Station Books

Format: Kindle Edition – 338 pages

Hello Hello! How are you?

It’s already Thursday, I can’t believe how fast this week has gone by and today I’m bringing you the third and last #blogtour of this week. Today’s review is for Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall, hosted by Dave from @The_WriteReads. As soon as he told me about this book, I knew I wanted to give it a shot, and I’m so glad I said yes.

Thank you to Dave and Shami for letting me take part in this tour and for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Magic. Sailing. A murderer among heroes.

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.

A fast-paced fantasy with magical creatures for those who enjoy the Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera series) by Jim Butcher, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.


Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall is the first book in the Frith Chronicles, a YA fantasy series in which we follow Volke, along with his adoptive sister Illia and Zaxis, Atty and others as they try to become arcanist and fight malevolent and plague-ridden arcanists and their creatures along the way. I am a big fantasy fan and I personally love books with mythical creatures and magic, and I thought that this blurb sounded so unique, I just had to give it a go.

This book completely drew me in right from the start and I just powered through it. its been a while since I’ve wanted to just binge a book in one go, and this was definitely one of those books. I was really surprised by just how unique it was, I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it, and it was a great experience.

This story starts on the Isle of Ruma, where Volke and Illia are gravediggers but want to compete to become arcanists and bond with a phoenix or another creature. I don’t want to go into too much detail at this point, but I will say that they end up somewhere else with Zaxis and Atty, two other people from their island.

I really liked the worldbuilding in this book, it felt very real even though it’s a fantasy world, and I also liked how everything was completely new. There was never a feeling of info-dumping even though everything that you learn throughout the book is completely new. I really enjoyed how we learned about everything through Volke’s narrative, and I really enjoyed this whole story, including the world, the culture, the different characters and everything that was happening.

I have to say that I had my reservations about both Atty and Zaxis, I really didn’t like them to start with, but as we got to know them and they got closer to Volke and Illia, I think they grew on me. I also really enjoyed reading about each characters’ creatures they had bonded with. It was really interesting learning all about the powers the different creatures possessed and how their arcanists wielded these powers, but also how characters like some of the master arcanists and mentors could bend different powers to their will.


This was a fast-paced, unique and very well-written start to a fantasy series. I’m not sure I’ve ever come across something with such a unique plot, and I really enjoyed how this first book concentrated on the arcanists, the creatures, the world around them, how the characters came together to try to work out what was wrong with the plague-ridden creatures and who was in on it.

I liked that we only focused on those elements instead of already weaving love interests, I read a lot of fantasy books where the love interest pops up straight away and I feel like sometimes that can detract from the actual plot and characters. I did enjoy the emphasis on friendship and how all the characters got to know one another.

I gave this book 4 stars, I really did enjoy it and I’m really looking forward to continuing this series. I’m hoping to see more missions and for the characters to get to know one another more, for them all to learn how to wield their arcanist powers, especially Volke. I’m really glad I got a chance to read this book because it was great and I highly recommend to anyone who likes fantasy!

That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this review, see you soon, stay safe,

Ellie xx


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.

Shami’s Links: WebsiteTwitterFacebook


If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here: Amazon UK (affiliate link) – Amazon FR (affiliate link) – AbeBooks (affiliate link) – The Book Depository (affiliate link) – Audible FR (affiliate link) – Amazon USWaterstonesBarnes and NobleAudible UK

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    1. Yes!! It was so cool when you read the book and you know it’s going to be a thing, but when you actually see it, it’s cool. It was great, thank you Brooke! 🙂

  1. I really enjoyed your thoughts on this book. I was very much like you and happy to see friendship as the focus instead of love relationships. It is indeed a most unique storyline! Great review.

    1. Thank you! Yes, I like when there is a focus on friendship instead of automatic love interests. It was really unique, I’m going to be catching up now, Im looking forward to reading your thoughts!

  2. Lovely review. 🙂 I, too, read this book as a part of this tor and completely agree with you that the details did not feel like an info-dump at all. Lovely blog, btw.

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