Blog Tour: Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall

Hello, reader!

Prepare yourself for yet another blog tour stop on a wonderful #TheWriteReads Ultimate Blog Tour! Seriously, Dave @ The Write Reads organizes some of the best tours and all you book bloggers should definitely check him out. What book are we diving into today? Knightmare Arcanist is the beginning to an epic fantasy series where magic reigns and mystical creatures run rampant!

Before I get into my review, though, I must say “Thank you” to Dave @ The Write Reads, Capital Station Books, and the author, Shami Stovall for not only giving me a spot on this tour but sending me a physical copy of the book in exchange for an honest review! It is much appreciate, especially since the cover is stinkin’ beautiful 😍

And now, let’s jump into this tour post!


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.

Book Details

  • Author: Shami Stovall
  • Series: Frith Chronicles #1
  • Publisher: Capital Station Books
  • Publication date: June 18th, 2019
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age group: Young Adult
  • Content warnings: Animal death, gore, violence
Book Links


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.

Author Links


My Review

“You cannot see the whole tapestry if you stare at a single thread.”

We all know that I’m a huge fantasy nerd. I mean, just take a look at this blog, eh? Fantasy everywhere! So when Dave sent the call out for a tour featuring an epic fantasy, I was instantly intrigued. Then, when I read the synopsis and there was mention of a bevy of magical creatures, you know I had to sign up!

In this novel, we’re following a young man named Volke Savan. He is apprenticed to the town gravedigger, but Volke dreams of becoming more. He dreams of becoming an arcanist: a powerful magic user who is bonded with one of the many mystical creatures populating this world. He grew up on stories of Gregory Ruma, one of the greatest arcanists that has ever lived and he wants to be just like him. When Volke comes upon the chance to bond with a knightmare, a mystical creature made of shadow and terror, he leaps at the chance to finally start on the journey to achieve his dreams! But things are not as they seem and soon Volke is wrapped up in a mystery that could get him killed.

Let me tell y’all something. I was a little worried about getting this post up in time because ya girl has been busy and didn’t pick this book up until yesterday. I’m a slow reader compared to some and it typically takes me at least a couple of days to get through a 300+ page novel.

I read this book in one day.

Once I cracked this book open and landed into Volke’s story I could not. stop. reading! This book is the definition of un-putdownable! Which is super not a word but my statement stands! Shami Stovall’s writing is incredible, bringing you into the story with a force akin to gravity. You can’t deny it, you just have to go with it until you turn the last page and the book frees you from it’s pull. The descriptions are beautifully wrought, the plot is perfectly paced, and the journey, though your typical hero arc, is fresh enough to keep you wanting more.

Speaking of the hero arc, let’s talk about the characters. Volke is your classic down-on-his-luck young man who is trying to become more. Though he falls into your basic fantasy hero trope, I found myself completely enamored with his character. I think the credit has to go to Shami Stovall’s writing. She made him relatable and interesting. I also liked the fact that nothing came easily to Volke. He didn’t bond with the knightmare and instantly become this epic magician. He struggles and the struggles made him more real, even in this fantastical setting. Most of the secondary characters were similarly well-crafted, with unique voices and personalities. I will say that the villain of this story felt a little flat to me, but I did like the concept of his fall from grace. Overall, though, I thought the author did an amazing job writing these characters.

My favorite thing about this book, however, has to be the magic and the variety of mystical creatures. I loved how the magic of the arcanists worked! I loved how each creature grants their arcanist different powers, I loved the bond between creature and arcanist, and I loved learning about the magic alongside Volke. If I lived in this world, I would 100% be an arcane zoologist! Just like Adelgis, one of Volke’s companions, I would want to know anything and everything about all the different mystical creatures. Stovall did a beautiful job of creating a fairly unique and interesting magic system that took this book from good to great!

Final thoughts: This is your classic hero story filled with wonder and magic. Shami Stovall’s writing yanks you into the world and wraps you up in the story so securely, it takes you a couple of seconds to come back to the real world once you’ve finished. The world-building is excellent, the characters are intriguing, and the magic system is fantastically interesting! If you’re looking for an epic fantasy series to begin that will completely capture your imagination, Knightmare Arcanist is a book you should definitely pick up!

Star rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

4 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall

  1. I’m definitely going to have to give this book a try. I love a good fantasy novel and I especially love magic creature pairings! It’s funny that I came across your site. I just started signing up for blog tours. I have, maybe, 4 or 5 coming up! You seem to love the person who hosted this one so I may have to check them out. My most recent post was actually about the blog tours that I have coming up. If you’re interested you can find them here .

    Great post! It sounds like sun a fun book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dave @ The Write Reads is amazing! He does a great job with the tours he works on. You should definitely check him out!

      Thank you! And I’m headed over to check out your post 😀


  2. […] Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall: And this one I read for yet another #TheWriteReads Ultimate Blog Tour! Sensing a theme, yet? We’ve moved up to young adult, but we’re still squarely in fantasy. I read this book in one day and completely enjoyed the experience! Also, I would like my own mystical creature to bond with now, please and thank you. You can read my full review here. […]


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