Book Reviews

The Knightmare Arcanist Book Review

This is my very first blog tour experience, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to review Knightmare Arcanist! I love anything fantasy and magical, so I knew right away that I would enjoy this book. I’m very excited to read the entire series now!

knightmare arcanist book review


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.

Title: Knightmare Arcanist

Author: Shami Stovall

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

My Review:

The concept of bonding to a magical creature was such an amazing feature of this book! This was something I had never personally read about in the other fantasy books I’ve read, so I really loved this element to the story. I wish it had been talked about more, actually. Stovall could have gone into more detail in multiple areas. I would much rather read a really long book with extra details that are needed, rather than a shorter book that left me wanting more. I definitely felt like I needed just a bit more detail.

From the very first chapter, Volke’s character and his story capture your attention. Stovall balanced creating context and leaving us in the dark really well. I felt like I was experiencing what Volke was thinking and feeling right along with him. Volke’s character development wasn’t as complete as I would have liked though; all of the characters really lacked genuine depth and complexity. That’s probably the major con of this book for me.

If you’re looking for a fun, lighter fantasy YA, then I definitely recommend Knightmare Arcanist. I also think it’s perfect for the younger YA readers out there who aren’t quite ready for some of the more advanced content and reading level of other YA books. However, if you’re expecting complicated plots, twists you didn’t see coming, or complex relationships/ideas, then I think you’ll be very disappointed with this book.

Overall, I gave the book 3.5 stars because I loved the general plot and theme. My favorite aspect was definitely the magical creatures! If the characters had been a little more dimensional and the writing a little more complex, then it would have rated higher for sure!

What was your favorite thing about Knightmare Arcanist? I’d love to discuss this with everyone in the comments! If you’re interested in checking out more of my book reviews, click here!

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