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Knightmare Arcanist

(Frith Chronicles #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,549 ratings  ·  286 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 338 pages
Published June 18th 2019 by Capital Station Books
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,549 ratings  ·  286 reviews

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Aeyva [Reviews by Aeyva]
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2019, arc-s
In this review, there will be spoilers present. Proceed with caution!

I started this book with great hopes about the premise because it sounded highly interesting. It didn’t take long until I became quite disappointed, however.

The characters did not impress me. They were quite two dimensional and didn’t quite manage to capture me. I did not care for what happened to them because it was obvious what would happen either way. Volke’s rivals are your typical bullies, but they went out of their wa
Mar 22, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-unlimited
Volke has lived a difficult life in his few short years. His parents were criminals who are no longer in his life. Unfortunately for him, he lives in a place where individuals are judged by the deeds of the family. Volke is viewed by those around him as untrustworthy. He was basically orphaned at the age of 5 and adopted by/apprenticed to the gravedigger William. Volke desperately wants to flee that life and become an arcanist. He's studied hard and has a plan. Fortunately for him his adopted si ...more
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Everything is fine until Volke tries to bond with a phoenix. Shortly afterwords, a knightmare named Luthair bonds with him and they join a guild. When Luthair declares Volke's idol a murderer, it leads to an exiting adventure that fans will love... assuming Volke and Luthair don't scare them first.

It's funny and has a nice bit of sarcasm to it.

It's mystery, after mystery, and doubt after failure.

It's action packed and will leave fans hoping for more.
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review is part of the #KnightmareArcanist #UltimateBlogTour hosted by TheWritereads
Thanks a ton, Dave from @TheWriteReads and the author- Shami Stovall, for giving me this opportunity and providing me with a free e-book copy of ‘Knightmare Arcanist’ on exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.

Knightmare Arcanist is a heroic tale of Volke Savan and his five magic wielder friends who aspire to be influential master arcanists someday and be the paragon of heroism and valour!

Arcanists are po
Steve Naylor
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rating 4.0 stars

Not bad, not exactly what I was looking for though. There was a little too much young adult and suspense than I normally like. I was hoping for a little more of the magic/powers. There wasn't that much action and the action that was in the story could have been better. The story follows Volke Savan, a gravedigger who wants more out of life. His parents are suspected murderers and the only person that would take him in is the gravedigger. He wants to be an arcanist to show everyo
Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Knightmare Arcanist is the first book in the Frith Chronicles, and not only will it have you engrossed from the first sentence, but it will definitely leave you wanting more. This is described as Flintlock Fantasy, and I think that is perfect.

Ms. Stovall starts with the world-building immediately, as our two main characters are both apprentice grave-diggers. You find out just what this entails, and how it affects their 'standing' with the community. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about their worl
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got a paperback copy of this book from my cousin (he got his copy from the author) and simply loved it. The action starts from the beginning and keep building up. The book is full of funny dialogue and high tension situations. I'm going to read the 2nd book now. ...more
David S Meanderings)
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. RTC
Mary Yarde
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing

"No one could stop me from proving myself to a phoenix. No one..."

But the Island of Ruma was founded on tradition. Only those deemed worthy by Schoolmaster Tyms could participate in the Trial of Worth. This year Tyms had deemed Zaxis and Atty deserving of such an honour. There was no one else, or so Tyms thought.

Volke Savan was a gravedigger. His parents were criminals. He was a nobody. He was nothing. Who was he to think he had the skills or the knowledge to become an arcanist?

Growing up with t
J. d'Merricksson
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall was rollicking good fun! It's Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series for YA readers. Stovall is quickly becoming a name I look for. I've read a few of her other works, and she's great at adjusting genres!

We follow Volke, an orphan on the Isle of Ruma, who wants nothing more than to be an Arcanist. These magic users bond with mystical creatures that determine how the magic manifests. Though prohibited from formally participating in the isle's Phoenix Trials to bond
Paula Dyches
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such a fun new series! This book has a well planned and thought out fantasy world, fun characters, and a fun spin on magic. The narration is great and fun to listen to. I would say that this is written for the middle school age and older crowd due to some minor language and writing style. It was a fun book an I am looking forward to the next one in the series.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Ally Swanson
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A couple months ago, I had the chance to read and review Shami Stovall’s other book, “The Ethereal Squadron,” and I really enjoyed it. So, I was thrilled to get the chance to read her latest work, “Knightmare Arcanist.”

This book took me on a magical adventure that was filled with innovative, mystical possibilities, clever storylines, and well-developed characters – or technically well-developed creatures!

This book was such a beautiful, intriguing, grim, and fascinating grown-up fairytale!

This bo
Dini - dinipandareads
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-tour, ya-sff, pirates
When I read the description: "Magic. Sailing. A murder among heroes" I knew immediately that I wanted to read this book. It was such an adventure and I was pleasantly surprised to find how much I enjoyed it! While nothing really unexpected happened and the plot was kind of easy to predict, there are times you just need a book where you can shut your mind off and simply enjoy the ride the author takes you on--and this was definitely a fun ride the whole way through!

Stovall's writing flowed well a
Annie Rosendale
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Knightmare Arcanist is an excellent book that I would strongly recommend to people; another by an Author whose work I am coming to love. This book features extremely strong characters, an exciting magical system and world, and a tale that is quite enjoyable.

The characters and their interactions are probably the single strongest aspect of this book. Eventually, there are six young arcanists and their six eladrins (magical companions) that all have distinct personalities, from the driven do-good
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In this first installment in Frith Chronicles series, Shami Stovall tells the story of Gravedigger Volke Savan who has seen just one dream: to be an arcanist—an individual capable of wielding magic, and leave his gravedigger’s life behind. Volke faces a multitude of hurdles and beats tremendous odds to bond with the mystical knightmare—a creature made of shadow and terror, and realizes his lifelong dream of becoming an arcanist. He can wield magic now, and he gets to train near Master Arcanist G ...more
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a recommendation of a friend and it really worked out. I was completely surprised at the world painted by Shami Stovall. I really loved it.
Since its still pretty new have to be careful not to overstep.
In the Isle of Ruma, two orphans dream big. They are apprentices to the Gravedigger. Their dreams are to leave Ruma, and the only way is to become Archanist. Archanist are a sort of magicians that have bond with Mystical Creatures. But the rule in Ruma is that only the pure can try for t
John Stovall
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was an absolutely fantastic start to what I believe will be an excellent series. It is a "juvenile" fantasy, targeted at teenagers, but easily able to be read by adults... except that it does seem to get a bit dark with what another reviewer called "Body Horror" at a couple points for those that worry about that.

This book has excellent characters, starting with the standard "hero's journey" lead seeking to overcome his circumstances of birth, and diversifying into an array of people;
Margaret Adelle
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another killer book from Shami Stovall! Our main character Volke was so earnest and dedicated. The plot was intriguing and the world in-depth. There were redemption arcs and giant monster battles (Shami knows how to end a book with a bang).

The only thing I could say against it was that I wished the Ruma reveal hadn't been laid out in the synopsis. It would have had more punch if it had been left secret until the reveal mid-story. But the reasons behind his actions was heartbreaking... and distu
Adam Crozier
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you’re looking for a young adult fantasy with exceptional world building, you will find it here. The magical system was well thought out, where characters gained their powers from a mystical creature that they bonded with. The mystical creatures would determine the unique powers that a person would gain. This allowed for a variety of powers unique to different people. The characters in the story are all strong characters, each with backstories of their own. The entire story was well written, ...more
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2-stars
I feel like this book could have been cut in half size-wise. Most of it was filler and repeats of things we'd already heard before.
The heroes were basic and the villains were cartoonish. Main character? Well it seems like the author couldn't quite decide on a personality for him, so she tried out a new personality at every chapter.
World building? There would be info-dumps... but they wouldn't reveal enough about the world to be justified.
Overall I'm just disappointed. This had a great premise
Crooked Eye
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, ya, 5
A fast-paced YA action fantasy. The Knightmare Arcanist has superb world building and that world is populated by some fabulous creatures (I’m a total fan of Luthair). There is a full gamut of well-developed characters which range from fun through nasty all the way to downright crazy. Interesting themes are wound through the story and played out in action. The writing is crisp and concise.

I’d recommend this to anyone interested in YA fantasy!
Truly Trendy PR
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Knightmare Arcanist is the first book in the Frith Chronicles series written by Shami Stovall and is a young adult novel. A captivating action packed mystery that you will not wan to put down. Knightmare Arcanist has an impressive premise, a solid plot, and great action. A well-written story with well-developed characters that will leave you wanting more.
Mik Wasiak
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It very similar to black clover anime and good read I really like enjoy the story and characters
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book

This book was a great start to new series and perfect for fans of action and fantasy. A must read.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. As someone with a slight obsession with phoenixes (my son's name is even Phoenix), the moment I laid eyes on this cover and read the synopsis, I was hooked. I knew I had to read this story. And I was definitely not disappointed.

First off, the cover is gorgeous. It's absolutely stunning, and I love it so much.

Second, I really felt a connection with Volke. He's considered worthless on his home island because he's a lowly gravedigger. And the only reason he's stuck wit
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
TL;DR – A superb start to what I’m sure will be a spectacular series!

Ragdoll Rating: 5/5 Buttons

Recommended For: Anyone who loves an easy-to-read tale of magic and heroism

About the Book…

Knightmare Arcanist is the first book in the Frith Chronicles series. It follows a Volke, a gravediggers apprentice who yearns to be an arcanist – a magician paired for life to a magical creature, capable of amazing feats. But the circumstances of his birth make this dream unlikely, until one day everything chang
Ashley Dawn
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This author may be a new favorite of mine. I was drawn in from the start and the author didn't really slow at all. The world building and set up are done expertly. I absolutely loved all the creatures. Some I already knew about but there were some amazing new ones that you will love to get to know. The bonding and how the magic manifests is fascinating and I couldn't read the pages fast enough.

The characters, oh the characters! Volke is determined to be an arcanist and is bullheaded enough to ma
Rick Cook, Author
Sep 03, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
TITLE: “Great Fantasy for YA or Middle-Grade”
• I enjoyed the easy flow of this book and the characters. There’s not a lot of deep character examination but sufficient enough to hold the attention of most YA readers. I found the variety of words to be good and should improve the vocabulary of most YA readers. The elements of self-reliance, mutual trust, goal-oriented achievement, and camaraderie are explored.
• This coming-of-age story centers on Volke Savan, a poor boy without a mother or father
Yvonne (The Coycaterpillar Reads)
Knightmare Arcanist was both an intriguing title and serious book cover love. These two combinations made me sign up for this tour like sonic the hedgehog. I’ve been on a right fantasy fix recently so getting something that is going to surprise me is a hard ask, but this was a real treat and the differentiating elements contained within gave me the warm and fuzzies – like revisiting an old friend, its familiar and endorphin releasing.

We follow two quite remarkable characters, Volke and Illia (h
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While not a book that hooked me in immediately, it continued to build and by mid-book I didn't want to put it down.

Volke is a relatable character, not supremely and unnaturally talented, but determined and hard-working. It is so common to have a main character with a "rival" that takes any opportunities to take jabs and exact petty revenge upon them that it was refreshing to see Volke not do so despite provocation and perhaps some small inclination.

While there was not necessarily any plot twis
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Shami Stovall is a multi-award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction. 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 c

Other books in the series

Frith Chronicles (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Dread Pirate Arcanist (Frith Chronicles, #2)
  • Coliseum Arcanist (Frith Chronicles, #3)
  • Plague Arcanist (Frith Chronicles, #4)
  • World Serpent Arcanist (Frith Chronicles, #5)
  • Arcanist Fables (Frith Chronicles, #5.5)
  • Warlord Arcanist (Frith Chronicles, #6)
  • Master Arcanist (Frith Chronicles, #7)
  • Grandmaster Arcanist (Frith Chronicles, #8)
  • The Frith Chronicles: ARC I (The Frith Chronicles Collection Book 1)
  • The Frith Chronicles: ARC II (The Frith Chronicles Collection Book 2)

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