Blog Tour [Review]: The Final Decree by Shami Stovall ($25 Giveaway)

The Final Decree_TourBanner

Today we’re featuring The Final Decree by Shami Stovall, one of my favorite fantasy authors.

Read on to know more about the book, and read an excerpt below. Then enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift code!

The Final Decree coverThe Final Decree

The Kingdom of Luka is controlled by the decrees of God-King Eliezer. Break one and become a twisted monster or serve forever, loyal to the crown. From the author of Frith Chronicles and Star Marque Rising, comes a new fantasy epic.



When God-King Eliezer utters a decree, it’s the law of the land, no matter how subtle or outrageous. Those who break the decrees suffer the god-king’s curse—their bodies twist into nightmarish monsters of devastation and hunger, forever a blight upon humanity.



The magic knows when a decree is violated, the moment it happens.



There are no exceptions. No loopholes. No escape.



Artemisia, a mysterious girl on the run from God-King Eliezer’s Holy Guard, is cursed and doesn’t know why. Fortunately, she has yet to change into a fell beast, but that isn’t a comfort. She could transform at any moment, and the resulting monster would destroy everything she cares for.



Desperate and fearful, Artemisia finds herself captured by a group of monster hunters led by Rylion Nasos, a man of superhuman strength and skill. When Artemisia displays magic of her own—magic that threatens God-King Eliezer’s rule—an agreement is made to confront the crown, despite the horrors it could unleash.



Cursed be the man who disobeys the god-king’s direct command.

Add this book on Goodreads. Get this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Shami Stovall

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.

Connect with the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Email

Quick Review

I’ve liked everything I’ve read by Shami Stovall so far and this book is no exception. The Final Decree is an enjoyable fantasy with interesting characters, great world-building and exciting magic concepts.

I was intrigued from the get-go, especially by Artemis who is introduced to the reader shrouded in mystery. From the start I just wanted to know more about her story and where it would go.

I also really like the magic concepts, they’re unique and exciting — not really a surprise for me because I absolutely love the magic concepts in the author’s other books (The Frith Chronicles, Company of Monsters). There are so many fascinating things in this that I like — the idea of God-Kings and God-Queens, curses, the forsaken, old gods, people blessed with divine magic.

Overall, this book is worth the read. If you’re a fan of the author or of fantasy in general, you’ll probably like this one.

Note: I received a review copy of this book as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Read an Excerpt

Once I reached a patch of iced-over shrubs, I eased myself into the detritus beneath them. I would die here. In nature. Away from everything I had grown to hate. It was how my father had died, after all. I supposed I deserved no better.

Before my wish was granted, the clink of metal returned. I closed my eyes, hoping to feign death, and I listened as the soldier easily followed my furrow through the dirt. He pushed the branches of the bushes aside and stepped close to my body. I couldn’t help but shudder.

He knelt again and turned me onto my back, his now bare hands warm and powerful. I opened my eyes, confused by the gentle way he lifted my head. My vision, blurred with hunger, took in a young man with a hard, neutral expression. Calm brown eyes, dark chestnut hair, red maple leaf scarf—or maybe I was looking at a tree, I couldn’t tell through the delirium—and I relaxed a bit, amused by my own skewed perceptions.

Knowing I would die had removed the stress of trying to live.

The soldier placed the lip of a canteen at my mouth and poured. I gulped down the water—warm water, not hot—and the heat coated my insides with comfort. It was only after a second gulp that I realized it was soup. The fragrant herbs and shreds of meat were like distant memories returning to me after having been long forgotten. I had never tasted anything so delicious in my life.

“Everything will be fine,” the soldier said.

Giveaway

Shami Stovall will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment on the other hosts’ blog posts; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here.

Review: World Serpent Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #5) by Shami Stovall

Today I’m reposting my review of World Serpent Arcanist, the fifth book in the Frith Chronicles by author Shami Stovall. Yayyy.

Okay, I read this book in December last year but I realized a few days ago that I don’t have the review on this blog. It’s on Goodreads, but since I have my reviews of the first four books here, I thought I should also have it here, too.

Anyway, read on for more about this fantastic continuation to the series!

World Serpent ArcanistWorld Serpent Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #5)

Death. Destiny. The rise of god-arcanists.

Volke Savan has reunited with the Frith Guild just in time to help fight the Second Ascension, a group of power-hungry dastards bent on controlling the newly created god creatures. The world serpent is the first on their list, and if the Second Ascension manages to harness its power, the world will forever be changed for the worse.

But the Frith Guild has another plan. They intend to beat the Second Ascension to the world serpent and have it bond with someone trustworthy—a mysterious man who Guildmaster Eventide believes will usher the world into an era of peace.

As Volke struggles to improve his magic, and also become a mentor for a new knightmare arcanist, he realizes that this may be one adventure the guild never makes it back from…

Continue the Frith Chronicles with the fifth book, World Serpent Arcanist!

Add this book on Goodreads. Buy on Amazon.

About the Author

Shami Stovall

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 would like to find a full list of her novels and audiobooks, you can do so on here.

Connect with the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Email

Does not disappoint. Another fantastic ride!

Great continuation to the series!

Volke is great as always, growing nicely into a skilled arcanist and into an even more genuinely good guy. I’m not a big fan of his, er, romantic links, but I do like the potential of one possible pairing.

The book is mostly about Volke since he’s the main character after all, but I would have liked to read more about the other characters, his pals from book 4 mostly – Fain and Adelgis. I mean, all Volke’s friends are in this, I just wanted to see more of them also growing into their magic.

Speaking of magic, this book is full of it and more. We get the usual stuff I’ve come to expect from this series – interesting magic concepts, fascinating creatures and lands, exciting fights, awesome twists. The twists at the end are pretty cool. I mean, I’m sure everyone who has read the series was probably thinking about this thing in some way or other, but what actually happens is just wild. It was nicely done, methinks. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

If you’ve been enjoying the other books, you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

If you like fantasy and are looking for a new series to binge, I say pick up this one!

Note: I purchased my own copy of this book. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Read my reviews of the previous books:

Blog Tour [Review]: Plague Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #4) by Shami Stovall + $25 GC giveaway

tourbanner_Plague Arcanist

Today we have Plague Arcanist, the fourth book in the Frith Chronicles by author Shami Stovall. I love this series – because it’s pretty awesome – so I’m happy to be a part of this blog tour.

Read on for more about the book, check out my thoughts about it and enter the blog tour giveaway. :)

Plague-Arcanist-coverPlague Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #4)

Deserts. Rogues. A secret hidden in an underground maze.

Every moment counts as Volke Savan races south to the city of New Norra. His goal: find Theasin Venrover, the famous artificer who may have a cure for the arcane plague. Separated from most of the Frith Guild—and even his sister—Volke must rely on the crew of the airship, the Sun Chaser, to help him find Theasin in time.

To complicate matters, the desert city of New Norra is steeped in mystery, and the massive maze under the streets could potentially solve all of Volke’s problems. With hunters after him, and dread pirates in the port, Volke finds himself forced to choose between equally terrible options…

Continue the Frith Chronicles with the fourth book, Plague Arcanist!

Praise for the Frith Chronicles!



“Perfect for those who enjoy the Codex Alera series, the Homas Wildus series and the Harry Potter series. Stovall is quickly becoming a name I look for.”
- Seattle Book Review (for Knightmare Arcanist, Book I)



“Dread Pirate Arcanist is a brilliant novel from start to finish.”
– Coffee Pot Book Club (for Dread Pirate Arcanist, Book II)



“Marvelously entertaining!”
- The Prairies Book Review (for Coliseum Arcanist, Book III)

Add this book on Goodreads. Get this book on Amazon.

Another awesome magical adventure; another wild and fantastic ride!

This series just doesn’t disappoint. Plague Arcanist is another wild fantasy adventure.

In this book, Volke travels with some new companions to find a cure for the plague. First they get to a desert city called New Norra, where they uncover something sinister. Then their search for the cure takes them farther to even more dangerous places among dangerous people.

Damn this book is awesome.

The amazing writing and pace is still there. So many exciting and intriguing things happening but they don’t feel out of place or unnecessary – to me, anyway. I enjoyed all the little subplots and storylines. They just made me want to keep reading.

The characters are great as always. Fleshed out well. Volke is with a different group of people this time and it’s so much fun to see how they all become loyal to each other. We also read more about ‘old’ characters and, you know, some things become just a bit clearer. You get some really good dastardly villains, too, and it all balances out.

The world building is still amazingly awesome. I have no other way of describing it. It’s incredible and fantastic. So many interesting and exciting characters, creatures, places, histories, stories, and magic things. I just love all of it.

Like with the previous books, the last few pages are INSANE. I kind of had an idea about a thing that happened at the end, but it’s still so thrilling and extremely cool.

Read this series. READ IT.

Note: I received a review copy of this book as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Read my reviews of the previous books:

About the Author

Shami Stovall

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 would like to find a full list of her novels and audiobooks, you can do so on here.

Connect with the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Email

Read an Excerpt

I had never seen an airship up close before.

Even in the dying darkness of dawn, this airship—the Sun Chaser—was everything I had imagined and more. It had the appearance of a sailing ship, specifically a brig. Brig ships prioritized maneuverability, and while they were large, they were also long and sleek. Typically, brigs had two square masts to hold the sails, but this ship was different. Sixteen sails were positioned on the sides of the ship, jutting out like fins.

Winds whipped through the woodland trees, rustling the leaves.

The Sun Chaser flew at a slow pace, descending lower and lower, arriving with the first light of day. The oak wood used in the airship’s construction shone with an amber brown. While sailing ships were often damaged by shipworms—sea water parasites—the Sun Chaser had no rot or damage. It was more beautiful up close than from afar.

I waited for the Sun Chaser at the edge of the royal hunting grounds, just outside of the Thronehold castle. Chaos still reigned supreme inside the city as everyone scrambled to deal with the aftermath of the queen’s assassination.

The Frith Guild would help with the fallout. Master Zelfree, Hexa, Zaxis, Atty, Gillie, Guildmaster Eventide—even my adopted sister, Illia—they would all do what needed to be done, no doubt in my mind.

After a deep breath to calm myself, I removed my guild pendant and dropped it in the grass. I wasn’t one of them anymore.

I had been infected.

Giveaway

Shami Stovall will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other tour stops for more chances of winning! You can see all the participating blogs here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2020/05/blurb-blitz-plague-arcanist-by-shami.html

Review: Coliseum Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #3) by Shami Stovall

Coliseum Arcanist

Today we have Coliseum Arcanist, the third book of the magical fantasy series the Frith Chronicles by Shami Stovall.

I’m a big fan of this series. Imagine my mild panic when I found just a few days ago that the fourth book is already out! That means the third book had been out a while and I missed it! Anyway, I went and grabbed the book so I could read it before I get to the fourth one.

Read on for more. :)

Coliseum-Arcanist-coverColiseum Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #3)

Adventure. Competition. A duel to the death.

While on a journey to the famous city of Thronehold, Volke Savan learns of the Sovereign Dragon Tournament. The massive celebration involves hundreds of arcanists competing for fame and glory, and Volke is determined to win.

Dark forces dwell in the city, however, and rumors of the legendary world serpent spread amongst the shadows. Whoever bonds with a god-like mystical creature will gain magic beyond compare, and the queen’s guards suspect cutthroats will use the chaos of the tournament to hide their plotting.

Unsure of who to trust, Volke investigates the terrible rumors while advancing in the ranks of the tournament. Unfortunately, the true villain may be closer than he realizes…

Continue the Frith Chronicles with the third book, Coliseum Arcanist!

Add this book on Goodreads. Get this book on Amazon.

Fantastic, exciting and action-packed. Awesome continuation to the series!

This series just keeps getting better and better.

In this book, Volke the Knightmare Arcanist (and our main man really) and the rest of the Frith Guild travel to the great city of Thronehold for some very important business. It turns out that a huge arcanist tournament is also happening while they’re there so some of the apprentices decide to join. The young ‘uns are eager to put their stuff to the test against fellow arcanists. But of course, the tournament is not the only thing happening. They’re in Thronehold for a reason after all and they can’t lose sight of their real mission as dark things are also on the move.

This is a fantastic third book.

Amazing pace, not a single boring page (for me, anyway), so many interesting and unpredictable things happening, but it’s never too much or too chaotic.

The characters are great as well. I mean, not perfect and not everyone’s playing big roles, but all the young Frith Guild arcanists are really growing into their own. Volke is still a pretty admirable and likeable main character and you just can’t help but be on his side.

We also meet new and intriguing folks and encounter some amazing magical creatures. The world building is incredible and the magic system is just really cool. I enjoyed reading about what different arcanists and their eldrin can do. Really fascinating stuff.

The last few pages are a wild ride and, yes, the book kinda ends a bit abruptly, but it’s such a fun read. If you like fantasy, magic stuff, magical creatures, adventure and all that, you might like this series.

Note: I purchased my own copy of this book. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Read my review of Knightmare Arcanist (#1) here and of Dread Pirate Arcanist (#2) here.

About the Author

Shami Stovall

Shami Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family earning a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.

As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was at that moment Stovall realized story telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world and she hopes you enjoy.

Connect with the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Blog Tour [Review]: A Company of Monsters by Shami Stovall (plus a $25 Giveaway!)

TourBanner_A Company of Monsters

Woot! First post of the new year! And first book review, too!

Today, I’m excited to feature A Company of Monsters by author Shami Stovall. It’s the sequel to The Ethereal Squadron, which I read (and enjoyed!) last year.

Read more about the book below, check out my review, read an excerpt from the book and enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win a $25 gift card!

Cover_A Company of MonstersA Company of Monsters  (Ethereal Squadron #2)

The year is 1917, and the Russian Empire is on verge of collapse.



Florence Cavell—codename Geist—takes her special forces team of sorcerers into allied territory in an effort to hunt down spies and keep the Russian royals alive. If the Russian Empire falls, the Germans and Austro-Hungarians will turn their full attention to France and Britain. That can’t be allowed to happen.


Unfortunately for Geist, the enemy has sent the Eyes of the Kaiser, specialists who hunt and destroy sorcerers. And they came prepared to eliminate not only the Russian royalty, but the Ethereal Squadron as well.


Praise for Ethereal Squadron:

“In tense, precise prose that skillfully conveys detailed descriptions, Stovall delivers this engrossing story of fantasy adventure with utmost precision. The Ethereal Squadron’s riveting fantasy world will fuel readers’ imaginations and leave them crave for the next book in the sequel.”
- The Prairies Book Review

Add this book on Goodreads. Get this book on Amazon or B&N.

Exciting and action-packed sequel, terrifying and great magic concepts, interesting characters

This book was just as awesome as the first and I really enjoyed reading it.

A Company of Monsters continues the story of Geist and her unit of sorcerer operatives. This time the team heads to Russia with a mission: to get some magic houses or families of sorcerers to safety before the enemy gets to them first and kills them for their powers.

This was a great continuation to the series. Definitely more action-packed than the first book. It focused more on only a few characters, but that was fine. It was still chock-full of interesting plots and twists.

I can’t say much about the historical context of the setting because I don’t know much about it, but the way the author took that part of history and used it here was really well done. The author set it up so well that you can really see how challenging it was for the team to go about their mission. And those challenges made for exciting bits in the story.

Geist as the main character has grown a lot since the first book. She still has doubts and sometimes questions herself, but she has become a good leader and her team really respect her as their commander. The book doesn’t dwell too much on each team member but you can see that they all have grown in some way and have their roles in the group.

My favorite character in this book though is one of the “villains,” who was also in book one. He’s such a complex character and you kind of feel for him even though he’s not exactly one of the good guys. I’m really curious about where Stovall’s taking his story.

As always, I loved all the magic stuff – the magic system, the plotlines, even the terrifying concepts. Very fascinating stuff.

I can’t wait to read more about Geist and her team and about where their story’s going.

If you like historical fiction and stories about magic, you might enjoy this book (and this series!).

Note: I received a review copy of this book as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Read my review of the first book, The Ethereal Squadron, here.

About the Author

Shami Stovall

Shami Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family earning a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.

As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was at that moment Stovall realized story telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world and she hopes you enjoy.

You can contact her at the following: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Read an Excerpt

Blick turned to Geist with a coy smile. “The grand duchess wants to see you alone? You’re a real charmer.”

She shook her head. “Now isn’t the time for games.”

“I bet the duchess asks you for a dance.”

“For both our sakes, I hope she doesn’t,” Geist quipped.

Battery turned to her, his brows knitted together. “Wait, you don’t know how to dance?”

Everyone in the room stopped what they were doing and stared. The collective silence bothered Geist more than the question. Of course she knew how to dance! It had been one of the many lessons taught to her by tutors from all around the world. That wasn’t the problem.

“I’m sure the grand duchess will want a man to dance with her,” Geist drawled. “I was taught the steps for a woman. You can see how this will go poorly.”

“Oh,” Battery muttered. “I hadn’t thought of that.” He tapped his chin for a moment before smiling. Then he stood and held out his hand. “Well, it should be a simple task to teach you the opposite steps. I can help.”

Tempted by his offer, Geist got to her feet, though her whole body felt cold and distant. She didn’t want to risk exposing herself for some recognition from the tsar. She just wanted to complete the operation and leave.

Battery kept his hand out, but Vergess pushed it aside. He stepped in front of Geist and held out his hands.

“I’ll do it,” he stated.

Of the two options, Geist preferred Vergess’s instruction. Then again, she didn’t want to learn how to dance in front of her squad. Stumbling around like a drunkard wasn’t high on her list of team bonding.

Geist hesitantly placed her hands on top of Vergess’s. He turned them around. “You hold the woman’s hands,” he said. “You control what’s going on.” Then he nudged her, as if urging her to start the dance.

The others got out of their seats, moved the furniture to the edge of the room, and then leaned against the wall. They watched with amused half-smiles—even Defiant, who squinted the entire time. It was enough to twist Geist’s stomach into knots.

Please, God. What have I done to deserve this?

She started with a few slow steps. Vergess urged Geist to go faster, even though they had no music to work with.

Which meant everything happened in painful silence.

While Geist enjoyed her close proximity to Vergess—especially since no one could complain—she couldn’t enjoy a second of the event. She stutter-stepped around, hesitated for a few seconds, and pulled Vergess along by the hands, knowing full well she looked like a childish amateur. I’m such a fool, she thought, unable to look Vergess in the eye for fear of ridicule and mockery. Why am I even doing this?

For the past few years, she had trained, killed, and fought in a bloody war, yet the thought of playing the man in a ballroom dance was the thing that crippled her confidence. She had no idea what she was supposed to do, and half the time she continued to slip back into the role of the woman, secretly hoping Vergess would just take over so she could be done with the “lesson.”

“Relax,” Vergess whispered.

So damn easy to say.

And it didn’t make things better that the others were muttering amongst themselves.

Then Blick snorted. “You’re terrible.”

Geist ripped her hands away from Vergess and turned away. “Yes. I agree. We should stop this.”

“What?” Blick said. “We don’t want to risk offending the tsar and his family, remember?”

Victory wheeled on his younger brother, a scowl that could wilt plants. Blick chortled, in no way intimidated.

“You should practice,” Vergess said. “Just try again.”

“Why don’t you try explaining what she’s doing wrong?” Dreamer interjected.

“She can learn by doing.”

“A proper teacher uses every tool to teach a student.”

“Yes, well, perhaps explaining the dance isn’t my forte,” Vergess barked. “Why don’t you tell her?”

Dreamer shook his head. “I don’t know how to dance. That wasn’t a skill taught to eunuchs.”

“Then perhaps you shouldn’t offer advice on matters you know nothing of.”

The odd argument got the others tense. Vergess and Dreamer stared for a long moment,
but after exhaling, both men turned away. Vergess returned his attention to Geist and held out his hand, ready to practice again.

“Why don’t I try?” Victory said.

He walked around his chair, one arm still in a sling, but he held himself like only a gentleman could. Then he offered his good hand and smiled.

With his aristocratic upbringing, Geist figured Victory would know best. She exhaled and took his hand. The look Vergess gave her when she passed—it was fleeting—was like he wanted to object, but couldn’t.

“You don’t need to worry about the grand duchess discovering your secret,” Victory said. “She won’t have her hands all over you. That’s improper.” He motioned to his hip. “You place your hand here. She will place a hand on your shoulder. And while you may come together in the dance, I doubt she will notice anything through the layers of formal clothing.”

“Th-thanks,” Geist muttered. The simple explanation did put her at ease.

Victory continued, “The key to leading a dance is to control everything from your torso—the core momentum coming from your center of gravity. The woman may be holding one of your hands, but she’ll feel the way you shift from your torso first.”

When Victory swayed side to side, Geist felt the movement. It dawned on her then, like someone pulling back the curtains to reveal the truth. Dancing did come from the torso. Why had she been trying to pull Vergess by the hands? It seemed so foolish now.

“You try,” Victory said.

Although she still felt ridiculous, Geist attempted to lead Victory around the room. To her surprise, he began humming. Although she had never considered his voice soothing or lyrical, the pleasant melody he provided for their faux dance reminded her of a quiet evening in London she once shared with her mother and younger brother, Dietrich. It made it easy to keep pace and focus on the footwork. Much easier than silence.

The others whispered among themselves, but Geist didn’t feel as ridiculous as before. At least I’m actually dancing.

Halfway around the room, Geist stared up at Victory, closer than she had ever been with him before. He had a slight scar over his right eye—one that altered the way his eyebrow grew and affected his eyelashes. He had gotten the scar when they fought the German U-boat. A decision Geist had made. During the fight, a piece of glass had dug its way into his face, and Cross didn’t get a chance to heal Victory until weeks later.

Then Geist glanced down at Victory’s arm resting in the sling.

That was my fault, too.

Victory paused his humming to say, “And if the lady makes a misstep, you apologize.”

“Really?” Geist asked as she returned her attention to him.

“Of course. As the gentleman, and the lead, you take responsibility for all mistakes. Always.”

Shaken by Victory’s words, and the scars on his body—all due to her mistakes—Geist continued to keep his gaze. It took her a moment, even while they danced, to whisper, “I’m sorry, Victory.”

She didn’t say anything else, but the look Victory offered in reply told her everything. He knew what she meant.

Instead of saying something cutting or hurtful, he gave her smile. “A gracious lady will always accept the apology. Everyone makes mistakes.”

Giveaway

Shami Stovall will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Enter below! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning! The tour dates can be found here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2019/10/review-tour-company-of-monsters-by.html.

Blog Tour [Review]: Dread Pirate Arcanist (Frith Chronicles #2) by Shami Stovall (plus a Giveaway!)

TourBanner_Dread Pirate Arcanist

Whoa! Today we have Dread Pirate Arcanist by fantasy and sci-fi author Shami Stovall. It’s the sequel to Knightmare Arcanist, which I reviewed (and enjoyed!) a few months ago. I can’t believe it’s here and I feel so lucky to be part of this review tour.

Read more about the book, check out my review and enter the tour giveaway for a chance to win a gift card to your favorite bookstore!

Dread Pirate Arcanist_coverDread Pirate Arcanist by Shami Stovall

Continue the Frith Chronicles with the second book, Dread Pirate Arcanist!

While protecting the newborn griffins on the Isle of Landin, Volke Savan and his adopted sister, Illia, run afoul of the Dread Pirate Calisto, the same cutthroat who carved out Illia’s right eye. As a master manticore arcanist, Calisto’s strength and brutality are unrivaled, so when Illia suggests they bring him to justice, Volke wonders if they’ll have what it takes to fight the corsairs on the high seas.

A fast-paced flintlock fantasy for those who enjoy How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.

Praise for the Frith Chronicles!

“Perfect for those who enjoy the Codex Alera series, the Homas Wildus series, and the Harry Potter series. Stovall is quickly becoming a name I look for.” – Seattle Book Review

Add this book on Goodreads. Get this book on Amazon.

Great storyline, fantastic world-building and character development; An exciting and action-packed sequel!

Dread Pirate Arcanist starts off months after the events of the first book. Volke, Illia and their fellow apprentice arcanists travel to the Isle of Landin. The Frith Guild have been tasked to provide protection during the island’s griffin bonding ceremony. What is supposedly an easy assignment, however, becomes something more when they run into serious trouble involving pirates! And not just any pirate, but the Dread Pirate Calisto who happens to be the same pirate who made Illia an orphan and cut out her eye when she was a young child. Naturally, Illia feels strongly about this guy and wants him to pay for what he did. Unfortunately, Calisto also happens to be an extremely powerful and strong master arcanist, and bringing him down will take so much more than all their powers and skills combined.

Wow, this was fun! I finished this book in a day. Like the first book, this is such an easy read. The writing is smooth and very descriptive, and the setting and situations are imaginative. The story is so creative and fantastic, and flows at a great pace. It’s never boring, each page is as interesting and exciting as the next.

In this book, we find out more about the wonderful magical world that our characters exist in and we find out more about the magic system. We are introduced to the concept of magical trinkets and we meet new magical creatures, both beautiful and terrible ones. It’s all very fascinating and fantastic really (I love it!). Also, most of the action occurs in the high seas (because pirates, duh!) so that itself is pretty fun and exciting.

We also learn more about our characters. We find out a little bit more about their past and where they come from, so we understand their motivations even more.

Volke is still as great as a protagonist can be – flawed and vulnerable, full of self-doubt, but with an unrivaled sense of honor and inner strength.

Illia shows some fire in this one, as well as some incredible recklessness, which annoyed the hell out of me, but she also learns and grows from the experience.

We also find out more about Master Zelfree and how he works and it shows us why he is a real master arcanist. He’s actually one of the most interesting characters in the group and he’s right up there with Volke as my favorites in the series, maybe even topping that list.

The rest of the characters – Zax, Atty, Hexa, Adelgis and their eldrins (the mystical creatures they’re bonded with) – are also developed more in this book and it’ll be interesting to find out even more about them in succeeding installments of this series (please let there be more! Lol!). They, including Master Zelfree, of course, have all really come together nicely as a team.

Like I said above, this book is an exciting and action-packed sequel with a great story and amazing characters. Needless to say, I really enjoyed reading it. If you like reading about fantasy, adventure, great and fearsome villains, mystical creatures, pirates (magical pirates!), friendship, family, honor and magic, then you’re going to love this one. :)

Note: I received a review copy of this book as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

Read my review of The Knightmare Arcanist (book one) here.

About the Author

Shami Stovall

Shami Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family earning a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.

As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was at that moment Stovall realized story telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world and she hopes you enjoy.

Connect with the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Read an Excerpt

Today the griffins of West Landin would choose who to bond with. The city officials gathered before the dawn, prepping for the evening celebrations. I watched from afar on a rocky cliff that overlooked half the isle, the pre-morning winds disheveling my inky black hair. I had never visited the Isle of Landin before now, but I had heard amazing tales of their fearsome griffins since I was old enough to remember stories.

My pulse quickened with anticipation. For fifteen years, I had imaged bonding with a mystical creature and becoming an arcanist. Eight months ago it had become a reality, but it hadn’t yet sunk into my heart and gut. Giddiness twisted my insides with each new breath.

While the citizens of West Landin would have to prove themselves to the griffins in a Trial of Worth, I had already been tested and found worthy.

I turned to the shadows next to me, well aware that my mystical creature—my eldrin—lurked in the darkness.

“Luthair,” I said. “Do you know much about griffins?”

“They are stubborn beasts,” he replied from the void of my shadow, his voice more sinister than his true demeanor. “And griffin arcanists are strong, courageous, and skilled at combat.”

“Amazing.”

As a knightmare, Luthair lived within the darkness, merging with it like salt in water. He didn’t need to materialize to speak, and he could slink along next to me without anyone knowing. While some would consider that creepy or unsettling, I enjoyed his presence and trusted him in all things.

I returned my attention to the sprawling city. Unlike the Isle of Ruma, where I grew up, West Landin housed thousands of people, had a massive port, and had constructed a seaside fortress to deter pirates. Their cobblestone roads, twice as wide as home, snaked beyond the city limits to a valley filled with sheep, goats, and horses.

When the sun rose, the oranges and reds of dawn cascaded over the island, washing it in a familiar glow. The Isle of Ruma had wonderful dawns, just like this one. The nostalgia overwhelmed me for a moment, so powerful it almost hurt.

I missed my adoptive father, Gravekeeper William.

Giveaway

The author will be giving away a $25 Amazon/B&N gift card! Enter using the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the other tour stops for more chances of winning: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2019/10/review-tour-dread-pirate-arcanist-by.html

Review: Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall (and a $25 Giveaway!)

TourBanner Knightmare Arcanist

Ohai! I’m here again with my review of Knightmare Arcanist by author Shami Stovall. It’s my second book by the author and this one’s a young adult fantasy. Not gonna lie, even though this is YA (I’m not usually a fan), I jumped at the chance to join this blog tour because I really enjoyed the last book of hers that I read (see my review).

The story of Knightmare Arcanist centers on a young outcast fighting for his dream of becoming more than what the world thinks he is. It doesn’t sound too different from most YA fantasies, right? But, hey, this was pretty fun and I enjoyed it!

Read more about the book below, check out my review, and check out the interesting excerpt. And of course, enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win goodies. Yayyy..

Cover_Knightmare ArcanistAbout the Book

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 flintlock fantasy for those who enjoy How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.

Add on Goodreads. Buy on Amazon or B&N.

Good story, interesting characters, cool magic concept, promising start to a series

This book was fun and I enjoyed it.

Volke, apprentice to the gravekeeper, belongs to the lowest of the lows in his island and is doomed to remain so for the rest of his life. He longs to rise above that and become an arcanist, a wielder of magic like his idol, master Gregory Ruma, but to become one he has to bond with a mythical creature. He ends up bonding with a knightmare, a rare creature of shadows. But there is something wicked happening to magic everywhere and the knightmare’s suspicions point to the great Ruma. To protect all that he holds dear and to protect magic itself, Volke has to not only master his new powers, but also find out the truth about Gregory Ruma before it’s too late.

I was in a pretty okay mood when I started this book and I finished it in a day. The book is an easy read, well-paced. I didn’t get bored at all. There’s a lot of action and good scenes with different characters. The plot is also interesting and well drawn out. It’s a great start to a series that still felt like a complete story.

The characters are interesting and well developed. Each character is distinct and complex in his or her own way. Even the non-human characters. I like their interactions because you can see how different and “real” they are. I actually like all of the teens in this book and that’s a good thing for me because I have a tendency to get annoyed with young characters.

I also like the magic concept. It’s unique and refreshing. I like the idea that magical creatures can choose the person they can grow in magic with. And that they develop a trust and dependence as both the creature and their chosen person grow stronger, more powerful – or even the opposite – together. It’s pretty cool.

The book is basically about young folks coming into their own and into their magic and doing great things. I would love to read the next in the series.

Note: I received a review copy of this book as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Shami Stovall

Shami Stovall relies on her BA in History and Juris Doctorate to make her living as an author and history professor in the central valley of California. She writes in a wide range of fiction, from crime thrillers to fantasy to science-fiction. Stovall loves reading, playing video games, entertaining others with stories, and writing about herself in the third person.

Connect with the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Read an Excerpt

I outlined a fresh grave for the cemetery as bells rang from the isle’s tower, signifying the start of the celebrations. The soil reeked of ammonia and rot, but the crisp morning breeze washed the scent away, dispersing it over the ocean. I removed my shirt, allowing the wind to cool me while I worked.

Every ten years, the people on the Isle of Ruma gathered to watch the fledgling phoenixes bond with a few chosen mortals. Lamplighters did their duty despite the glorious sunshine, each lamp’s fire representing the flames of phoenixes. Merchants cleared their horses and carts from the main road in anticipation of the crowds.

This was my second Day of Phoenixes. A decade ago, on my fifth birthday, I missed the bonding ceremony to attend my father’s trial. He was convicted of murder, but because he hadn’t been born on the island, he was taken to the mainland for final judgement. That was the last time I saw him.

Although the last Day of Phoenixes had been inauspicious, I intended to change that. Once I had finished digging a shallow grave, I would make my way into town.

I slammed the shovel’s head into the dirt and scooped deep. The cemetery sat near the edge of the island, far from those gathering to observe the hopeful students trying to win the favor of the phoenixes.

Tradition stated that anyone who handled sewage, waste, and dead bodies wasn’t allowed to attend the bonding ceremony, which was just my luck. After my father was sent away, I could’ve been given to any profession for apprenticeship. I could’ve gone to the carpenter and learned the craft of woodworking, or I could’ve gone to the silversmith and learned the art of fine metal work, but misfortune hounded me like a shadow. I was given to the gravekeeper, slated to dig corpse-holes until the end of time, forever exiled from the festivities.

I still intended to go. Even if it meant ignoring the traditions of the isle—something unheard of on our tiny spit of land—no one could stop me from proving myself to a phoenix. No one.

Giveaway

The author will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Enter away using the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment on the other hosts’ blog posts; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here.

Spotlight: Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall (plus a $25 Giveaway)

Hullo! Today we’re having a book blast for Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall. It’s out now and available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Yay!

I joined this book blast because I read one of the author’s books, The Ethereal Squadron, not long ago and I really enjoyed it. I’m also posting a review of Knightmare Arcanist next week, so watch out for that.

In the meantime, read more about the book, check out a cool excerpt and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $25 GC!

Cover_Knightmare ArcanistAbout the Book

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 flintlock fantasy for those who enjoy How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.

Add on Goodreads. Buy on Amazon or B&N.

About the Author

Shami Stovall

Shami Stovall relies on her BA in History and Juris Doctorate to make her living as an author and history professor in the central valley of California. She writes in a wide range of fiction, from crime thrillers to fantasy to science-fiction. Stovall loves reading, playing video games, entertaining others with stories, and writing about herself in the third person.

Connect with the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Read an Excerpt

A flash of rain pelted the entire city, but only for a few seconds, as though the heavens coughed and forgot to cover their mouth. The man secured his pack shut, protecting his vegetables.

“Oh, this again,” he said.

“Does this happen often?”

“Storms happen frequently enough,” he replied. “This ain’t no storm, though. It’s those flashy arcanists. They like makin’ a show. Just you wait. You’ll see somethin’ good yet.”

Making a show?

I headed toward the docks. Despite the creeping chill, I moved with energy and purpose. Crowds of people clogged the roadways, making travel by foot damn near impossible, even for an arcanist. Frustrated, I jumped onto the wheels of a nearby carriage and used the extra height to pull myself onto the roof of a building. The A-frame roof made for a steep trek, but the tiles were easy to grip, even when wet.

Once on top, I turned my attention to the nearest pier.

A tremendous flash of lightning lit the sky. Thunder chased after, strong enough to rattle the windows and pierce straight to my bone. Luthair shifted through the shadows as another round lit the sky. I knew some arcanists could control the weather, but I had never seen a demonstration so showy before.

A flurry of snow soon followed, but like the rain, it lasted only a few seconds. People lifted their hands in the air, trying to catch the snowflakes as they approached the earth. Most evaporated before anyone could hold them, but I managed to catch a few on my tongue.

The ocean waters beyond the docks swirled into whirlpools. Two cyclones of saltwater rose upward, forming pillars of ocean as thick as forty oak trees, each stretching straight to the sky.

Rapt by the show of magic, I almost didn’t notice the massive leviathan snaking through the ocean. Its shiny scales glistened with each new flash of lightning. The serpent-like body must’ve been as long as ten galley ships and as thick as a three-mast sailing ship. Although the mystical creature never lifted his head out of the water, I already knew who he was.

Decimus—Gregory Ruma’s legendary leviathan.

Giveaway

The author will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Enter via the Rafflecopter below! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other book blast stops and comment on the blogs for more chances of winning. The tour stops can be found here.

Review: The Ethereal Squadron by Shami Stovall (plus a Giveaway!)

TourBanner_Ethereal Squadron

Today we’re featuring war time fantasy novel The Ethereal Squadron by author Shami Stovall. It’s about a strong female protagonist who disguises herself as a man to join the Ethereal Squadron, a military division of sorcerers, and fight in the great war (WWI, I think). Interesting, right? I thought so too, that’s why I decided to join this blog tour! And I’m glad I did because this book was a good read.

Read more about the book, check out my thoughts on the book, check out the really short (but intriguing!) excerpt, and, of course, enter the blog tour giveaway at the end of this post. Enjoy!

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