Hello, friends! Today we have Academy Arcanist by Shami Stovall, one of my favorite authors.
Read on to know more about the book. Don’t forget to enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Enjoy!
Hopes. Dreams. And literal nightmares out to kill a young boy.
Gray Lexly, son of a candlemaker, wants to escape his life of old-world technologies and study at the prestigious Astra Academy, a school for arcanists—those who can wield magic. But Gray has a major problem. Every night, as he sleeps, he’s visited by monsters. When they injure Gray in his dreams, he wakes with the same wounds in real life…
On the night Gray might finally die in his nightmares, he is saved by the kind and mysterious Professor Helmith, a powerful arcanist. She offers to protect Gray and invites him to attend Astra Academy.
Before that can happen, Gray must bond with a mystical creature to become an arcanist himself. Will he bond with a unicorn? A pegasus? A kitsune? Whatever he bonds with will determine his magical abilities, so he must choose wisely.
And when trouble finds Professor Helmith, Gray must become powerful enough to help her and fend off the terrible nightmares, before it’s too late…
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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.
Check out my reviews of books by Shami Stovall.
Good story and another interesting cast of characters
I should say that I’m already a big fan of Shami Stovall and her books, especially The Frith Chronicles, her series about arcanists, so I’m already a little biased towards the whole concept of arcanists. I absolutely love this magic concept and it was great to see it again in this setting.
So this was a nice read – great pace, interesting characters, an interesting story and, again, an amazing magic concept. I liked reading about magical creatures I was already familiar with from the Frith series and about some new ones. Also, the characters here are young, so sometimes I couldn’t help feeling like an old fart, annoyed with some of the things they do (hah), but that’s always been my thing with very young characters in books. Anyway, it didn’t distract me from the story, which moved forward well and kept me reading.
Overall, I enjoyed this. I love the Frith Chronicles, so I’m glad that I didn’t hate this one. I can’t say I like it more than the Frith Chronicles, but I’m interested to see where this series goes.
If you like reading fantasy about magic wielders bonded with intriguing magic creatures, you might 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.
Excerpt from Academy Arcanist
“I don’t want to sleep,” I said. “The monsters will return. They’ll…”
My father lingered by the door, half inside my bedroom and half in the hall. He turned down the light of my oil lamp, though he didn’t snuff it out. The shadows in the corners of my room grew darker. I dared not stare at them.
“The monsters aren’t real, boy.” My father offered a gentle smile. “Those were just nightmares. Everyone has them occasionally.”
I sat on the edge of my bed, my posture stiff as I tried to act twice my age. With my throat tight, I lifted my left arm. An injury ran from the crux of my elbow all the way to the edge of my palm, scabbed over and red. It was a straight and shallow cut, but it stung worse than a normal wound.
“The monsters are real,” I said, defiant. “I told you—they attacked me.”
“Gray, we talked about this,” my father said, sighing.
His shoulders sagged and his eyes were heavy lidded. He looked tired. Probably because he was. Every day, he worked from sunup until sundown, mixing waxes and perfecting wicks. He was our island’s only tallow chandler—a person who made candles with oil, wax, and animal fat.
My father wore an apron marked with his profession, stained by the hot wax. He rubbed his blistered hands down his sides, no doubt trying to think of what to say. I already knew what he would eventually settle on.
He would say, “You just fell out of bed.”
“You just fell out of bed,” my father muttered.
And then he would say, “I know your arm hurts, but it was an accident. Just go to sleep.”
“I know your arm hurts.” My father half closed the door as he spoke. “But it was an accident. Just go to sleep.”
All those long hours working meant my father didn’t like dealing with problems. He was rather predictable. His most common advice was to just ignore my problems. “They’ll go away eventually,” he often muttered. “Keep your head down and do your work.”
That was easier for him, I supposed.
And although I knew he cared about me and my brother, I sometimes feared he didn’t listen. The monsters in my dreams? They were real. One had attacked me, and if I hadn’t woken up, it would’ve ripped me apart.
Academy Arcanist Review Tour 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 Academy Arcanist blog 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.