fantasy | young adult
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.
The first book on the Frifth Chronicles Series introduces us to two main characters, Volke and Ilia. Both are aspiring arcanists, people bonded to mystical creatures that can harness magic, on the Isle of Ruma. The story starts with Volke crashing on the Phoenix bonding ceremony, on which he is prohibited from participating due to his place in society. Things don’t go as planned and he ends up shamed and returning to his sort-of-sister Ilia in the graveyard, but she has another plan to become an arcanist.
After a troublesome but successful mission, they both end up bonded to a mystical creature and become arcanists. However, Volke has bonded to a knightmare that had a previous partner, which makes it hard for him to harness the magic. The knightmare, Luthair, asks Volke to help him avenge the murder of his previous partner, without knowing that it might be harder than he expects.
I loved the worldbuilding on this book, everything from the traditions and the way society praises arcanists in this world, the magic system was unique considering it’s considered a privilege and not something that is taken for granted. The magic the arcanist can wield will depend on the mystical creature they are bonded to, so those bonded to a Phoenix can heal and control fire, while arcanists bonded to a Leviathan can control wind and water. It was great seeing everything played out in the story.
The characters were amazing, when I read this had a Percy Jackson vibe I didn’t want to have high expectations (considering I’m currently experiencing the hype of PJO), but it was hilarious at times and I enjoyed Volke’s sarcastic sense of humor. Each of the character has their own struggle and the way we are able to see them change and discover they are not all what they seem is exciting.
Few are the books I recommend, but Knightmare Arcanist is definitely one that fantasy readers ought to read.
Get the book on Amazon!
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.
If you want to contact her, you can do so at the following locations: